Yellowstar Solutions celebrated its tenth anniversary in April 2019. In that decade, the company has grown from nothing to a flourishing business. Today, some 70 ‘stars’ work hard every day to make complex logistics chains more predictable. And in doing so, we at Yellowstar always put people first. Optimum cooperation is what makes or breaks a successful supply chain. And this will only become more vital as times goes on. In connection with our tenth anniversary, we would like to share ten tips from the day-to-day practice of automating logistics chains:
1. Plan yourself a smile
Look for the fun in the automation process. By involving all your employees and logistics partners in the process of innovation, and assigning them the proper IT authorisations, you can transform work pressure into enjoyment in their work. Everyone helps guide the process and will enthusiastically contribute to success.
2. Put people first
In an automated world, many processes are carried out without our intervention. The crucial factor in realising successful supply chains is ensuring that every link involved is able to take real-time action in response to changes and exceptions. It's all about connecting people and providing them with the right information at the right instant. That is social IT, which will be tomorrow's standard.
3. Pursue development through small steps
The era of large-scale automation projects planned over extended periods of time is over and done. The Scrum method allows you to make a project small and manageable – and render each and every step in a logistics chain predictable. All links are continuously involved and able to correct course at any point.
4. Choose cooperation in the chain
Smaller shipments, higher frequencies, shorter deadlines and greater flexibility: the solution to the logistics challenges of today and tomorrow is more extensive horizontal and vertical cooperation within the chain. And this cooperation must also entail real-time, around-the-clock insight for all parties, allowing them to pro-actively intervene when needed.
5. The internet provides flexibility
Internet technology lends flexibility to your IT. Web-based solutions can be simply integrated with your existing systems; are easy to scale up or down; keep development times short and offer all parties access at any time, from anywhere, via the cloud. It's possible to take the proper action at any time, regardless of your current location.
6. Enjoy your freedom
No business wants to be tied down forever. Choose a partner who offers solutions that allow you (if desired) to take on the management and continued development yourself, and who makes it possible for you to connect new chain partners along the way, easily and regardless of changing market conditions.
7. Connect all links in your supply chain
Traditional ERP and WMS systems focus on a company's own internal environment. Yet your supply chain is much broader. Successful automation of logistics requires connecting all links via a single, flexible overarching system. That way, you can monitor your entire chain and manage it in real time.
8. Prepare yourself for Industry 4.0
In the Industry 4.0 paradigm, the Internet of Things will connect everything and everyone. You and your software supplier should start thinking about this, and how it will affect your supply chains and systems, straight away. In the future, sharing data will not be optional: it will be self-evident and a condition for participation.
9. IT offers climate-related benefits, too
Reducing CO2 will require cutting down on empty kilometres and ensuring maximum loads. You can achieve this through effective planning, smart consolidation and increased cooperation, both horizontal and vertical. In all cases, data sharing supplies the foundation. The greater the (real-time) insight, the less waste, the higher the ultimate CO2 savings and the lower your costs.
10. IT is a tool, not a destination
IT helps you connect, accelerate and shorten your logistics chains. To ensure success, IT-related knowledge and logistics expertise are equally vital. The combination is what matters. A two-pronged approach offers a solid solution.