In this article, we summarize some key insights from our interview with Neil Ackerman, Head of Advanced Technologies, Global Supply Chain, Middle East and Africa at Johnson & Johnson, Touch on what institutional shippers/cargo owners who benefit from logistics providers are looking for and how technology can help.
after hearing from Insiders of logistics technologyAnd ocean vector, worldwide Shipping agents even Ali Baba, about how technology is changing the industry, we also wanted to hear from the shipper. big one.
The future of freight Episode 6: Air France KLM Martinair Cargo on innovation in air freight
Neil Ackerman is Head of Advanced Technology at J&J, Global Supply Chain, Middle East and Africa, and a former Amazon inventor where he helped launch Fulfillment By Amazon. And of course, J&J fits the bill — it’s one of the largest healthcare companies in the world with revenues of more than $80 billion last year and a supply chain that stretches across the globe.
Neil was kind enough to share what’s most important to shipping companies – what things they want most from logistics providers, and how technology can (punishing excuses…or not providing it).
Shippers still need that human touch
Neil made an interesting point that we haven’t heard from previous guests. For all our talk about automation, digitization, and optimization, the human side of logistics is still important to shipping companies.
Especially in a crisis situation during a pandemic, shippers are looking for logistics experts for reassurance and guidance in terms of planning and execution.
“No one has exclusivity on great ideas, so when you can combine great people with the magic of data, you have the group you need.”
They of course want insights to be backed by data and reliable, but data alone is often not enough. The ability to draw on experience and expertise to tell the most compelling story from data, is what touch shippers are looking for. For us, this has meant that logistics providers have to pack the right balance, and even the right delivery method for that personal touch.
It’s all about the vision
Yes, the vision may have reached peak buzzword status in these conversations. But there’s a reason it comes up in our conversations with freight forwarders, carriers, and Alibaba as well. The desire for technology to provide visibility – not just in terms of traceability and tracing, but in terms of inventory, ordering, ordering and pricing – across the supply chain takes on new meaning when discussing urgent healthcare commodities or the delivery of time-sensitive merchandise during a medical (and supply chain) crisis.
To this end, Neil is optimistic about tracking through the Internet of Things and increasing data flows through robotic process automation, as it can significantly increase the amount of data collected around the supply chain, improving visibility and transparency.
Talk about data
J&J is also interested in developments in AI-based demand forecasting for inventory management reporting and optimization. Machine learning that can generate insights from J&J’s supply chain data, as well as downstream consumer data and even social media, is a major new source of supply chain insight.
This was actually a sticking point in the conversation as well. Despite the sprawling supply chain that J&J runs, Neil preached the benefit of identifying as many data points as possible. No single company has enough data or vertical integration to live on a data island, no matter how complex their data may be.
And in air freight, J&J is also looking for transparency, this time in pricing. In Neal’s view, air carriers need to democratize pricing so they can focus on providing shippers with great customer service. So the data is… edited.
But data standards are basic
As we’ve also heard in all of our previous episodes, data can only provide real insight when there are criteria to standardize disparate sources.
Ali Baba’s content Consider the lack of standards Big mind to calm the logistics. Ralph Pelosa, CDO Member from Hapag-Lloyd, emphasized this Multiple criteria – One for each type/purpose of data – You must take root in order to unlock the full value and visibility that data can provide.
Get the latest research on logistics data standards
As an Amazon award-winning inventor, Neil noted that among the advantages of facilitating third-party sales on the Amazon platform through FBA, were the dramatic increases in choice and price competitiveness.
But customers will never win if the trial ends in friction-filled shipping. The increasing number of players in the market meant that Amazon had to devise new ways to keep fulfillment fluid.
“No one comes back to your location even if it’s inexpensive, if you eventually can’t actually receive your order.”
As we heard from FitOne of the biggest influences Amazon has had on the supply chain is successful consolidation modeling. By creating standards that make all sellers and logistics providers speak the same language, Amazon fulfillment can move smoothly and remove bottlenecks.
Steps have already been taken towards standardizing data across the industry being takenBut there is a lot that needs to happen before the entire industry speaks the same language.
Could this be the year of crisis-driven standardization emergence?
Thanks again Neil for joining us. Could you Register now In Episode 6 we’ll talk about innovation in air freight with Robert Koenen, Vice President of Air France KLM Martinair Cargo.