BLOG | 11 april 2023
The next generation of IT are leading the way
- How do the new generation of logistics entrepreneurs view IT?
- Sharing real-time data beyond the company’s borders is essential
- With SaaS solutions, you can innovate together and always stay up-to-date.
- Digital convenience and accessibility go hand in hand
- Digitalization and automation enable you to meet Service Level Agreements
- Everyone in the supply chain can benefit from digital collaboration
Logistics is like a top-level sport. Each generation has its own challenges. Continuously innovating is the key to success. What is top of mind for the current generation of logistics entrepreneurs? Huib Claassen of Claassen Logistics, Roy van der Heijden of Van der Heijden Transport, and Osman Akdemir of Simply Deliver share their vision on the next generation supply chain. They explain why sharing real-time data is a must to make the transition to the future.
It is spring 2015. Two students from Breda University of Applied Sciences are working on a case about digitization within logistics. Huib and Roy are in complete agreement that the time has come to optimize beyond the boundaries of their own business. Together, they fantasize about the opportunities that real-time data sharing offers. Imagine how much smarter you can set up your processes.
Client portal provides insight
It was therefore to be expected that the two entrepreneurs would cross each other’s paths again. Both of them use a customer portal that allows customers to have real-time insight into the status of orders. Exactly in line with their thoughts on data sharing in 2015. The men are thrilled that their foresight has come true. And this is just the beginning.
”“From implementation fee (Capex) to a monthly fee (Opex) based on usage. This way, IT is delivered fairly; if you do less, you pay less."Osman AkdemirSimply Deliver
From ‘on premise’ to SaaS
Huib explains how Claassen Logistics has a different perspective on IT today: “In the past, you would buy a system and there was little development in it. Nowadays, software systems keep evolving. Ideas that are suggested are immediately incorporated into the product development. We also benefit from the improvements that others come up with. It’s like joint innovation. This way, you are assured of an up-to-date solution.”
From Capex to Opex
Osman adds: “Especially with Software as a Service (SaaS), you make solutions available to the entire market. From implementation fee (Capex) to a monthly fee (Opex) based on usage. This way, IT is delivered in a fair manner; if you do less, you pay less. A new generation of logistics entrepreneurs also requires innovative IT that provides continuity. You choose ICT solutions for years, and such a monthly model removes mental barriers.”
Flexibility and continuity
Roy is excited about the implementation of the customer portal: “From the first conversation to go-live it took 3 months. The limited front-end investment and standard TWS/WMS integrations were the deciding factors. If you want to move quickly and seek flexibility, SaaS is really the way forward. The standard processes are easy to tailor to customer needs.”
”"From the first conversation to go-live it took 3 months. The limited front-end investment and standard TWS/WMS integrations were the deciding factors.”Roy van der HeijdenVan der Heijden Logistiek
Personal attention and IT go hand in hand
Despite the fact that you can automate many processes with IT these days, customer contact remains essential. “Actually, you want to digitally relieve the customer while being accessible when necessary. Customers must, of course, have a positive feeling about the company and its employees. Personal contact is necessary to feel whether a customer is happy or not,” emphasizes Huib.
A future with chatbots?
Osman sees a future for chatbots in logistics: “I’m always looking at other industries. They are often ahead of developments. How great is it when you can just ask a chatbot for proof of delivery, invoice or CMR? That is valuable for everyone. You immediately have the information you need. A chatbot and human contact is a winning combination.”
Roy thinks that young people are more likely to embrace new systems: “Of course, there are enough older people who also want to move forward. In general, you can develop faster with young people. Innovating is also about trying and daring to make mistakes. You have to be open to this and be willing to fail. Fortunately, the older generation sometimes pulls us back, so that we don’t make unnecessary mistakes. This way you make use of all the qualities within an organization.”
Everyone struggles with a lot of manual work. A tight labour market requires smart solutions. Huib says: “When you take the lead in this as an organization, you can gain competitive advantage. It’s all about processing orders quickly and being transparent to customers. It is precisely by digitizing and automating that you can fulfil the Service Levels Agreements.”
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”“It's all about processing orders quickly and being transparent to customers. It is precisely by digitizing and automating that you can fulfill the Service Levels Agreements."Huib ClaassenClaassen Logistics
Information on delivery
Roy takes it a step further: “If you don’t start working with automation and digitization, you’re done for! We process a thousand orders per day. Our goal is almost 100% ‘information on delivery’. That means sending a message in real-time when a shipment is delivered, including additional information such as a signature, packaging, and photos. Customers ask and we deliver. This way, you can move along with the customer’s wishes and increase your market share.”
Ready for the future
Osman notes that there is still resistance from the market: “Many parties talk about sharing data, but only a limited group actually does it. Our customers see the importance of it and are already reaping the benefits of digital collaboration. Everything becomes more efficient, you can free up your employees to satisfy customers instead of plugging holes. This new generation sees the added value of SaaS solutions. Especially through real-time exchange of information, they are ready for the future.”
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