- The nature of fleet management is changing as the digital economy gains prominence. In a commentary for Inbound Logistics, Michele Cunningham outlines various strategies to help logistics professionals adapt.
- Most notably, she wrote businesses must expand the definition of the traditional fleet to incorporate disruptors. Drones, for example, could eventually fall under the logistics managers' portfolio.
- Further, logistics professionals must recognize the value of data and analytics, as these create a wealth of opportunities to help predict trends. Helping staff adapt and adjust to changes in the profession is vital, too.
The Inbound Logistics commentary argues fleet management will transition to "mobility management" as new technology enters the supply chain. The argument highlights a trend that has been prevalent across the space: Innovation may unlock key efficiencies, but also challenges traditional workers to change the way they do their job.
The rise of automation is affecting each link in the industry. Freight marketplaces, drones and uber-for-X apps all share one goal: helping the industry transition to an on-demand economy. If Inbound Logistics' argument holds true, for logistics managers this means they will have to adapt to delivering products to a broader array of locations than just stores, trucking hubs, or warehouses. When new technologies finally fix the last-mile problem, it seems logistics managers will be forced to manage a different challenge in managing the last-yard of delivery.
The rising use of technology for supply chain management underscores the need for a shift in how companies, universities and industry associations train the next generation of talent. Data management, for example, has become a vital skill across the industry. As the industry moves to adapt to the fourth industrial revolution, professionals may benefit from reevaluating the ways they define their job.