Loadsmart Resource Center

Logistics Technology Trends and Takeaways from Manifest 2023

Manifest 2023 in Las Vegas showed that demand for trade shows is back, and the industry’s appetite for networking and learning about the latest technology is vital. 

Want proof? The head of the supply chain for a global Health and Beauty brand told the Opendock team of Jeff Booth and Nate Allan, who were in attendance, about his eye-opening experience at last year’s show. He was struck and slightly overwhelmed by how much new tech and innovation was on display, even acknowledging his company had some catch-up to do when it came to leveraging technology. Recognizing how much there was to learn about what was available and not having enough time to take it all in alone, he brought several teammates to spread out and cover more ground this year.

There were a lot of learnings and valuable takeaways Jeff and Nate took from this year’s event, as well. Here are a few.... 

Visibility Is Still King

Visibility has been a top industry buzzword for many years, and that won’t change anytime soon. Visibility means different things in different parts of the supply chain and was the topic of a panel titled: The Many Layers of Visibility. The discussion revolved around the idea that, despite all the talk about visibility, shippers still need a better sense of where their goods are within their supply chain.

The discussion reinforced the importance and value of managing logistics processes digitally whenever possible, much like Opendock helps digitize and streamline dock scheduling. Digitization everywhere is essential because it produces data that can be used elsewhere in the business (more on data flow below).

Technology Is Still Growing and Improving

Despite all the negative talk about the economy and tech lay-offs, the event showed that interest in logtech and start-ups is alive and well. There are still new investments in logistics technology providers happening, and many are pushing the limits of what’s possible. The show proved innovation is alive and well. From new logistics software for improving operations to making it easier to use data to advanced robotics and hardware. And, speaking of cutting-edge hardware…

Hardware And Robotics Can Do Amazing Things, Already

The many high-tech exhibits with material handling and warehouse technology were very attention-grabbing at the show. It’ll be interesting to see where companies choose to invest in technology in the coming years because there are many options. There is a big race for buyers' attention (and money), that’s for sure.

Some of the discussion around these choices also involved making technology investments as a way to attract more dynamic employee talent as warehouses and logistics operations work to break free from old stereotypes and create more exciting work environments.

The Future Will Require More Collaboration

As logistics platforms mature, they almost inevitably add features and become broader in what they can do. As a result, they will then overlap more with other technologies. The industry is seeing this already. Most companies currently have multiple tech solutions and will not abandon them for new ones. New and existing solutions will be expected to integrate and work well together to meet customer needs.

The point is software can no longer have barriers. As the market matures, successful companies must maintain an awareness of and respect for other providers. This means usability and interoperability will continue to grow in importance.

The final takeaway from Jeff and Nate was that both are excited and energized by the direction the logistics marketplace is heading. The innovation Opendock is proud to be part of was on full display at Manifest.

To speak with either Jeff Booth, Director of Product or Nate Allen, Senior Direct of SaaS Sales about their experience at Manifest send an email to jeffrey.booth@loadsmart.com or nate.allan@loadsmart.com, respectively. To learn more about Opendock, visit www.opendock.com.

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