In an exclusive email Q&A, Evan Puzey, CMO of Kewill, talks about what smart logistics means and how organisations should be prepared for the challenges ahead in order to excel in their markets.
With nearly 20 years experience in the supply chain industry, Evan Puzey has assisted enterprises and logistics service providers in more than 30 countries, across five continents, with their supply chain initiatives. He has been with Kewill, a leader in multimodal transportation management software, since 2004 in senior marketing and product management roles, most recently as chief operating officer for Kewill Asia Pacific.
Question: There have been different definitions of "smart nation" but chiefly, they revolve around the use of technology to improve quality of life all round. What's your definition, and how does "smart logistics" fit into the whole picture?
Evan Puzey: The definition I would prescribe to most for "smart nation" would be "technology enabling the connectivity of anyone to anything, anytime, anywhere to deliver more efficient and effective business and living." You could then apply the same principle to "smart logistics" in that it would be the "use of technology to enable the connectivity of anyone to anything, anytime, anywhere to deliver more efficient logistics enabling more effective supply chains."
Technology has no doubt improved business processes everywhere. What are the next evolutionary changes we can expect in the logistics industry?
For the last 15 to 20 years shippers and their logistics service providers have been trying to generate true collaboration across all the players in the supply chain. This is where the term "supply chain network" originated. The reality is that achieving collaboration across the entire network was always limited by an inability to get all the players connected electronically. With the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and the explosion of personal and business handheld devices, we are now in a position to truly collaborate. This will be achieved by connecting through the IoT, leveraging a single set of data shared by all those empowered to access it, input and analyse of the information at anytime, anywhere, via any and every device.
What fundamental issues must be addressed first before organisations could even look at "smart logistics"?
The key here is that businesses must understand that you cannot build smart logistics on poor information technology foundations. Look at where you are today on the technology curve and work through each level, building towards a "smart logistics" platform for your business. If you try to take in the new, often called disruptive technologies, without the basics of systems and business-to-business integration in place, then you will be certainly wasting time and money. Both are things most companies cannot afford to lose.
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