Few days ago I have talked with the director of logistics from one of the biggest Slovenian manufacturing companies. Our conversation was about the question of whether logistics will change in the following years. We are both keeping an eye on the shifts that are happening in the industry because of Industry 4.0 and we are both familiar with the advantages of Internet of Things.
We came to the same conclusion, that the complete industry is changing and that Slovenia lives off that industry. What does the future hold for the logistics field in the next few years? We realized that changes will not be easy.
The underlying CONCEPT of all CHANGES IN THE LOGISTICS FIELD AT this TIME is digitalization of THE PROCESSES. Exactly the same is happening in the ENTIRE industry.
With automatic data capturing and automatic object movement the need for physical work decreases. Physical work in the supply chain is less and less important, more and more movements of the items is being automatized and motorized. One of the trends, that already points in this direction is that the parcel is not brought to your home anymore but instead is left at the nearest gas station in their locker for you to pick it up. They have already made a robot who will be delivering parcels to our homes:
Few days ago I’ve read a book »The end of work« by Jeremy Rifkin, who has predicted 10 years ago that the physical work is running out and that it will be replaced by robots and automatic machines. Physical work is not needed so often anymore and also the jobs for all the manual workers and even the middle management are less and less needed. Their work will be replaced by the interconnected information systems, which will manage the whole movement of items and parcels.
What is left for the warehouse workers and their managers? Rifkin mentions that there may not be much in the cards for them since automation is changing all areas of work. Workforce is not as important anymore, only knowledge is. Changes are imminent and companies should not wait to implement them.
What is left for the middle management? They must introduce the kind of processes and organization which will keep their companies successful as full digitalization and the 4th industrial revolution kick in. If they don’t adapt in time, their companies will eventually fail and be replaced by those who will successfully handle new market demands.
You think this is impossible? Look at the example of DB Schenker warehouse, where most of the physical work had already been substituted by robots:
How can Špica assist you with the adjustment to the digital supply chain? We offer solutions for manufacturing, warehouses, logistics and retail, which include the barcodes, RFID, mobile technologies and also voice-guided solutions. We have successfully implemented multiple projects in digitalization field over the years and have a strong team of experts in research, development and implementation of our solutions.
Economies DO NOT DEPEND ON THE resources, energy and workFORCE anymore but MORE ON the knowledge, information and communication.