Shopping on the Internet, sharing photos, blogging and posting commentaries. Digital platforms and services are now impacting our lives – and not just in our private sphere, but also our business environment. This means one thing for logistics specialists: they have to adapt to new conditions and opportunities to be able to accompany their customers as they move into the digital age so that they can provide their customers with competitive advantages.
Digital transformation is more than an empty phrase or a shortterm trend. It represents a radical change in working procedures and can well be compared to the process of industrialisation in its magnitude and effects at the beginning of the 19th century. This too triggered uncertainty and a fear of change, but also improvements in working lives thanks to the acceleration of technology and increases in productivity.
It is the same story now, about 200 years later. Innovative products and solutions – e.g. in the field of Industry 4.0, robotics and networks – face concerns about unfiltered data volumes, which can no longer be managed, and possible data leaks. New business ideas are springing up, old business models are being questioned and many long-standing industries are obtaining the opportunity to establish new business fields in a profitable manner.
New services provide efficiency and speed
Almost every company has already had to come to terms with these challenges and possibilities. However, they normally lack the experience to make use of the new digital solutions in a profitable and targeted manner. The Rhenus Group has specifically adapted to precisely these requirements in its business unit known as Rhenus Office Systems.
“At a very early stage, we examined the issue of how we can make things easier for our customers to gain access to the process of digitalisation and then continue to support them on their journey. We too have developed from being a document logistics specialist to a data and information manager in the process,” says Claudia Hobohm, Managing Director of Rhenus Office Systems, highlighting the process.
However, what do the digital services of a data and information manager look like specifically? “We first look at each customer in an individual way. We’re currently in the process of introducing newly developed products on to the market place – naturally always in conjunction with our customers and after thoroughly analysing the sector. In very specific terms, we’re currently working on products and services, which will increase the speed and efficiency of procedures and therefore save customers time and money.” They include, for example, digital technology for mobile devices and newly developed apps.
Pilot project: logging folder spines
One of the first planned projects is the digital logging of folder spines. Folders and files were not registered at all in the past or purely as a manual task at the relevant business sites. By documenting and indexing the folders using digital image recordings, the logging costs can be reduced by up to one fifth.
The opportunity of digital logging using so-called business process outsourcing regardless of the location also provides many benefits (see above).
The new digital solutions for companies are not just being prepared by Rhenus Office Systems, but also jointly with other units within the Rhenus Group. “Networking, cooperation and automation are important in themselves, both for our customers and for us too,” says Claudia Hobohm.
The key issue in future too will involve scrutinising existing procedures, introducing advanced technologies and the necessary IT skills and pooling knowledge about processes, sectors and customers across all the business segments in order to develop viable concepts and innovative services. “Rhenus would like to match this standard in the digital age so as to be able to offer its customers individual value-added services,” says Jens Kumbrink, Managing Director of Rhenus Office Systems.