INVESTMEN IN SUPPLY CHAIN TECHNOLOGY, by: Russell W. Goodman, Supply Chain Brain (GCCA News)
Interest in supply chain and logistics technology is on the increase and will continue to grow, says Alex Yeager, senior vice president of Redwood Logistics.
There’s been significant investment in supply chain technologies in recent years, making for what Yeager calls a really “crazy” but interesting time. Indeed, from the standpoint of putting money into freight technology, the times have been “explosive,” in his view.
“I think the bigger thing is that it’s not just the ecosystem that’s growing and becoming bigger, but to a certain extent it’s more fragmented,” he says. “There are solutions all over the map. It’s no longer just the big players that have their solutions and their large funding rounds. We’re really starting to see a true freight and logistics tech ecosystem that’s starting to come together.”
Nevertheless, many struggle to really get the most out of their technology investments. He says the “fragmentation aspect” and having more start-ups is good because it provides more opportunity for solutions to come to all sorts of parties within the supply chain. Yet, it makes it more difficult to deliver those solutions as the individual needs of all those applications start to grow.
Consequently, Yeager says, the importance of integration technology grows as the proliferation of freight technologies increases.
“[Users] have a lot of amazing technology, but it’s really difficult to justify the cost, time and the resourcing to get the tech implemented when they need it,” he says. It’s crucial, then, to focus on a few things versus “having to own everything.” If a provider can get what’s really needed into a customer’s hands, they can get their return on investment quicker. That allows them to be nimble in their day-to-day needs moving forward.