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New technologies are undoubtedly challenging business leaders

June 13, 2018 • Opinion

By Renko Bergh, Director Forte Consulting.

By Renko Bergh, Director Forte Consulting.

New technologies are undoubtedly challenging business leaders, and the investment in smarter technologies are likely to become industry benchmarks, not differentiators.

Forte Supply Chain Consulting serves as a bridge consultancy between industry expectations and software offerings within different segments of the supply chain. Forte Consulting has partnered with software providers in different segments (transport & warehousing) and specialises in the implementation and the utilization of these software systems from an industry perspective.

For decision-makers within supply chain, it is important to identify and understand the opportunities, overcome the complexities and adopt technologies that will enable the business to evolve and remain relevant now, and in future years. The exponential increase in the number of technology platforms and services, with the ability for different systems to integrate via the Internet of Things (IoT), has already brought a level of standard requirements and benchmark within the industry.

Currently I experience one of the biggest challenges as being the skills gap required for operators to take advantage of technology in logistics. The shortage of skilled industry operators within the logistics and manufacturing areas specifically, create a knowledge gap and missed opportunity. I see more and more of our clients and their referrals embracing software within different segments of their business. Forte Supply Chain Consulting acts as a bridge between actual developers of supply chain software and the users of the software. Our strategy starts with the selection of the best fit of application and thereafter the implementation and utilization of that software. The focus areas of our software partners are currently within the transport, warehouse, inventory and a recently launched business intelligence platform segments. People, process systems within the supply chain is our forte.

Data visualization is practically a technology on its own and presents users with information that enables the immediate adjustment of operations and faster decision-making abilities.

During the past two years we have spent a lot of energy within our Forte Data Solutions division, positioning and developing our integration platform-as-a-service, or iPaaS – called FLOW.

This cloud-based platform enables users to connect and display existing applications, regardless of whether they’re on premise or in the cloud, without having to add layers to their infrastructure within a web-based portal platform.

A case study during the last year has seen the FLOW platform being utilized at one of our FMCG clients. The project outcome has seen the collaboration and integration of updates (data previously sent manually) from all transport providers, used by the FMCG client, in one central platform. Each transport entity continues working on their existing transport management software or manual excel sheet and the relevant data is synced to the platform for one central view of all transporters involved for the client’s use and decision making.

The feedback that remains constant for me, is that the more information provided in real-time (even from different source systems) on a single platform, provides the base for data-driven decision making.

In closing, while technology continues to evolve, it is just as vital that supply chain practitioners understand the non-technology fundamentals and trends that will supplement the investment in technology in order to gain maximum return on investment and outcome.

By Renko Bergh, Director Forte Consulting

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