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Logistics & Distribution: All innovation or just disruption?

Last updated on July 12th, 2016 at 01:26 pm

We’ve issued the call-out. Now it’s up to you to tell us who the influencers in logistics and distribution are for our next Influencers Index.

The explosion of tracking and sensor technologies, the shifts toward artificial intelligence-based just-in-time resource management and provisioning are all issues in logistics and distribution we’ve been tracking for some time. Is it all innovation or all disruption?

Here’s what we already know:

Delivery drones are not just an Amazon experiment but perhaps the largest logistics innovation the world has seen. In Canada, where public perception of the postal system has been shaped by criticism of management and labour disputes, drone delivery is being touted as a fresh start to a beleaguered system. The threat of disruption looms while another strike seems inevitable. More positively, experts view the tech as pure innovation with the opportunity to provide cheaper, more efficient means of getting vaccines to the developing world. The movement of spare parts, sensitive legal documents and emergency supplies also speaks more profoundly for the side of innovation.

Brett Wilkins covered recent developments in procurement and supply chain issues for us in May and the emphasis on analytics, new data management techniques and bringing millennials into the fold has not changed in the past six weeks. Nothing looks especially disruptive when it comes to the logistics and distribution elements of CRM, even from the HR side of hiring, training and retaining specialists. Who’s creating that stability? Read more about their new visibility here. The new emphasis on data, as it is in other services, is crying out for commentary. Are we suffering from new forms of paralysis by analysis?

Movement to the cloud has refined all logistics and distributions processes. Industry-specific tools accessed via the cloud exist for even the most specialized types of B2B enterprises. Commonsku for the promotional products industry is just one example.  Back office processes, including logistics and distribution, were the first to be moved into the cloud and, as far as many industry watchers are concerned, the flexibility and sharing that enabled will be paying dividends for a generation to come. But has the peak broken through the cloud cover? Are there any processes left to refine and re-distribute to the cloud? How much have niche products affected how B2B services are delivered and relationships built and maintained?

All these questions come down to two words: What’s next? Or maybe, who is next? Tell us who the big thinkers are in logistics and distribution for our next Influencers Index.

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Kate Baggott
Kate Baggott
Kate Baggott is a former Managing Editor of B2BNN. Her technology and business journalism has appeared in the Technology Review, the Globe and Mail, Canada Computes, the Vancouver Sun and the Bay Street Bull. She is the author of the short story collections Love from Planet Wine Cooler and Dry Stories. Find links to recent articles by following her on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/kate-baggott-9a0306/