Intelligent logistics to lighten the load
The rise of e-commerce has pushed logistics management technologies into the spotlight. Here are three Tech Offers that make existing systems smarter.

When the pandemic shuttered physical storefronts last year, e-commerce companies emerged as clear winners. With consumers buying directly from digital platforms, sales surged even as brick-and-mortar stores tanked. Quickly recognising the advantages of having an online presence, retailers embarked on an industry-wide digital transformation. Mom-and-pop shops and departmental stores alike revamped their websites and changed traditional business processes with technology.

Behind all these activities, logistics management systems play a crucial role. The long-overlooked backbone of operations, logistics ensures the effective storage and efficient transportation of products from suppliers to consumers. From intelligent forecasting systems to reliable and real-time monitoring of goods, logistics management systems are a key enabler of e-commerce.

Despite their importance, the systems available in the market today remain far from perfect. Here are three Tech Offers that are making logistics smarter and more efficient.

Reliable logistics for luxury purchases

Following the coronavirus outbreak, consumers have been shifting towards online purchases and home deliveries—even for bigger ticket items such as electronics and luxury goods. Accordingly, logistics firms are working to enhance the reliability of their transport chains, such that they can offer a full range of delivery services from common products to high-value ones. To address the latter need, a micro-beacon system for real-time monitoring and tracking has been developed in Singapore.

The system, which consists of a receiver and tiny battery-operated beacons that can be tagged onto items, utilises a highly optimised radio frequency packet format for transmission. This allows for a high density of beacons to be placed in any given area, making the technology especially useful for large scale operations. Furthermore, the beacons consume little power and can efficiently harvest energy from their surroundings, allowing them to be widely deployed without excessive battery replacements or recharges.

As various kinds of low-power sensors can be incorporated onto each beacon, firms can use this technology to detect environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, tilt and direction in real-time, enabling them to better monitor fragile or sensitive items.

Non-intrusive invention for indoor tracking of personnel and assets

Institutions such as workplaces and schools often require staff and visitor tracking for security, safety or attendance purposes—compelling users to install applications on their smartphones, or operate specialised devices. Now, a Singapore-based company has created a Bluetooth-enabled beacon badge that allows for tracking to be done more conveniently and non-intrusively.

Measuring no bigger than a regular credit card, the badges can be easily carried about by users within a specified compound. Not only are they relatively inexpensive, they are easy to deploy and maintain compared with other Global Positioning System (GPS)-based tracking systems.

Location information from the badges can then be fed to a data server to create visualisations like footfall and heat maps, allowing security staff to detect unusual incidents from unexpected crowding. Apart from tracking humans, the technology can also be used to monitor employee and  asset traffic in locations such as e-commerce fulfilment centres.

Intelligent forecasting for inventory managment

Forecasting is a crucial component of business planning for firms big and small. In the wake of increasing economic uncertainty and operational volatility brought about by the pandemic, however, achieving reliable forecasts have become more challenging.

To tackle this problem, a Singapore-based organisation has created an intelligent forecasting system that provides companies with both classic and state-of-the-art algorithms for better projections. Designed for easy integration into an existing information technology (IT) environment, the system supports companies in predicting sales, optimising inventory, increasing cash flow, maximising return on investment, and planning marketing strategy through better visibility.

Easily operatable and understandable, the system allows for detailed reporting in different configurations and graphical displays to be presented within a few clicks. Through multi-faceted statistical analysis and the incorporation of market intelligence, it provides value to companies in terms of project, customer and inventory management.

Featured Tech Offers

Micro-Beacon System for Monitoring and Tracking
Technology Readiness Level (TRL): TRL7

Bluetooth-based Indoor Location Tracking Solution
Technology Readiness Level (TRL): TRL8

Intelligent Forecasting System
Technology Readiness Level (TRL): TRL8