Commentary | IT Matters

The Future Is Now: Strategic Technology Thinking for Shipping and Logistics Facility Managers

Tags: Logistics I.T., Supply Chain Management, Logistics, Technology , Buildings and Structures, Supply Chain

Fred Guelen is President, North America, and CFO, Planon, 781-356-0999

All over the world, forward-thinking shipping and logistics facility management (FM) professionals are frequently turning to next-generation, FM software to efficiently manage their facilities and real estate portfolios. It’s being used to streamline business processes, reduce facility costs, and simplify space and maintenance management.

Simply put, it is revolutionizing overall workplace performance and helping businesses meet their financial and human resource objectives.

Businesses are on the cusp of a major transformation. Over the next 10 years, new smart assets will enter offices, shipping facilities, factories, and workspaces in numbers we’ve never seen before. We’re also seeing the rapid convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials technology, information, and communication technology. If this wasn’t enough, there’s also the acceleration of technological developments and growing information exchange between developed and developing countries. And it doesn’t end there.

New materials, new technologies, the increased use of autonomous robotics, the creation of the Internet of Things—where physical objects and humans are connected and communicate virtually—are all driving rapid and irreversible change.

Schipol Airport in Amsterdam has already begun a pilot program using Google Glass data to support its employees when they are working in and around the airport. Its system offers an efficient way to access information and assists in the collection of data through location determination and photos. And because Google Glass is hands-free and voice-controlled, Schipol’s technicians are able to easily access information while supporting the business. They can also request information through the glasses, and let a specialist watch while resolving the problem. Collaboration becomes extremely easy.

As machines replace humans in some tasks and augment them in others, their largest impact may be less obvious. Namely—what happens if they should fail? As businesses become more reliant on these emerging (and increasingly vital) technical advances, ensuring business continuity is becoming a critical responsibility—and it’s falling on facility managers’ shoulders. Next-generation FM software ensures they can confidently deliver a safe, secure, stable, “always-on” work environment both now and in the future:

  • Automated alerts help employees react fast in the event of a potential emergency.
  • In-built analysis tools help pinpoint potential points of weakness so they can be addressed long before they cause a problem. It allows FMs to establish maintenance regimens ensuring just-in-time and fit-for purpose maintenance across any type of workplace, asset, or installation.
  • And because next-generation FM software can be integrated with any building, security, or access management system, facility managers have full control over the major factors which can negatively affect business continuity.

Now is the time to get strategic. The next decade is certain to be one where business, industry, and society are presented with a wide variety of technological challenges and opportunities for shipping, transportation, and logistics professionals. New demands are being created which are leading to new service concepts and whole new ways of doing business. And it’s up to forward-thinking facilities management professionals to stay ahead of the game, going beyond simply maintaining physical infrastructure and controlling costs.

Using tools like next-generation facilities management software helps them think, plan, and implement strategic initiatives to not only manage and improve the circumstances they face today, but prepare for any eventuality tomorrow.






Visit Our Sponsors