The role of IT has changed rapidly in recent years, from being simply a tool to process data and information to becoming a key enabler of process innovations. In the logistics realm, IT is playing a critical role in helping companies to address a wide variety of challenges, like the growing complexity of processes, fast-changing market structures, increasing cost pressures, and shorter delivery lead times. Simply put, in the world of logistics, modern IT solutions are becoming a competitive weapon for companies, creating a market advantage for those who make smart use of it.
The defining characteristic of today’s IT generation is extreme flexibility, which allows companies to modify applications relatively quickly and easily. This is very important in a world that is constantly changing, which means IT solutions must be adaptable without restrictions, as today’s leading practices and processes may look different again tomorrow.
In a recently-published white paper, we describe the four main criteria for a new generation of supply chain management solutions, which are based on the following 8 theses:
Thesis 1 – Rapid Prototyping
The days of rigid specifications are gone, as functional requirements change over time in response to market dynamics. “Rapid Prototyping” turns modern software into a dynamic creative tool, allowing companies to enable functionality as new needs arise.
Thesis 2 – Immediate usability
Long and extensive implementation projects are a relic of the past. Modern IT solutions can be implemented quickly and can deliver immediate results. Nobody wants to take the risk anymore of undertaking a long implementation project with uncertain results.
Thesis 3 – Lean budgets
Companies and their logistics service providers can no longer afford costly IT solutions. Therefore, modern IT solutions must not only meet customer functional requirements, but also be aligned with their leaner budgets.
Thesis 4 – Flexible use
Ownership is replaced by flexible use.
Thesis 5 – No programming knowledge required
Companies can easily configure modern IT solutions to meet their business requirements without programming knowledge. Design functions and user interfaces are designed in a way that everyone can intuitively understand them. Requirements can be implemented easily and safely without any detours. The only thing required to make the IT solution a success is what logistics managers already have: their knowledge of operational processes.
Thesis 6 – Standardized processes
Those who want to reduce complexity in logistics must standardize processes. Today’s IT supports companies in this by creating solutions based on standardized performance modules that can be individually combined together. The process that suits the customer best becomes the standard.
Thesis 7 – Scalability
IT solutions must be easily scalable and quickly available.
Thesis 8 – IT as a unique selling point
The IT solution becomes a unique selling point for companies. This is generated by freely configurable software applications and the logistics expert’s know-how.
Artur Zgoda joined Siemens in 2015 after the acquisition of AXIT. In 2000 Artur formed the first team developing the product, then successfully built and managed the technology center of AXIT in Wroclaw, Poland. Now in the USA, he is responsible for AX4 business development. Artur believes that Processes, People and IT combined together can generate significant value for business. He is keen on diving into foreign cultures and together with family just settled in Texas.