Technology and Distribution—Tech That Powers The World
When a sweeping pandemic threatens food distribution and other supply chains throughout the US and globally, technology and distribution gain even more significance. For years now, technology has exponentially driven the speed, trackability, and processes behind distribution across industries.
Tech and Distribution- Match Made In Heaven
The connection between tech and distribution has increasingly intertwined in the last decade, with artificial intelligence, cloud technologies, machine learning, and security technology like blockchain all altering the way we distribute goods and services. Companies are shifting to scalable technology and robotic solutions to meet the demands of modern commerce. It’s predicted that revenue from robotic manufacturing and distribution equipment will increase from $8.3 billion in 2018 to $30.8 billion in 2022.
This mega partnership shows up everywhere in our lives, from Amazon suggesting what items to buy, to following the step-by-step journey of that birthday card you sent to grandma as it goes through the mail. Today we are taking a look at aspects of technology that have changed distribution and new ideas making headway.
4 Ways Tech Developments Have Driven Distribution Trends
Optimizing Information Flows
Using technology communication systems, distributors utilize data from their consumers and partners to better regulate order management, product supply, and warehouse efficiency. Imagine a time before computers, when much of product inventory, movement, and restocking was done by hand. Hard to picture, right? Ordering and shipment analysis software drastically boosts the efficiency of a business in distributing its product accurately.
AI Propels Sales, Software Improvements
Not so long ago, AI was viewed as a pie in the sky for practical use, but nowadays we live in this reality. Defined as any form of intelligence demonstrated by machines through aggregating data or performing task, developers use AI programs to more accurately convert lookers into buyers in online marketplaces.
Amazon is the big tuna of this technology, as 35% of their revenue comes from generated search recommendations. Facebook and Netflix also use this type of predictive technology, to convert more buyers, followers, and subscribes over time. The opportunities to improve user experience and better predict when and where consumers will buy are tenfold. While AI cannot replace people’s insights or labor, it can enhance their decision making and efficiency.
Referring to a range of software programs and services that run through the internet versus on your physical computer or server, cloud technology has been a catalyst in the distribution industry’s digital transformation. Apps that run on the cloud increase data accessibility, easing integration with other applications like Microsoft Office. Why is cloud technology so important?
Cloud technology offers affordable, flexible, and comprehensive solutions for data storage and customer management. Cloud services optimize the visibility of a company’s data without more expensive software licenses or machine learning, while also increasing back end productivity and tracking customer engagement.
When it comes to distribution, machine learning in its most basic form is creating software that identifies patterns that could be translated into future predictions. Forecasting future demand, or price predicting, can include everything from analyzing past buying patterns to the weather to seasonal promotions or discounts. Machine learning can also track unusual occurrences in a back-end system or identify fraud.
Without the need for manual intervention, machine learning is unique because it evaluates massive diverse data sets. This customizable tech provides insights into supply chain management that were not previously available with other technologies. The diverse use for machine learning are practically endless, and it has revolutionized distribution.
Distribution Moving Forward
Companies like Fluid Truck Share are taking flexible distribution and flexible workforce trends to the next level by providing an online platform to rent distribution vehicles for your business, anytime, anywhere.
We have also seen some interesting trends in agricultural tech and food buying options, from crop monitoring technology like FarmWise to automated apple picking robotics from Abundant Robotics. New Amazon Go stores and increasing demand for grocery delivery services like InstaCart add another step in the food delivery chain that relies heavily on technology.
We have hardly scratched the surface of the extensive ways tech and distribution are intertwined. While supply chain management and distribution become more important than ever, picture technology as Atlas, holding the world on his shoulder. Distributors may physically bring us anything we could possibly desire, but technology is the powerhouse behind the curtain.
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