With the rapid growth of technology, most modern day businesses have IT departments unlike in the early days when companies used to have a single computer for storing data on magnetic tapes.
Information technology is now the heartbeat and the vehicle to enhance supply chain competitiveness and performance by enhancing the overall effectiveness and efficiency of logistics system. Below are the ways in which information technology has influenced the growth and development of logistics:
In earlier days, information within business enterprises was difficult to store and manage. Traditional file systems were used where the only form of data storage was in form of hard copies in files. It was very difficult and tiring to access specific data especially where huge amounts of files were stored. It was also difficult to edit the data within the files whenever the need was and this caused a lot of redundancies and errors. Nowadays with the computerized information systems it is easy to store, access, edit and delete data within a centralized storage without much complication.
It is also possible to track resources from when they are first obtained to their point of consumption thus improving operational efficiency.
Information systems also help companies track internal information by providing reports on inventory costs that determine how much more inventory needs to be purchased. This feature allows companies to be more efficient by providing optimal lot sizes and lead times.
Information technology has facilitated the growth of communication within companies. Through computer networks employees within an organization are able to communicate with each other and share electronic files either within the same or different departments thus saving on time and increasing efficiency.
Nowadays almost every mid-sized company has a website. A website acts like a billboard that displays the company products and services to the world. With a website, a company is able to reach a wide range of customers from all over the world thus increasing their market.
A mailing list is also another good marketing tool where a single email is sent to thousands of subscribers at a click of a button. In this way, the company is able to communicate and promote their products regularly to a large number of potential customers.
Having individual resources such as printer for every employee within an organization is next to impossible due to some factors such as high cost of these resources and minimal storage space among others. Information technology has made it possible to connect several work stations within an organization to a single printer through a network thus leading to lower production cost and better services at better and affordable prices.
In today’s world it is now easy for customers to communicate to the company and enquire for services online through the website without having to travel all the way to the offices. This has helped to curb the time wastage problem thus increasing productivity.
Global positioning system (GPS) has enabled easy tracking of cargo from point of origin to the destination in supply chain management. Throughout the transportation, the importer/exporter is able to track his/her cargo and thus giving the peace of mind and an assurance of security. This helps in improving the security and customer trust thus leading to development of the industry.