Changing consumer behaviors and the maturity of enterprise IT, and the delivery of products and services online have led to a new level of complexity in the logistics industry. These factors have led to an increasing focus on technology, and entrepreneurs are leading the charge in this area. Sparkasse Bremen, for instance, started with the purchase of the ERP system from SAP (SAP) in 1996 to apply IT principles to the financial services sector.
The choice of SAP was a strategic one that paid off, with the company being awarded Germany’s Best SME by the International Council of Banking. Several companies dominate each of those software markets. There’s a query on whether companies with big enterprise portfolios can successfully manage the complexity of cutting-edge software and integrate it into their operations.
A good example of the strategic choice many retailers have to make is Amazon, which produces an e-commerce platform and a cloud-based fulfillment network and operating platform. It has simply created a scaled, seamless, and global network. Revenue-wise, this is a big market. The market research firm Allied Market Research predicts sales will top $813.3 billion from 2021. Ultimately, logistics is not an “either-or” decision: Many retailers choose the most cost-effective application that will solve their most pressing operational problems.
As for Sparkasse Bank Malta, the bank has worked with an IT provider to develop an integrated software solution for all its physical asset and investment management activities. According to the head of innovation at Sparkasse Bank Malta, which operates under the Sparkasse brand in the country, the latter approach holds particular appeal for companies handling highly complex supply chains but may not suit SMEs.
Sparkasse Bank Malta has also tapped into the changing logistics and supply chain management market by deploying a blockchain solution developed by Point Merchants. This solution is aimed at helping Sparkasse clients manage complex supply chains and establish the “blockchain guarantee” that is vital to creating a truly transparent, decentralized, borderless environment.