Cold Chain

Overcoming cold feet for technology in cold chain logistics


The cold chain logistics sector is reluctant to adopt technology compared to the non-logistics sector. Philip Antony, Head of Supply Chain and Distribution at Baskin Robbins India, emphasises the importance of technology adoption in the cold chain industry while answering three questions – why technology is required, what technology is required and the challenges faced in the adoption of the technology. 

The technology in the cold chain industry ensures proper tracking and monitoring of the entire system. This ranges from raw material procurement to final dispatch and product receiving at the customer’s end. The system is tracked and thoroughly monitored. It is a comprehensive approach to technology adoption in the cold chain industry. 

Application of technology

Inventory management at lower temperatures is complex. Manual activities require working environment under low temperature for a prolonged time. In inversions, temperature abuse is high due to exposure to the outside environment. Thus, it has become a town-time-bound activity, and these activities are regulated. The quality, cost, and availability of materials are more critical than loss coverage, which technology helps monitor. The quality, cost, and availability of materials are more important than loss coverage. Monitoring these factors requires technology.

Technology requirements

The cold chain industry is increasingly utilising technology to improve efficiency, compliance, and regulatory compliance. The technology includes RFID barcodes and QR codes for inventory traceability, as they are faster than manual activities due to constraints in the cold chain. IoT monitors temperature, geolocation, and real-time data from multiple sensors. These tools provide better analytical details and product monitoring at all transaction stages. The data analysis tools navigate through the larger data. The results derived are in outputs and decisions. Automation is a by-product of technology adoption. AI and ML monitor various aspects of the cold chain and the entire supply chain.  

cold chain

Adopt and sustain 

Technology presents challenges, particularly for supply chain managers. Technology avoidance is evident from both a supply chain and a user’s perspective, as it affects the overall success of the technology. The main challenge is choosing the right technology to suit specific needs. One shoe does not fit all. One technology only meets some requirements. So, it is essential to integrate multiple platforms. We must incorporate different technologies with existing systems, such as ERP or trucker management. It should be tamper-proof, transparent, and sustainable. Service providers may offer different technologies; the user must choose a solution that fits all the criteria. 

The initial stages of technology tools like Al Ml are characterised by uncertain ROIs, making it difficult for partners to adopt and sustain these technologies. Multiple start-ups are introducing innovations, making it mandatory for everyone to adopt in fear of lagging. There is resistance to technology adoption within organisations and among customers. Everyone is comfortable with manual interventions. But there is a need for cultural change. 

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