ANAL­Y­SIS

Au­to­ma­tion so­lu­tions providers in the GCC ex­pect boom­ing e-com­merce sec­tor to con­tinue to be main driver of de­mand go­ing for­ward.

Logistics Middle East - - FRONT PAGE -

There are very few 3PLs, re­tail­ers or e-com­merce com­pa­nies in the GCC re­gion that have the vol­ume in terms of through Ìow to jus­tify in­vest­ment in au­to­mated ma­te­rial han­dling sys­tems. How­ever, while MHE is the area that one most of­ten as­so­ci­ates with au­to­ma­tion, it is in the digi­ti­sa­tion of op­er­a­tions that the great­est gains are be­ing seen by re­tail­ers and other lo­gis­tics op­er­a­tors.

“Au­to­ma­tion in the Mid­dle East is go­ing through a sig­nif­i­cant pe­riod of change, with a fo­cus on in­creased ef­fi­ciency,” says Alain Kaddoum, gen­eral man­ager, Swisslog Mid­dle East. “We be­lieve that in or­der to be able to re­spond to these changes and re­main com­pet­i­tive, em­brac­ing in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies is now more im­por­tant than ever be­fore. As a re­sult of this, we are cur­rently see­ing a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Tech­nolo­gies like the In­ter­net of Things, dy­namic en­ter­prise man­age­ment, global sup­ply chain vis­i­bil­ity, and ma­chine learn­ing are al­ready chang­ing the way man­u­fac­tur­ers pro­duce goods and in­ter­act with cus­tomers.”

Ac­cord­ing to Kushal Na­hata, CEO & co-founder, FarEye, this chang­ing mind­set is most ev­i­dent in the e-com­merce sec­tor. With the rise of on­line shop­ping and the pop­u­lar­ity of ecom­merce sites, there has been ad­di­tional pres­sure on the trans­port in­dus­try to de­liver pack­ages on time. “Cus­tomers are ex­pect­ing al­most in­stan­ta­neous de­liv­ery of their pur­chases and the trans­port com­pa­nies have to keep up with the ex­pected pace of con­ve­nience,” he says. “Suc­cess is deter­mined by the com­pa­nies’ abil­ity to de­liver faster and to be ex­cep­tion­ally re­li­able. Tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments have made it pos­si­ble for the ware­house man­ager and the end con­sumer to track the de­liv­er­ies eas­ily.”

Eva An­dren, head of man­aged ser­vices, MEA, ar­gues that achiev­ing these faster de­liv­er­ies and in­tense ac­cu­racy re­lies on the adop­tion of real-time au­to­ma­tion. In the Mid­dle East and Africa, real-time au­to­ma­tion con­sists of au­ton­o­mous ap­plica- tions that lever­age data from sen­sors in real time to trig­ger spe­cific ac­tions. It is of­ten used in mis­sion-crit­i­cal ap­pli­ca­tions, where la­tency, avail­abil­ity, re­li­a­bil­ity and se­cu­rity are of key im­por­tance.

“Ac­cord­ing to Eric­s­son’s 5G Busi­ness Po­ten­tial re­port, op- er­a­tors across the re­gion will see the most rev­enue po­ten­tial from real-time au­to­ma­tion, which of­fers a po­ten­tial of USD 6.2 bil­lion by 2026. Real-time au­to­ma­tion will ex­pe­ri­ence rapid adop­tion, at 133 per­cent in the next 6 years (CAGR 130 per­cent,

Tra­di­tional ware­house man­age­ment is be­com­ing ob­so­les­cent, om­nichan­nel or­ders re­quire im­me­di­ate ship­ping upon check out” ALAIN KADDOUM, GEN­ERAL MAN­AGER, SWISSLOG MID­DLE EAST.

2020 to 2024),” she says.

Kaddoum says that this is be­cause of the way in which e-com­merce lo­gis­tics has changed tra­di­tional re­tail sup­ply chains. “Tra­di­tional tech­niques of ware­house man­age­ment are slowly be­com­ing ob­so­les­cent, and om­nichan­nel or­ders mean your or­gan­i­sa­tion needs to be ready with the right prod­uct on-hand, at the right time and ship it al­most si­mul­ta­ne­ously with the cus­tomer’s ‘check­out’. Tech­nol­ogy and soft­ware must meet the dy­namic needs of re­tail, e-com­merce and mul­ti­chan- nel lo­gis­tics,” he says.

The tan­gi­ble ben­e­fits of au­to­ma­tion then in­clude the faster tran­sit of goods through the sup­ply chain, pro­cess­ing ac­cu­racy, min­imised man­power and qual­ity con­trol. The long-term ben­e­fits and cost sav­ings far out­weigh the ini­tial cap­i­tal out- lay, ac­cord­ing to Na­hata. “In the ware­house, au­to­ma­tion driven by mo­bile com­put­ers and scan­ners can en­sure that the most up-to-date stock in­ven­tory is avail­able for staff. This is paramount as con­sumers are now de­mand­ing within-the-hour de­liv­ery,” he says.

Kushal Na­hata, CEO & co-founder, FarEye.

Alain Kaddoum, gen­eral man­ager, Swisslog Mid­dle East.

Eva An­dren, head of man­aged ser­vices, MEA, Eric­s­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.