Technology and Process Innovations in Logistics
In the course of world-wide globalization, companies have been trying to realize cost benefits by internationalizing their supply chains, i.e. by outsourcing the production of labour-intensive parts to low-wage countries and solely assembling these parts in their home factories. As a result of this development, logistics has been one of the emerging industrial sectors over the past decades.
Since the expected economic growth and the anticipated future volumes will most likely exceeded existing infrastructure capacities, logisticians search for effective measures to reduce the use of capacity and reach a higher degree of efficiency. The multitude of human interaction and decision making in logistics offers the possibility to automate processes, reduce throughput times and disburden the logistics companies. Innovations in technology as well as in processes can ensure a company's business competitiveness in the long term. Therefore, our research group develops technology-based and process-oriented concepts to enhance logistic performance and to enable logisticians to survive in global competition.
Transparent supply chains in industry can significantly increase efficiency and customer benefit. However, product traceability is currently very costly, or even impossible, as many parties are usually involved. In the food sector, for example, a lack of transparency can have health consequences if the cooling process in production or transport has been interrupted in the meantime. Blockchain as a new technology and driving force for digital transformation opens up transparency in logistics as well as in the supply chain and offers a common and tamper-proof data set. With the help of the distributed blockchain architecture, trust in the data can be established without a central instance.
The project DIMLA aims at developing a flexible and adaptive system of key performance indicators (KPI) grid which helps to evaluate maturity levels of SMEs in the aerospace industry. The grid will cover the following three areas: a) Description and categorization of considered companies, b) Digital technology maturity levels and c) Internationalization maturity levels.
With the rapidly increasing number of temperature-sensitive products, the need for a fully monitored supply chain is more important than ever. Currently, those involved must rely on container operators to communicate temperature deviations to the customer quickly and correctly. By using a blockchain for temperature-controlled services, the reliability of the information can be validated and active risk management can be supported. Furthermore, this technology enables small, medium and large companies to develop new services.