Published 04 Dec 2021
Five trends in logistics
"Anyone who does not have their logistics under control and cannot supply their customers with goods precisely, will not survive in the long term," predicts Boris Katic, COO for the LA EMEA region at Lapp.
Regardless of who you ask where, the subject of logistics always lands in the top 5, according to Lapp. The surveys and experiences in direct customer contact show that customer demands are increasing and changing. There are some trends in logistics emerging that will have a significant impact on businesses. Here are the five most important trends.
Speed is (not) everything: Lapp advertises that it can deliver many standard products to customers in many parts of the world within 24 hours. Quite a few of the customers want and use this, but not all, according to the information. What is becoming more and more apparent: Actually, it is not about the 24 hours or any other defined period of time, but about the "correct" delivery time according to customer requirements. This delivery time differs significantly in the various sales channels. More and more customers are demanding just-in-time or even just-in-sequence delivery, where different cables are on the trolley in the exact order in which they are installed.
Different sales channels need different logistics: just-in-time delivery is a challenge, but it can be planned well in advance, says Lapp. The situation is different when a machine goes on strike and the customer needs a replacement cable as soon as possible. You can't plan that in advance. This requires logistical fulfillment that reacts extremely quickly.
Logistics has to look into the future: The secret why Amazon is always so fast is that the retail giant always has almost all products in stock, says Lapp. That is the result of sophisticated forecasting methods based on self-learning algorithms. According to Lapp, based on current sales and past experience, they know who is likely to order what when in the future and order supplies to the warehouse in good time. Lapp also works with forecasts. The sales department creates a forecast for the coming months and the goods are already pre-produced or pre-ordered from suppliers.
Suppliers and customers exchange more data: when a customer orders a cable from Lapp, this order runs via the SAP system to the Siemens control in the warehouse in Ludwigsburg, where the ordered product is automatically taken from the shelf and taken to packaging. This is only possible if all systems talk to one another via open interfaces. According to Lapp, the trend is that more and more retailers are allowing Lapp access to their data and systems. This is how Lapp sees when a product is ordered. If the stock in the warehouse falls below a critical limit, according to the information Lapp will automatically replenish it without the dealer having to take action himself. This means that there is always enough goods in the warehouse, but also not too much to save space.
Logistics is becoming more sustainable: Many everyday products travel thousands or even tens of thousands of kilometers through world history before they end up in our supermarket. The consumption of resources and the carbon footprint are correspondingly high. Today, Lapp says it is doing everything it can to keep transport routes as short as possible. A cable that is made in Italy and destined for a customer in Italy is delivered there directly from the factory. The same truck also drives, for example, the lines of a supplier both to customers and to their own customers. With measures like this, Lapp has increased the load factor of the trucks from 60 to 80 percent, and the transport routes have shrunk by a third. The use of materials is also more efficient today: According to this, Lapp has replaced the film in internal packaging with a tape and takes cable drums back for reuse for refilling, regardless of the remote location.