Oracle on information driven logistics

By Freddie Pierce
Before you read this, check out the upper-right hand corner of this page to view this article in our digital reader. Trust us, it's way cooler! Wri...

Before you read this, check out the upper-right hand corner of this page to view this article in our digital reader. Trust us, it's way cooler!

Written by John Murphy of Oracle

Today’s logistics landscape is undergoing a major transformation. As globalization and data access become both more prevalent and less costly, the ability to aggregate data across channels, partners and systems is easier to accomplish and occurs more quickly than ever before. But creating useful information from this data is a unique challenge, a challenge that is being met with breakthrough thinking in the area of business operations and logistics technology.


Companies are now moving from batch-processed optimization methods and operations management to new ‘streaming optimization’ techniques and management styles. This has enormous implications to the way applications are viewed, developed, implemented, and managed. Why are companies changing the way they manage logistics? Three major technological changes are the main reasons for this shift in thinking and application development. 

1.      Mobility

Nearly every participant in the supply chain now has a low-cost way in which to send and receive data. The proliferation of mobile applications and cell phone usage has caused an explosion in data availability and communication. Today, more than 60 percent of adults access the Internet from a wireless device, and that number is growing at an annual rate of about 25 percent.

2.      Internet usage

While obviously not a new technology, the way the Internet is being used is new. It’s now available almost anywhere. This access alone creates new uses, but when combined with the increased speed that information is transmitted, it changes what we can and will do on the Internet. Largely driven by social communication demand, this increased speed and availability of the Internet is creating new opportunities for businesses to manage their logistics operations. 

3.      Globalization

In combination with the Internet and mobile data access, globalization, in the area of logistics means more customers and trading partners in new geographies. It also means the turnover of customers and trading partners is more prevalent, so flexibility is critical to on-boarding and servicing them successfully. Easy-to- use and flexible tools are vital in supporting this new business requirement.


Combined, these changes have led to streaming logistics management – the idea and practical development of new techniques to accept and consider information as it occurs rather than in batches.  One example of this is the ability to accept and communicate order and shipment status as weather and other factors change the routes and/or transit time of goods. This occurs daily across all geographies, but interpreting the data into meaningful actions is the area causing application providers to rethink how they are engineering tomorrow’s systems. Once received, this data should cause multiple automated actions to take place that improve logistics performance and supply chain efficiency.  

In short, the implication of adding streaming logistics to an operation goes across business units and extends to trading partners and the efficiency gains are the next phase in supply chain evolution and will be the hallmarks of those organizations that succeed into the next decade and beyond.

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