Logistics, freight and supply chain technology is a complex and continually evolving marketplace. A quick search for “supply chain technology” returns 838,000,000 results.
A decision to introduce new logistics hardware or software needs to encompass all departments from a company from the primary users in supply chain through to accounts, customer service, and sometimes even sales.
Mistake 1: Waiting too long
It’s not uncommon in business to hold off making a decision until absolutely all the information is available, or there are no other options. Companies wait until they are forced to react to circumstances instead of being in control. However, watching as the world goes by does not save money, and does not reduce risk.
In fact, waiting too long can increase risk. The risk is that old technology breaks. It becomes obsolete, the supporting systems are phased out, or go out of business. Telstra shut down GPRS in 2016, so customers switched to Optus, who then shut down GPRS in 2017. Holdouts then jumped to Vodafone until they then shut off their network in 2018.
Customers that didn’t update in 2016, then couldn’t be convinced to make a move in 2017, suddenly found themselves in Dire Straits in 2018. The rush to upgrade their tech platform then became expensive because doing things quickly costs more.
Dot matrix printers or fax machines, anyone?
The longer the wait, the more new technology becomes available. It might be brand new software, or a new hardware upgrade to increase battery life and scanner range. Decision making gets tougher, and it becomes a problem best solved “later”.
Delaying can be physically dangerous to staff, customers, and suppliers. There have been amazing advances in driver safety, warehouse tools, and Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S), and implementing advances in these fields must be a priority for management.
Mistake 2: not waiting long enough
It’s very easy to get excited about new technology, regardless of the complexity or newness. Actually, we sometimes get excited because the technology is new and complex.
Blockchain is a great example of this. 99% of people don’t understand what a distributed ledger does, how it works, or even if it is better than the alternatives. But because it has the word “chain” appears in both supply chain and blockchain, some people have been led to believe that blockchain makes sense.
And it might, but the independent jury is still out.
There are countless blogs and articles trumpeting sexy startups with millions in funding, traction that is off the charts, and they are definitely the next big thing.
What’s even better is that they are disrupting! Disruptors and disruption. This can’t be missed. And now someone in senior management has the headline and is sharing the article everywhere. Your company must have this. If they don’t, they might miss the bus.
This is called Fear Of Missing Out. Most commonly referred to as FOMO.
There are many dangers in jumping first on unproven technology. Where has the technology been tested? Is there data in similar companies to show the solution will work at scale? What is the underlying technology behind the new application?
Mistake 3: not Asking Marsh
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