Technology in the supply chain

Issue 7 2020 Logistics (Industry)

The logistics industry relied heavily on people in the past, and to a large extent still does today. As in every other sphere of life, however, the role technology plays is increasing rapidly, with a host of solutions available to streamline supply chains and increase the efficiency of logistics in general.

Hi-Tech Security Solutions asked two experts in the field for their insights into how technology can and is changing the game.


Eamon McCann.

Eamon McCann, CTO of The Argility Technology Group:

The ongoing advances in IOT capabilities have positioned technology as a strong enabler in the management and security of assets. There are various devices readily available that leverage GSM, Sigfox and LoRaWAN technologies, as well as others including RFID tags/labels and BLE beacons. These are now all potential options to cost-effectively assist in the identification of the physical positioning of assets for both static and mobile security applications.

The potential areas that could benefit are extensive, and range across multiple industries, including construction, mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Moreover, associated assets such as vehicles, machinery, fridges, crates/produce etc. can be identified and tracked to a specific geolocation, enhancing visibility and providing an associated increase in security and assisting in loss prevention.

Argility’s SkyData IOT cloud platform enables these capabilities by allowing asset tracking and exception management, thereby enabling supply chain security and the efficiency of associated processes. Geofencing allows event and alert creation for entry and exit conditions, for example, automatically raising a proof of delivery when an asset reaches its predefined destination, as well as tamper and theft alerts when assets move location without authorisation.

Other applications like the tracking of pallets and cages with RFID capability when entering receiving bays or leaving dispatch areas can assist in reducing loss and driving efficiencies through the warehouse and the wider supply chain. Configurable alarms and alerts, with various levels of severity, can be routed to the appropriate level(s) within the organisational hierarchy to ensure visibility and auditability for any such event.

SkyData can integrate into any business operational system, feed from and to multiple data sources and deliver data sets to any mobile device. It provides for Web-based administration plus configuration and it includes mobile apps for both Android and iOS for remote access – anytime, anywhere. The bottom line is that this IoT platform is set to transform asset and resource monitoring management.


Shaun O’Brien.

Shaun O’Brien, CEO of Cquential

If you are not considering technology within your business or do not at least have a strategy around implementing technology, the company may be at a disadvantage when compared to its peers. Technology is the name of the game. It’s not seen as a luxury anymore but a necessity to do business in a highly competitive environment.

Supply chains have been one of the business functions that have benefited the most when it comes to technology and the capabilities it has to offer. A modern supply chain is at the point where it will not be relevant or valuable to an organisation if there is no intention of implementing technology to keep up with industry standards.

Technology enables businesses to automate manual processes and get people to focus on other areas that can add value to the organisation. The company is also in a better position to handle complexity and meet the needs of a customer with high expectations concerning turnaround time and service. Information sharing and collaboration across partners and departments is also crucial when it comes to running an efficient operation.

Warehouse management is a specific function within the supply chain that has benefited from technology over the last 10 years. The technology has driven the following benefits:

• Improved visibility across operations.

• Driven collaboration and information

sharing across different departments.

• Driven labour/MHE efficiencies.

• Improved capacity management.

• Improved traceability of stock.

• Reduced operational expenses.

• Improved customer service levels.

• Automation of manual tasks.

• Improved scalability.

Technology is changing the way the warehouse operates for the better. It’s becoming more affordable and readily available to any size of business. The key is to have a digital roadmap and prioritise the different items based on operational requirements. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to technology. The first step is to understand the current business and processes. Once this is understood the next phase will be to understand the functionality and business proposition of the various solutions and how they can be applied to your specific use case. The last step will be to review and measure to understand if the business is achieving the business benefits that it set out to achieve in the beginning.




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Inventory on the move
Issue 7 2020 , Logistics (Industry)
Europe’s ID Logistics has taken another step in the digitisation of its warehouses, incorporating Full Pallet Inventory (FPI), a technology developed by Zetes.

Read more...
No downtime for transport security
Issue 7 2020, Secure Logistics, Technews Publishing , Logistics (Industry)
After a brief downturn in crime due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the transport sector is once again at the centre of a crime spree.

Read more...
Warehouse security and the pandemic
Issue 7 2020, Technews Publishing , Logistics (Industry)
The warehousing industry is under intense attack from organised, armed criminal syndicates following the lockdown.

Read more...
Learn from their mistakes
October 2019 , Logistics (Industry), Asset Management, EAS, RFID
One of the cardinal rules of business is to learn from the mistakes you make during your journey, but sometimes another company’s error can be just as instructive.

Read more...
Active cargo tracking units growth
June 2019 , Asset Management, EAS, RFID, Logistics (Industry)
The number of active tracking devices deployed for cargo loading units including trailers, intermodal containers, rail freight wagons, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 6.1 million world-wide in 2018.

Read more...
TAPA 2019 conference: A layered approach to cargo security
April 2019, TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association), Technews Publishing , News, Conferences & Events, Logistics (Industry)
   26 July 2019 Emperors Palace, Gauteng TAPA members: no charge (maximum of three delegates per member company) Non-TAPA members: R1780 excl VAT. The South African chapter of the Transported Asset ...

Read more...
The value of adopting TAPA’s warehousing standard
February 2019, Technews Publishing , Security Services & Risk Management, Logistics (Industry)
Hi-Tech Security Solutions looks at TAPA’s FSR (Facility Security Requirements) standards, which cover best practices for securing assets in storage.

Read more...
The insider threat
February 2019, Secure Logistics , Asset Management, EAS, RFID, Integrated Solutions, Logistics (Industry)
Andre Du Venage says logistics operations need to pay more attention to criminal threats from insiders.

Read more...
Logistics transport and delivery platform
October 2018 , News, Asset Management, EAS, RFID, Security Services & Risk Management, Products, Logistics (Industry)
Fastvan has launched an end-to-end on-demand SaaS platform to solve the delay, middleman and paperwork problems that come with traditional shipping.

Read more...
The ever-changing dynamics of risk management
September 2018, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, Security Services & Risk Management, Transport (Industry), Conferences & Events, Associations, Training & Education, Logistics (Industry)
Hi-Tech Security Solutions was at the TAPA South Africa 2018 conference once again. This is a short summary of the presentations delivered on the day.

Read more...