New technologies have challenged the way businesses operate today, boosting speed and improving efficiency. However, many companies overlook the potential impact on their daily operations, being reluctant to change their habits.

Insights into the business of Really Dangerous Chemicals (RDC) Inc. – a fictitious frontrunner in applying new technologies in logistics – highlights how companies can leverage new technologies in logistics to better concentrate on core value-adding activities.

Meet Eddy

Eddy Schmitz, a 55-year old truck driver, is very excited on his way to RDC Inc. He has been assigned to pick up a load, which by itself is nothing too spectacular in his day-to-day business. But it is this particular assignment that makes him feel like being 10 years ahead of time.

Meet RDC Inc

RDC Inc has always been very serious about the use of new technologies. As a digital frontrunner, RDC Inc. is one of the first industrial companies having fully digitalized their warehouse and yard operations. Therefore, RDC Inc is well equipped to concentrate on actual value-adding activities for customers eliminating waste and costs while increasing customer service and satisfaction.

Meet Maria

Maria Marquardt, a 42-year old operator and employee of RDC Inc. for almost three years, enjoys working within this highly digitalized environment. “When I joined RDC Inc., I was surprised about how efficient warehouse and yard operations can be in the current age of digitalization”, Maria stated, and she adds: “[…] The use of new technologies made me shake my head about the way I have worked at my previous employer. I enjoy seeing the benefits of being more competitive than our peers and the high reputation we have among our suppliers and customers”.

Join Maria and Eddy

It is July 27, 2018, when Eddy arrives at RDC Inc.’s plant. He is prepared to leave his truck to check-in, but when arriving, he notices a huge sign: “Seated check-in”, it states. He approaches the gateway and looks into a small camera attached to it. Using biometric scanning technologies, the gateway opens automatically.

Through optical character recognition, Eddy’s license plate is registered, loaded pallets, as well as dangerous goods checks are performed by x-Ray scans. A phone and smart glasses are dispatched at the gate which help him to navigate through the yard. Augmented reality supports navigation, including directions to parking spaces and ramps.

Meanwhile in the warehouse

Maria is busy and unusually late performing the last packaging activities for Eddy’s load to be picked up while she receives an automatic notification about Eddy’s arrival at the gate. As an operator, she also uses smart glasses that support her by providing step-by-step packaging instructions using augmented reality technologies. Thereby, she exactly knows which products to pick and how to pack them. While she puts the last package on the last pallet she sends a push notification to Eddy.

Meanwhile in the truck

While Eddy is still in the parking lot, he receives Maria’s push notification. Supported by augmented reality, Eddy navigates his truck securely to the gate. Thereby, all risks are visualized, and Eddy better recognizes

  • pedestrians on the streets
  • trucks behind silos or tanks
  • other suddenly occurring hazards.

As soon as Eddy arrives at the gate, he calls Maria via his smart glasses to request access.

Back in the warehouse

Maria answers the call and by pressing a virtual button, she grants him access. Through synchronizing the information between both – Eddy (e.g. authentication) and Maria (e.g. packing list), the truck is loaded automatically via an autonomous trailer loading system and self-guided vehicles. Eddy and Maria have time to grab a coffee. When both come back, the truck is fully loaded and Eddy and Maria both validate the actual loading against a virtual loading scheme. Using her glasses, Maria takes a picture to proof and document the successful loading. In the end, Eddy and Maria both digitally sign the e-CMR via an app they have on their phones.

Eddy on his way back to the gate

Eddy is pleased when he enters his truck to drive back to the gate. Duly arrived, he returns the lent devices. He is already looking forward to coming back to RDC Inc., when he notices that he now must drive to one of the traditionally operating industrial corporations – what a contrast!

What you should do now

Taking part in Eddy’s and Maria’s work day you have been introduced to the use of new technologies for streamlining and optimizing your warehouse and yard operations, namely:

  • Biometric scanning technologies facilitating check-in procedures
  • Optical character recognition streamlining vehicle registration
  • X-Ray technologies enabling faster loads checks
  • Augmented reality supporting yard navigation and warehouse operations
  • Smart glasses facilitating information sharing and communication
  • Automatic trailer loading systems and self-guides vehicles to automatize truck loadings
  • App technologies to proof and document successful loading

As RDC Inc., CAMELOT Management Consultants is a frontrunner and thought leader for innovative concepts and solutions along the entire value chain of companies, leveraging the technological capabilities of its own Camelot Innovative Technologies Lab.

In this blog post, just a few new technologies could be introduced to you. If you want to learn more about how new technologies can help reducing inefficiencies and costs in your business processes and making them more valuable for customers, please feel free to contact me.

We would like to thank Dominik Hartung for his valuable contribution to this article.

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