Logistics 4.0 and digitalization are dominantly used catchphrases in media these days. But what exactly is the meaning behind those terms? DAKO-CEO Thomas Becker talks about connectivity, lean processes and how logistics companies can use the drive of digitalization most effectively.
Logistics 4.0 and digitalization are the focus of many articles and discussions these days. How do you characterize these terms?
Logistics 4.0 stands for the digital penetration of logistic processes in order to make them more transparent, efficient and thus, cost-effective. For us, it means to ensure a precise flow of information between dispatcher, fleet manager, driver and vehicle. Increasingly interconnected and intelligent decision-making systems enable also a higher automation level, another step into logistics 4.0.
Digital systems produce big amounts of data. How can that data be intelligently processed for the transport sector?
In fleets numerous data is already captured, via FMS, tachograph or as traffic data. The key to an intelligent use is to interconnect the data in such a way that significant conclusions can be drawn. That means also making data from different sources compatible to facilitate evaluation. For example, a nearly paperless order management becomes possible when data of drivers, vehicles and customers are recorded and put in relation to each other. The fleet manager gains a clear overview of who is available when and thus, can manage orders in a better way. Furthermore, processes can be automated which saves a lot of precious time.
Where do digital solutions start to give fleet managers a better overview?
Web-based solutions interconnect data in volumes that no human alone could process effectively. In logistics, reliable arrival control and precise delivery times are crucial. Here intelligent software systems come into play by interconnecting data of localization, driving and vehicle behaviour in order to provide information about the tour progress. Thus, fleet managers have a better overview and can react flexibly, even in exceptional situations. For instance, in our fleet management platform TachoWeb the Tourmonitoring shows exactly which tours are going as scheduled. Details for individual tours displays the comparison of actual versus target performance which gives precise predictions about the tour progress and allows further optimization of tours in retrospect by providing useful evaluation material.
Digitalizing processes means to remain competitive. How can companies meet this challenge in the best way possible?
Companies should take the time to check intensively the possibilities of digitalization. It is crucial to identify and specify their requirements – what problems should the solution solve, where do I need more transparent processes? It should go without saying that providers of software solutions support companies when implementing a new system. We have an extensively trained in-house support team which is always ready to help with problems or questions and offer solutions. For it is very important for companies to let their employees be part of such a big change and to train them accordingly.
Taking a look into the future: Where is DAKO headed with its solutions in regard to connectivity?
Our solutions offer already high connectivity which will be further enhanced by providing interfaces for additional systems. In my opinion, the future belongs to scalable solutions. That said, no isolated solutions are needed but individually designed systems which offer exactly what a company wants.