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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2013
36 FORUM 2013 The logistics industry is behind other industries on technology, several speakers told the ALC Forum in the opening ITC session, including Maria Palazzolo of GS1 (Global Standard 1). Palazzolo told the Forum that companies in the logistics industry were wrong to rebuff cooperation with their competitors in the belief that there might be some competitive advantage in doing so. To improve productivity and ef ciency, systems have to talk to each other, she said. But there is still reluctance from many industry members to share business information using new technologies. To illustrate her point, Ms Palazzolo cited the example of retailers who agreed upon scanners at point of sale around 40 years ago. Palazzolo also congratulated ALC on its supply chain standards working group, but called for a renewed emphasis by business to carry through and adopt the working group's outputs. Telstra Executive Charlie Macdonald, who chaired the session, said that in the past couple of years there had been a massive acceleration in mobility. Smartphones, tablets and machine- to-machine communications have all changed the way we work, live and shop. Cloud computing has provided more dynamism to our industry. These things have come from the consumer world, but have great uses in industry. But, he warned, take-up in the freight logistics industry was relatively slow. He asked the audience if their companies used social media signi cantly. Only two hands were raised. Steven Asnicar, Director at Chain of Responsibility Australia, said there was a need for simpler technology that people can use, particularly in light of the fact that the logistics industry is the slowest industry to take up new technology. This is not made any easier by complex data sets and systems that are not standard. To counter this, he argued the bene ts of using a simple smartphone application to help drivers calculate fatigue. Currently, every state has different requirements -- totalling 46 algorithms that no-one can understand. As a result, asking drivers to manage fatigue is too dif cult. We should drive change, and use information technology to do it. Darren O'Connor, Chief Information Of cer at The Reject Shop, spoke (via video) of the importance of productivity and visibility from a retailer's point of view. He gave the example of recent oods, and the need to track and reroute time-sensitive freight. Michael Alf, Manager IT PMO at Asciano, said the challenge is to get competitors to cooperate on compatible technology. It did happen at CEO level with producers in Europe in supply chain management, but only some logistics companies joined. Neil Temperley, Leader of the Future Logistics Living Lab at NICTA, gave an example of the four big banks saving $50 million per year with shared data for mortgages. More of that, he argued, should be done in the logistics industry. Chris Koniditsiotis, the CEO of Transport Certi cation Australia, said the ICT environment lets us merge safety, compliance and productivity as part of one total solution, rather than as discrete systems that do not talk to each other, or as separate activities. Steve Gunn, General Manager PBLIS, Sydney Ports Corporation, said self- interested participants are only interested in how they will be affected, rather than looking at the ef ciency of the whole supply chain. Port Botany has a challenge in getting data and working out what to do. Trucks will be late or early, depending on traf c ows, so timing has to be adjusted. The port has to know where the truck is in order to get the container ready when the truck is there. Discussion from the oor focused on how best to harness the enormous productivity and ef ciency bene ts that can be gleaned from new technologies, such as Twitter, smartphones and apps. Michael Alf stressed the potential of social media in the logistics chain. There have been 168 billion tweets since 2008 on Twitter. Many industries use it for load planning to see where goods are. He added that it could also be used to improve safety, as you can communicate in real time around the world. Unfortunately, Australian industry is behind. Steven Asnicar agreed that social media is one of the tools we need to attract more young people to the industry. A smarter supply chain using information and communications technology SESSION 1 Maria Palazzolo, Global Standard 1; Michael Alf, Asciano; Neil Temperley, NICTA; Chris Koniditsiotis, Transport Certification Australia; Steve Gunn, PBLIS; Charlie Macdonald, Telstra; Steven Asnicar, CoR Australia. continued on page 40