The year 2020 will be a year to remember. A pandemic swept across the globe and required businesses to pivot and rethink business models. For logistics companies, on the other hand, a steep ramp-up was required. How can we make sure that we can deliver goods to people’s homes fast and efficiently? Before we can get there, a local warehouse could be needed as well. This requires the shipment of bulks to make transportation cost-effective. Luckily, technology has helped logistics companies scale-up and serve the market.
Inkjet printers for rapid shipping label printing
One of the challenges that required logistics companies to shift was a B2B to B2C operation. Instead of shipping goods to stores, they now needed to ship directly to customers as stores were closed during lockdowns. This required a completely different operation, with shipping label printing at the heart. To enable this, advanced inkjet printers were needed. The printer is connected to the order system, allowing for new labels to be printed when a new order is accepted.
Increased automation potential
By connecting web shops to the order management systems, automation made it possible to conduct huge amounts of transactions. Besides that, third party websites (e.g., Amazon) could also be integrated to enable the companies to sell to an even greater target market. By integrating the inkjet printers, they were able to rapidly scale and serve the market. Having automated the process also allowed them to tap into logistical suppliers such as DHL and UPS, reducing the shipping costs per parcel.
Shipping in bulk with reduced costs
For logistical companies that did not pivot to B2C, the emphasis has been on cost reduction. When it comes to cost reduction, what can be better than automate using technology? Logistical companies adopted the use of a strapping machine to adjust goods to pallets in a safe way. When using such a strapping machine, the time to prepare a pallet is reduced significantly. The logistics companies could work with fewer people, not only being more efficient but also limiting the spread of the coronavirus. The result: a safe working environment that became profitable after just one month of operation.
Examples of technology to help us move forward
The example of the inkjet printers and the strapping machine is just scratching the surface. In the past year, we have seen many industries moving towards innovative solutions. With companies switching to remote working en masse, there was a bigger need for more cloud computing than ever before. Where companies were hesitant at first, more organizations are now embracing these technologies to support their digitalization.
With the head start that 2020 forced us to make, we will see more and more innovation happening in the coming years. Similar to the outcome of the financial crisis in 2008, we will see many new companies and business models evolve in the coming years.