Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic have had a significant impact on the UK’s logistics and supply chain industry. Since most businesses within this sector operate from multiple locations, they have had to adapt and change the way they function to consistently meet the growing demands of the customers. Moreover, logistics companies have had to embrace digital transformation and technological expansion to keep up with the times and stay ahead in the game. So much so that many of them have bid farewell to manual processes and physical data storage and adopted innovations based on automation and Cloud instead.
The pandemic has also fast-tracked the digital and technological transformation of the logistics and supply chain industry. Lockdowns and travel restrictions have caused a boom in the eCommerce market, which has, in turn, increased the pressure of adopting new technology and processes on the logistics sector. From more streamlined processes and Cloud storage to AI and automation, there are numerous avenues of innovation that are changing the way the supply chain works. Here we discuss some of the most impactful ones.
In recent times, AI has made a powerful impact on supply chain management. Machine learning, data analytics, and automation are not merely buzzwords in this industry. They allow supply chain managers to process vast amounts of real-time information and make decisions more accurately and swiftly. Since AI transforms this information into actionable data that can streamline processes and deliver services more efficiently, many supply chain businesses have experienced growth and success simply by incorporating AI.
Blockchain technology has only recently gained traction in the logistics and supply chain. It makes transactions and information sharing between carriers and shipping companies more secure and efficient. The only downside of blockchain technology is that it requires data to be standardised and centralised before processing, which makes it somewhat expensive and inaccessible for small and medium-sized companies.
One of the best innovations of recent times has been autonomous robots. They are increasingly being used in supply chain and logistics companies to improve the speed and accuracy of routine tasks and improve productivity and performance. Autonomous robots have found a special purpose in warehousing and manufacturing, where they not only improve efficiency but also reduce the risk of injury and cut down several management costs. Many large logistics companies are going one step further and investing in autonomous vehicles for better fuel efficiency and reduced payroll costs.
No area is untouched to innovation in the logistics and supply chain industry. Apart from the ones mentioned above, there are many other innovative solutions like chatbots, Augmented Reality (AR), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), advanced logistics software, and 3D printing, that are witnessing unprecedented research and development.
The good news is that, regardless of the area of innovation, logistics and supply chain companies can claim substantial funding from the government in the form of R&D Tax Credits for their research and innovation. Datafox is one of the leading R&D Tax Credit specialists that has helped many businesses within this sector gain cashback for their work. If your company has recently achieved innovation in logistics and supply chain, now is the time to get in touch with our experts and check your eligibility.