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Supply chain digitalisation

Inform survey highlights deficiencies in IT provision

Inform buildingBad experiences with new IT systems and budget constraints are hindering the introduction of more digitalisation in logistics for the automotive sector, according to a survey carried out by optimisation software expert, Inform.

“At least one in three [respondents] has had negative experiences with implementing an IT system in the past and is wary of new software solutions as a result,” suggested the survey of 100 automotive logistics providers.

Up to 60% of those who replied said financial factors, such as a restricted IT budget, had delayed IT updates.

The research showed 24% of respondents were working with software introduced more than 11 years ago, while more than 90% said there were limitations with the systems they used. Among the weaknesses identified were a lack of user-friendliness (cited by 47% of participants), system restrictions with data collection and evaluation (42%), and a lack of future viability (33%).

The survey also found that two-thirds of operators in the automotive sector still regarded barcodes as their preferred identification/goods tracking technology, with GPS telematics data claiming a 45% share. But 19% still do not use any form of technology for identification or tracking.

Despite this, 51% of respondents said they considered IT to be of key value in the marketplace, since it enabled them to stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Matthias Berlit, vice-president of Inform’s industrial logistics division, said: “These messages send out clear signals to software developers and IT support. Logistics experts recognise the importance of a good IT system but expect them to be better, more convenient and more user-friendly.

“The study clearly shows that the need for efficient IT provision in automotive logistics is far from being met. It makes one wonder that only 9% of those asked indicated they were completely satisfied with their system.”