Technology in Logistics

Gear up for these technologies in Logistics in 2020

Logistics industry is technology-intensive. We get to see a range of emerging technologies under research and development phases every year and another set of technologies making their ways toward commercial availability. A slight retrospection of the decade reveals that a number of new areas for research emerged while others moved onto the commercialization phase. In essence, technology in logistics is constantly evolving.

This article shares some of the innovative technologies that are highly likely to make commercial availability on a limited or large scale in the logistics industry. Each of these technologies mainly falls in internet of things (IoT), extended reality, automation, blockchain and self-driving domains.

5G integration into IoT for Wearable Technology in Logistics

The cases of IoT in logistics and supply chain are now frequently coming up. Fleet managers can track the locations of each vehicle in real-time while warehouse managers can verify the authenticity of goods. Besides warehouse staff can also locate every item instantly and determine ahead of time when the supply of a product falls short or exceeds the required limit.

The upcoming year would further intensify the use of IoT since 5G is most likely to get commercialized. The speed of data transfer between transmitters and receivers would increase manifold while latency would reduce remarkably.

Improvement in speed and latency is inevitable now because real-time data information sharing is no longer a choice. Instead it is a compulsion for a range of reasons. The two most pressing reasons include:

  1. The US alone suffers from as much as $43 billion annually in food losses. There is an increased demand from regulators as well as retailers and consumers to place perishable items under real-time surveillance.
  2. Apart from food losses, supply chain leaves a huge carbon footprint. As the governments are pushing businesses to implement strict policy for reducing emissions, the businesses have no or little choice except complying with standards.

The number of logistics operators integrating IoT in fleet management systems is going to increase significantly in 2020. Businesses would be required to integrate sensors in fleet that monitor humidity, pressure and temperature and share the results with fleet managers in real-time.

Besides, the use of sensors identifying amount of emissions and the corresponding data sharing medium within a logistics management software would also witness a sharp hike. Each operator would eventually require publicly sharing data about emissions to democratize the entire logistics chain.

Robotic Process Automation for warehouse optimization

The use of QR codes and subsequently, RFID tags enabled warehouse managers to do away with the task of verifying each item manually. QR readers are extensively used in at warehouses and retail stores to confirm authenticity of a product.

Besides, QR readers also enable staff to find price of an item instantly. Scanning a unit having QR code with QR reader shares the results on a dedicated mobile app. This is helpful in multiple ways

  • A store owner can remotely confirm if a product is available in sufficient quantity or not.
  • The managers can tackle counterfeiting of products. Moreover, smart warehouse technology in logistics management also prevent expired or smuggled product units.
  • Staff members of a store can locate a unit instantly.
  • Warehouse managers can perform effective aggregate planning by ensuring that supply corresponds to demand.

Mob Inspire delivers field service management software customized to each operator’s needs. The software solution with its extensive range of robotic process automation tools eliminates the need to perform manual warehouse management. You can keep as little workforce as you wish by adding the amount of automation.

Blockchain Technology in Logistics for instant payment verification

The amount of time consumed in delivering a shipment from one part of the world to another is unnecessarily huge. Each shipment has to be verified for smuggling, payment verification, and counterfeiting by a number of stakeholders including manufacturers, warehouse owners, retailers, end consumers and regulators. Consequently, the cost of logistics also increases significantly apart from time.

Blockchain is widely regarded as the most viable solution for 2020 and beyond. All major fleet operators including MAERSK with its largest containership fleet are adopting blockchain. The effectiveness is not limited to fleet management. Blockchain based logistics management software is also causing a revolution in retail store management.

Two of the most noteworthy use cases of blockchain technology in logistics management include:

  1. Card-less Payment and Verification
  2. Payment through cash was already a thing of past. Blockchain enables you to move even a step ahead to eliminate centralized banking entirely. The decentralized banking through cryptocurrencies allows you to make payments through bitcoins. You can even have your own cryptocurrency if you intend so.

    Apart from payments, logistics operators are successfully verifying payments through blockchain in a remarkably lesser time. The verification that took days in the past takes only a few seconds now. Besides, blockchain enables you to democratize transactions by allowing each stakeholder to have visibility of payment history in real-time.

  3. Retrospective Tracking of Goods
  4. Blockchain provides another strategy to track perishable goods. Each stakeholder can find the date of production and duration of travel for the unit being shipped. The involved parties have the access to entire history but none of them can forge or delete data since blockchain technology is immutable.

    The tracking through blockchain is highly efficient in tackling the counterfeiting of drugs – one of the biggest challenges in global pharma industry today. Each block provides exact and immutable details of the origin of a drug to ensure that retailers do not accept consignment with counterfeited units.

    The accumulative losses from delays in transportation, drug counterfeiting and foodborne diseases are of the order of several hundred billion dollars. Thus, blockchain based logistics management app solutions are inevitable for transportation and logistics industry.

The commercial framework for autonomous fleet in supply chain

Autonomous vehicles are rapidly becoming a norm. The year 2019 remained revolutionary with multiple operators launching level-3 self-driving vehicles. Apart from Tesla for private use, Uber and Waymo are utilizing autonomous vehicles for ridesharing purposes.

Although there are incidents involving crashes, yet the probability of an autonomous vehicle crash during a journey is very small relative to conventional vehicles. The number of miles traveled against that of crashes confirm this claim.

The encouraging results are pushing logistics fleet owners to introduce autonomous vehicles in supply chain too. Some of the sea-based and aerial logistics operator already have autonomous systems. However, a number of operators would introduce ground based autonomous fleet.

“Automated or self-driving vehicles are about to change the way we travel and connect with one another.”

Elaine Chao – U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Some large-scale logistics business managers are partially operating autopilot in vehicles. The autopilot technology in logistics is extensively used during intercity travels where traffic is minimal. The vehicles in the fleet are capable of applying brakes as soon as the leading vehicle applies brake.

This strategy is proving to be paying so well to research and development in fleet efficiency. The vehicles traveling at constant speed with calculated inter-vehicle distance ensure minimal air friction. Consequently, there is a considerable reduction in fuel consumption.

The commercialization of level-5 autonomy is highly unlikely to be on the cards anywhere before 2025, a number of businesses however would be introducing partial autonomy by the second half of 2020.

Extended reality to facilitate drivers and augment driving experience

Some of the major logistics service providers and vehicle manufacturers are introducing augmented reality features in vehicles for a highly immersive experience. The information including but not limited to weather update, cabin temperature, driving speeds, usual and unexpected blockades is now ubiquitous.

The fleet operators can also mark milestones virtually so that drivers would be able to see each labeled object and the corresponding information in real-time. Moreover, you may also provide real-time 3D navigation facility to drivers so that they find and traverse the most optimized route.

Google announced AR Maps earlier this year and launched what it calls Live View. This feature in Google Maps, still in its testing phases, is set to make widespread adoption in 2020.

Apart from enhancing driving experience, augmented reality technology is also enabling truck drivers to repair minor faults. The combination of wearable gadgets mainly AR glasses enables drivers to find the fault lines and take corrective measures.

Many logistics operators are starting to offer a selection of these AR features. DHL shares some of the use cases of augmented reality and wearable technology in logistics in this brief video.

Transportation industry has over 13.3 million employees in the US due to the repetitive jobs. Utilizing extended reality technologies effectively can save a huge volume of costs. Some glimpses from DHL indicate that businesses employing AR would make huge gains in 2020.

Logistics in 2020 – A Recap

Logistics in 2020

Do you look forward to 2020 and beyond?

Logistics industry continues to evolve with innovative technologies. While AI, big data and IoT technologies are around for some years now, many new inventions and advancements including blockchain and 5G are setting feet deeper into delivery, logistics, and transportation.

Mob Inspire stands among the top technology solution providers and logistics app developers in the world with a range of digital solutions including field service management software, last-mile delivery solution, and logistics management.

Do you intend to optimize your logistics business or aim to launch one from scratch? Contact us today so that we can develop a feasibility study and provide you with a comprehensive business plan before moving on to development phase.

Video Subscription Platform

Why invest in Video Subscription Platform Business?

Digital media industry is growing at a wild pace since the commercialization of cloud based platforms. It is not only the social media channels that are contributing but live streaming and original content providing platforms as well. The trend of providing video content through smartphone apps is gaining remarkable attraction. An entire industry based on video subscription platform has emerged in the recent years.

 

Crowd-sourced video content providing apps like YouTube and 9GAG are around for many years now. Subscription based platforms like Netflix, and Hulu are also around for some time. However, mobile app based video on-demand services of these providers apart from HBO Now and Apple TV are relatively recent.

Mob Inspire develops and delivers software-as-a-service and on-demand mobile solutions to digital media industry for over a decade. In this article, our experts reveal market analysis of video on-demand business model. It also highlights the factors that ensure success. Meanwhile, the article states reasons for why cable and satellite TV service providers should opt on-demand business model.

Video On-Demand Market Analysis

The statistics from credible sources released in 2018 indicate an incredible annual growth of over 38% in market size of on-demand industry. The market in the prior year was calculated at $42 billion which reached as high as $58.3 billion in the following year. Considering the current growth rate, the sector is projected to grow up to $91 billion by 2023 providing a significant boost to digital media industry.

Why VOD Makes Up a Successful Business Model?

There are undeniable reasons that enable subscription VOD platform highly attractive. The flexibility in services, convenience of getting the desired content, cost of subscription or purchase and portability are some of the notable factors pushing customers to replace traditional cable and satellite TV.

1. Flexibility and Convenience

Unlike VOD, there is no way as yet to personalize content for each viewer. For instance, if a person wants sports and athletics content only, other channels would still be available on cable and satellite TV. Video on-demand attracts subscribers since the content is most relevant to each customer’s interest.

Moreover, VOD services enable customers to watch content at the time of their choice. They can pause and rewind programs and play back whenever required. They can also forward a program unless one is broadcasting live.

2. Subscription Costs

The subscribers of VOD are obliged to pay only for the subscribed content. The charges would be only as much as the viewed content. Despite this flexible cost model, the subscription video on-demand providers earn significantly more than their cable TV competitors.

Apart from this model, video subscription service also enables customers to subscribe on monthly basis. The details in business models vary because some allow unlimited viewership for a monthly package while others place a range of limitations.

3. Content Portability

Your customers can access the subscribed content from anywhere with an internet connection. The availability of a unique account ensures that their progress remains intact. In essence, subscribers can quit watching a program at one time and resume watching it later from where they left. The apps from top providers are capable of running seamlessly on devices with every available screen size.

Furthermore, more than one customer can use the same subscription package with their unique profiles. The distinctiveness of profiles enables each of them to personalize content and save progress. Every user of a shared package can access video content any device and location.

Which VOD Business Model is Suitable for You?

Apart from the factors mentioned above, some native aspects in every region are crucial to consider while working on online video subscription platform. The socioeconomic situations and current trends shape the interests of customers. Thus, you may need to make a behavioral and geographic analysis before starting to collaborate with original content producers.

VOD Success Factors

The aforementioned points indicate that VOD model has very high probability of success. Numerous factors influence the probability. Following are some of the most notable factors making the business more meaningful.

Content Delivery Network

It is absolutely crucial for individuals to have knowledge on how they are going to sustain and expand the business in future. Devising a growth path takes more significance in case of online video subscription platform because your customers would be spread across various regions of the world.

Utilization of Content Delivery Network (CDN) provides you the ability to offer localized servers for each region. The natives of each area are able to access the video from nearest server. For instance, Google has placed its CDNs in every inhabited continent. Each search query generates quick results as the traffic on local servers is relatively lesser.

Also read: Why Big Data is incredibly effective in Digital Media industry?

If customers access videos uploaded on single server from around the world, it is highly likely that the server would face bottlenecks and excessive traffic. Thus, CDN is essential to ensure smooth content delivery for customers spread in various regions.

Cloud-based Video Platform

The selection of underlying cloud infrastructure and cloud integration service provider is significant. Cloud infrastructure refers to the server where your mobile app, website and entire content would be uploaded. The most credible platforms include Microsoft Azure and Amazon’s AWS.

Cloud platform selection rests on multiple factors including projected number of users after a given number of years, tradeoffs between price and quality, and amount of demand in every region.

Mob Inspire lists among the top cloud integration service providers for on-demand mobile solutions. Our primary choice is AWS for its relentless performance and unparalleled speeds. We have delivered 81 on-demand platforms so far to companies in over 30 countries.

The platform includes mobile and web based apps for customers and admin panels for business executives. You can expand business to new regions or allow more traffic to existing regions almost effortlessly by updating cloud package.

Flawless Device Compatibility

Your subscribers would be using a range of devices with varying operating systems, screen sizes and processors. Thus, the mobile app development should be perfect to efficiently run the app regardless of the devices used.

Compatibility problems in video subscription software integration occur frequently. This may end in a number of unwanted consequences including poor rendering of a video to screen and app crashing. The app should fully utilize cloud benefits by consuming least space on users’ phone. Instead entire content should be placed on remotely located CDNs.

Variety of VoD Subscription Service Models

Cable TV would not allow your customers to watch shows when and where they want. Besides, the pricing structure of cable and satellite TV networks is rigid. In essence, your customers must pay a fixed price no matter how little or large amount of time they would spent on watching the channels provided by you.

Video on-demand platform replaces cable and satellite TV businesses with a highly flexible model. The subscribers can watch favorite TV shows at their own pace. They can stream video content from any place where your services are available.

The pricing structure of acquiring on-demand video widely varies with a number of business models. You can offer your customers one of the following services or a combination of them.

1. Subscription Video On-demand (SVOD)

A customer pays for accessing all the TV shows and live streaming of available events. You can either put a limit on amount of content accessed or time duration after which the subscription period expires.

Popular subscription VOD platforms like Netflix and Hulu offer monthly subscription packages accessible through multiple accounts so that most family members can access content on their phones, tablets or laptops. On-demand mobile solutions make this model even more attractive.

2. Advertisement Supported Video On-demand (ASVOD)

A marketplace for video sharing used to be one of the hottest VOD business models up to few years back. The users can access videos without charges on these platforms. Meanwhile, service providers can earn revenues by allowing advertisements that play at the beginning or somewhere in the middle of a video.

However, services like YouTube and Dailymotion have penetrated to every corner of the world up to the extent that there is little for another similar platform.

Introducing ASVOD alone would rarely make any notable gains now because existing service providers have extremely high brand equity. However, ASVOD would work very well when introduced in combination with SVOD or below-mentioned TVOD.

3. Transactional Video On-demand (TVOD)

To provide further granularity in pricing plans, you can enable customers to pay for each video they watch instead of acquiring entire package. This pay-per-video model is relatively new but proving to be highly successful as it allows even more flexibility.

There is a massive range of TVOD use cases. One notable case is the selection of games in a competition that a customer would like to stream. For instance, I am more inclined to watch LA Galaxy games because I am a fan of this MLS club. TVOD model allows such fans to get the streaming of the game that they intend to watch.

Another model similar to TVOD is Premium VOD or P-VOD. The service providers would be able to get the license to release a movie on platform on the same day of its release. Thus, the subscribers would be able to watch new movies without needing to travel to cinemas.

Launch your VOD Platform Today

The statistics and causes of success in video on-demand business reiterate the fact that cable and satellite TV would be obsolete soon. The disruption is underway at a higher pace than ever before. Whether you are a cable or satellite TV operator or an entrepreneur aiming to invest in digital media industry, adopting VOD business model is your best bet.

Mob Inspire is developing mobile based software platforms for more than a decade. Apart from serving digital media industry, our on-demand software solutions are assisting startups and enterprises in transportation, home services, real estate and healthcare. We are also listed among the top companies for providing enterprise mobility management solutions.

We would like to know about your business plans and intended areas of services. Our development team would not only help in providing the most appropriate software technology but in business development and marketing as well. Contact us so that we can move ahead.