Critical Trends to address in Logistics Management

Tractonomy Towing Robot

After the recent launch of my book, I spoke with Jean-Luc Devisscher of Tractonomy, an innovative manufacturer of robotics handling equipment ( ), sharing my view of some urgent trends in Logistics. This is the first part of the discussion, where I answer the question:

What are for you the 4 key aspects (trends) that are critical to be addressed by logistics operators in the future to maintain profitability?

  1. Resilience and risk management. There are many “shocks” or disturbances in companies that could be minimized and often avoided if organisations spent more time and effort on Business continuity. This has grown in importance since the shock of the Covid Pandemic and other major incidents. Business Continuity is about looking at all areas of the business, identifying the risks (problems with suppliers, weather; alternative transport routes, energy, etc); then at the potential impact of those risks on business processes and how to improve the overall resilience of those processes in the event of disruption occurring. A topical example here is cybersecurity: has it been addressed by the business; what are the actions to be taken if it materialises?
  2. Automation & Robotics. This is a trend that shows no evidence of slowing down. In addition to the many hardware solutions coming to market, this also encompasses the systems that are required to operate each hardware solution and that will be required to work together as an ecosystem to successfully operate the interconnected hardware solutions that will need to operate across complex logistics operations in the future.
  3. Change Management. Organisations that wish to develop or maintain a competitive advantage in their marketplace will need to review their operations far more frequently. Solutions that met the needs of 2000 or even 2010 will no longer be considered Best in Class. Operations will need to accommodate more frequent changes – in hardware, in technology, in software, in customer expectations, in product mix and variety, in processes, in staff training, retention, morale and motivation. These changes will need to be managed more competently with faster adoption processes to meet those changing business needs. The organisation will need more specialist project managers to manage step changes and operational managers that can manage operations with continuous change. These are not common skill sets in operational managers who are currently rewarded for stability, continuity, and consistency.
  4. Sustainability. Too many companies seem paralysed and indecisive when faced by the requirement to operate more sustainably. There are so many options and choices available that it represents a significant investment of time and money to embark on solutions that may not be the best options financially nor meet changing future legal frameworks. In the same way that technology investment decisions may prove to be sub-optimal in the future, so sustainability decisions may be as well. The critical point for operational managers is to start making small steps in any area. From the use of alternative energy sources, to how to manage waste, from the introduction of Electric Vehicles to the introduction of new battery technologies, there are many small steps that can be made. As with Change Management, it’s all about a mindset, making small incremental steps along a path of change.