Connecting All the Pieces for a Complete Logistics Industry Transformation
The three biggest developments that are going to significantly impact the logistics industry in the next five years will be software advancements; hardware advancements enabled by software logic (e.g., drones, driverless trucks, etc.); and continued consolidation and rollups.
In turn, the three biggest challenges that the industry will face include an aging workforce; willingness to adopt and adapt to continued change and technology advancements (this industry has been slow to embrace better methods); and driver shortages and capacity constraints.
Is your company ready to meet these challenges head on?
Our Industry Has Evolved and Adapted―So Too Has Technology
Logistics has come a long way! The earliest forms of logistics date back to ancient history where conquerors used humans and animals to transport provisions from fortified depots and magazines. From horseback to trains and planes to supersized container ships, our industry has evolved and adapted to meet marketplace demands. So, too has technology:
- ‘60s and ‘70sproduced the first inventory management system (IMS) as well as the first real-time warehouse management system (WMS).
- ‘80sgave us the term “supply chain management” and introduced the first cross-docking system
- ‘90s launched enterprise resource planning (ERP) and the transportation management system emerged
- 2000s saw the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the continued advancement of TMS, with analysts touting the need for it to be more multi-modal, affordable, lingual and globally friendly, among other things. Mobile apps also first appeared.
The Need for a More Intelligent Platform, Enabling Better Methods
Fast forward to today, and the role and capabilities of TMS have grown stale as logistics networks and operations have become more dynamic and complex. Companies that continue to manage their logistics operations with outdated systems, or worse, with manual spreadsheets, will find it difficult or impossible to keep up with their customer and partner requirements of saving money and providing better services―not to mention trying to meet their own cost and business growth objectives.
Logistics companies (both asset and non-asset) and shippers are in need of a smarter system. There are several “big topics” circling our industry such as ongoing problems with driver shortages; an aging, expert knowledge-rich workforce; and the integration of logistics and business strategies continue pushing industry-standard TMS systems beyond their thresholds as more companies look for better ways to improve operations and reduce costs.
Unfortunately, the industry remains fragmented and dependent on multiple point solutions (i.e., swivel chair technology). The lack of functionality and innovation within the TMS technology segment has brought us to this point. The term TMS no longer describes the capabilities, functions and features needed for today’s―and tomorrow’s―logistics operations.
A New Technology Platform Category: The Logistics Expert System (LES)
The Logistics Expert System (LES) is a new breed of advanced technology that represents the next evolution of TMS―and more. Expert systems are defined as programs using artificial intelligence techniques. For example, these technology platforms use database expert knowledge to offer advice or make decisions in such areas as medical diagnosis and trading on a stock exchange already. Expert Systems emulate the decision-making ability of a human expert. They are designed to solve complex problems by reasoning about knowledge, represented mainly as if in rules rather than conventional procedural codes. The logistics industry has an unmet need for this type of solution.
There is a current long-felt but unresolved need for a technology platform that can analyze millions of variables in real-time as well as enhance and change processes within the complicated and multi-party shipping and logistics industry. Currently, most processes within this industry are handled manually, or via rudimentary computer systems that lack the sophistication necessary to identify problems or patterns, analyze better alternatives and react on-the-fly to changing conditions.
Tai is the Power Behind LES
LES is the first global SaaS platform to combine TMS, mobile intelligence (MI), integration intelligence (II), business intelligence (BI), consulting intelligence (CI) and artificial intelligence (AI) in one platform.
The LES is powered by Tai, the industry’s only cloud-based solution built on AI, and is able to assess, analyze, provide recommendations and execute change for numerous logistical and business situations that affect all players within the shipping industry, including shippers, 3PLs, freight forwarders, LTL brokers, truckload brokers, LTL carriers, truckload carriers, drayage carriers, cartage agents, couriers, parcel carriers and others. Tai is the industry’s first solution that incorporates business process management and consulting intelligence logic into the workflow of the platform.
Tai Mobile Intelligence enables on-demand self-service for data, business process management and API management for all segments of the logistics industry, creating a one-stop shop for all types of asset carriers, 3PLs and shippers. It enables end-users to address industry “hot points” such as shipment visibility and shipment management, trailer management and trailer/truck capacity management anytime and from any location.
The combined solutions provide unrivaled visibility and access to data that enable real-time decision-making in today’s 24/7/365 logistics industry. End-users will now be able to:
- Make real-time data field enhancements via a self-service portal
- Automate manual and redundant business processes
- Capture profit-and-loss and balance-sheet elements relevant to the business
- Neutrally integrate with any industry platform for a single source of data management and flow
An Easy, Painless Upgrade Path for Legacy Systems
Maintaining and upgrading legacy systems is one of the most difficult challenges logistics companies face today―often with the length of complex upgrades quantified in months and years. This, too, is changing.
Tai is the industry’s upgrade path to an LES. With multiple patents pending, Tai is engineered as an integration-friendly platform for all legacy logistics systems, such WMS, rate management systems (RMS), freight management systems (FMS), ERP and accounting. With a singleline of code, Tai can be deployed into legacy TMS―advancing it into an LES platform that is more intelligent, current and scalable. This IT-friendly approach provides companies with a low- to no-cost implementation achievable in 30 days or less.
A Higher Standard of Logistics for a Higher Standard of Business
These solutions play an important role in the overall evolution of TMS and the logistics industry at large. Together, the LES, Tai platform and Tai Mobile Intelligence will set a higher industry standard than what is currently in the marketplace. Every organization―from shippers to asset and non-asset carriers to other software companies―can and should operate as the most perfect version of itself at all times, continuously working to advance our industry forward.
Spencer Askew is founder and CEO of Teknowlogi. To find out how you can take a more active part in advancing the logistics industry forward, visit www.teknowlogi.com.