April 2017 | Commentary | Checking In

We’ve Been Together for 35 Years 

Tags: Logistics I.T., Logistics, Technology , Supply Chain

Felecia Stratton is the editor of Inbound Logistics magazine.

This month marks my 35th anniversary of serving readers as editor of Inbound Logistics. That milestone gave me reason to look back while developing and editing the content for this annual logistics technology issue.

Three decades ago, logistics technology primarily consisted of typewriters, pens and pencils, ledgers, paper maps, and hand-typed bills of lading and invoices. Critical information frequently existed only inside the minds of key employees. A drone was a black-and-yellow striped insect or a boring person, the cloud was a weather phenomenon, the web was something a spider lived in, and a mobile solution was a picking cart with wheels.

And just like in logistics, publishing technology has evolved as well. When I began at Inbound Logistics, we were solely a print publication. Today, we publish across numerous channels—web, digital, tablet/smartphone, apps, social media, and more—any way the reader wants it.

No matter what the channel, I've worked hard over these past decades to ensure that IL's content coincides with the non-stop technological revolution that continues to bring vast and lasting changes to how you match supply to demand, and manage your logistics and supply chain. For example, the Internet of Things (IoT) connects every computer, mobile device, container, and package to the cloud in ways that were inconceivable to traffic managers and procurement specialists three decades ago. You can get a take on how the IoT is impacting supply chain management in our feature article on page 68.

Today, shippers and consumers alike can track packages and shipments in real time. Manufacturers can 3D-print highly specialized components on demand at a moment's notice. Software solutions populate their own online dashboards and present them to users in easy-to-read formats. Yard and warehouse management systems guide pickers and forklift drivers strapped with wearable technology to the exact location of any item in stock. On-board trucking systems help fleet managers evaluate driver performance and monitor vehicle conditions. Stakeholders across the supply chain use software to plan loads, organize warehouses, pick and pack shipments, and provide end-to-end supply chain visibility. The world has truly become a warehouse.

And that's just what's happening now. The near future will bring even more drastic changes. I am proud of the role Inbound Logistics plays in providing need-to-have information to help you navigate this new world, and I can't wait to see what changes the next 35 years will bring.






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