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f+h Intralogistics 3/2016

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f+h Intralogistics 3/2016

Data analytics in the

Data analytics in the logistics sector − In the slipstream or the fast lane? What potential does data analytics offer the logistics sector? And how can this potential be leveraged? The survey “Data Analytics in the Logistics Sector – in the slipstream or the fast lane?” of 200 European logistics operators, made by one of Germany’s leading auditing and consultancy organizations PwC has found answers to these and other questions. Increasing digitization brings both challenges and great opportunities for our economy and society. New, dynamic markets are emerging, while existing ones are disappearing or are being fundamentally transformed by new market players. Companies need to adapt their business models, and consumers are ratcheting their individual demands ever higher. These developments are changing companies in every respect, because they not only affect their production and sales departments, but also their support processes – for example, in the HR, controlling or accounting departments. Caution or conservatism? Information is generated, processed and brought together by a multitude of systems in different company functions. Large quantities of data of all kinds are generated – with increasing speed. Modern technologies make it possible to evaluate these data in real time and analyze them in relation to issues relevant for decision-making. 35% of all logistics operators have not yet engaged with Big Data each of the three groups is composed of companies of all sizes and from all countries. Nevertheless, there is an evident connection between how they deal with trends in general and their level of “maturity” as regards data analytics. Strengthen in-house expertise Every third logistics operator uses a solution developed in-house or a manual one without system integration The small group of trend-setters has already engaged with their BI – that is, the systematic collection, evaluation and representation of the structured data available in the company. Their particular focus is, however, on the trend of the moment, Big Data. This involves analyzing extremely large quantities of structured and unstructured (polystructured) data, which are drawn from a variety of sources, including those outside of the company. This 12 percent of trend- LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT In our survey of managers from 200 German and European logistics companies, we investigated how the logistics sector is positioned in relation to the issue of data analytics and how the use of business intelligence (BI) and Big Data will affect its actions in the next two years. One conclusion is that logistics operators have so far been reserved when making large investments in this area. They may recognize the potential offered by data analyses and they especially hope to be able to reduce their costs. But as soon as concrete measures are at issue, more specifically, making a budget available, the respondents are more reluctant. In this context, the interviewees can be divided into three types. We describe them as “trend-setters”, “early adopters” and “observers”. These groups are based on self-assessments by the interviewees of how they generally deal with trends. Company size and nationality do not seem to have a big influence: 7 out of 10 of the logistics operators who assess themselves as trend-setters see the greatest hurdles when implementing Big Data solutions in their company’s organization and processes f+h Distribution 3/2016

19% have not yet identified a person responsible for Big Data setters described their company’s attitude as engaging with trends by actively shaping them and thus driving the development of the whole sector forward. They have already surpassed the phase of theoretically engaging with the issue of Big Data and can look back on their first few projects. Their investment in establishing their own competences is also already paying off. To date, they have principally relied on collaborations with external experts in their Big Data projects. However, for future projects, they are planning to draw on the competences within their own company. German logistics operators focus on cost reductions European logistics operators focus on attracting new customers when using and expanding their BI systems. They are even more reserved in their engagement with Big Data. They see little potential here and state that they do not want to further consider this issue now, nor do they expect to consider it to much extent in the future. Conclusion The transport and logistics sector still has many tasks to master if they wish to keep pace in the era of Industry 4.0. This is particularly relevant given the increasingly complex demands on logistics providers and the emergence of new market participants from other sectors. Modern data analysis and preparation using BI or Big Data – for example, in the form of management dashboards – could markedly increase the pace of digitization. Many logistics operators are adopting a wait-and-see approach instead of thinking ahead and hence benefiting from the development. But now is the time to 35% of the logistics operators plan to invest in Big Data in the next two years But 41% of them do not know how much Vested interests instead of innovativeness When asked how they deal with trends, the early adopter group, which at 34 percent represents a good third of those surveyed, says that they always stay informed on current and future trends and try to prepare for them before they impact the market. This is also evident in their engagement with data analytics. They may not be as deeply rooted in this issue as the trend-setters, but in most cases they show themselves to be more innovative than an average company in the industry. A large number of logistics companies – 54 percent of respondents – assess themselves as reactive in the face of new trends (observers). In line with this, to date almost all the companies in this group have concentrated on processes that are immediately connected with capacity utilization and their direct business management The trend-setters also focus on the customers in their data analyses: 43% 48% use Big Data for their sales work with Big Data for their customer service act: new customers can be acquired, relationships with existing customers can be improved and the company’s management can be supported in their decision-making with better information. What is more, the opportunity is there to enter new markets and to develop new business models. Photographs: PwC About PwC Our clients face diverse challenges, strive to put new ideas into practice and seek expert advice. They turn to us for comprehensive support and practical solutions that deliver maximum value. Whether for a global player, a family business or a public institution, we leverage all of our assets: experience, industry knowledge, high standards of quality, commitment to innovation and the resources of our expert network in 157 countries. Building a trusting and cooperative relationship with our clients is particularly important to us – the better we know and understand our clients’ needs, the more effectively we can support them. PwC. 9,800 dedicated people at 29 locations. Euro 1.65 billion in turnover. f+h Distribution 3/2016