Logistics is not just about packages, it is a well though-out chain of systems, processes and people. It is vital to keep this chain as robust as possible.
More than 1,000,000 logistics movements per day
Open Line’s ideal cloud facilitates more than 1,000,000 logistics movements per day. Logistics is far more than just the planes, trucks, trains, ships and people that we see with the naked eye. In a world in which the time-to-market speed has greatly increased, logistics companies are being challenged every month to perform just that bit smarter and better.
This mainly involves manpower. Professionals who understand logistics, but who have to rely on digital tools. At one time the Kanban system formed the basis and in some places Kanban cards are still being used effectively. Few people realise, however, that Kanban also laid the foundations for Agile. That says a great deal about the progressiveness of the logistics sector, where the familiar cards have now made way for complex ICT systems.
Optimising and enhancing the sustainability of the logistics chain
The everyday challenges are the result of the huge increase in competitors, compliancy requirements, digitalisation of the demand and supply chain, the need for more accurate predictions, sustainability of the entire chain, smaller stocks (JIT) and – let's not forget especially – the automation and robotisation of the warehouses and delivery points. In line with these aspects, new possibilities have been developed by logistics providers to serve their clients more fully and which impact the production capacity positively. All this goes hand in hand with the ever-present challenge of being more cost-effective on the one hand and more efficient – and therefore more productive – on the other.
IT and the corresponding services play a vital role in the above.
Striking the right balance between creating and supporting new possibilities, while having to guarantee production and logistics continuity for complex legacy systems, is not easy. Logistics professionals all know the hugely complex WMS and ERP systems that are vital, but which have become complex pieces of customisation due to the speed and continuous pressure in the logistics pipeline. In many cases, these systems are the main lifeline of the company.
Being there when it really matters
Open Line supports various logistics and semi-logistics (a combination of production and logistics) companies. Our specialised client teams are familiar with their clients and are aware of the impact of a breakdown. You don't need to tell them that certain times of the year are more important than others. Examples include Black Friday, Cyber Monday, St Nicholas and Christmas, periods in which we continuously adjust the processing capacity of our systems to the demand and monitor them more closely, even if we have not agreed to do so.
In addition to knowing about and understanding our clients, it is vital in the logistics sector to keep the technical basics in order and secure. That is not always easy given the complex often customised legacy systems. Dependence on legacy (sometimes out-of-support) systems is simply a reality. And if an upgrade is not an option (or not yet), it's nice if you can fall back on a party that can ‘harden’ such a system. We do not remove all vulnerabilities, but rather the weakest part which means that current (more modern) systems are less dependent on this weak link.
Moving ahead together
The advantage of working with a Managed Cloud Services party like Open Line is that we can look ahead together. It is precisely the longer contract duration that allows us to get together with our clients and to contribute constructively to modernising/optimising the total platform and the chain. After all, there’s one thing we know for sure, the logistics world is always on the move.