A closer look at supply chain visibility and solutions

Consumers today can place an order and immediately get updates on their package location with a touch of their fingertips. So why can’t every business do the same? Most shipments will travel thousands of miles, be handled by multiple parties, and take days to do reach their final destination — making today’s shipment lifecycle more complex than ever before. 

There is no room for opacity in your supply chain if increasing customer demands are to be met. With today’s volatile market, more than 20% of companies listed visibility as their greatest supply chain challenge — the greatest share of voice compared to all other challenges. And more than 70% of chief supply chain officers believe that supply chain operations are a key driver for better customer service in their organizations.

What is supply chain visibility?

Supply chain visibility is the ability to track shipments in transit. But visibility technology should go beyond manual logistics track and trace capabilities. When determining which supply chain visibility solution best fits your business needs, there are a few crucial aspects to consider:

How is the shipment physically tracked? Basic track and trace capabilities are included in most supply chain visibility software offerings, but the method and technology used to provide it can vary. Of the options available, ELD tracking, AI assistants, and app tracking are some of the most effective for determining where a shipment is located at any given time.  And while all of those options are great, ELD tracking provides the most accurate — and automated — results for enabling real-time visibility data.

How accessible is this information? In order to optimize that visibility data, supply chain managers need to ensure that all of their IT information systems are communicating. A single platform that opens up end-to-end visibility across your supply chain can enable workflow automation, improving team efficiency. On top of that, cloud based systems are accessible anywhere at any time, making them all the more popular considering today’s increasingly remote workforce.

What can you do with this information?  Supply chain visibility solutions empower shippers to aggregate more real-time data, generate insights into their shipping operation using that information, and use those insights to improve partner and customers relationships across the board. From determining lane pricing to more informed carrier selection, improving on-time-performance and delivery (OTP/OTD) to better managing facility selection, there’s no question that supply chain visibility enhances supply chain strategy.

Visibility is the foundation of advanced workflow automation

This quote from Shipwell President and Co-founder, Jason Traff, underlines the importance of supply chain visibility software and technology for managers and companies who are looking to unlock their team’s potential.

Why is supply chain visibility important?

Imagine you’re planning to receive a shipment today. You’ve hired people to accept the shipment, maybe action what is inside of the shipment, even arranged warehouse storage. But when the shipment doesn’t arrive, you have little to no insight as to its location, or when it will arrive. 

Sound familiar? That’s because only 35% of shippers use a transportation management system (TMS) in their supply chain management strategy.

Supply chain visibility software, paired with an advanced, data-driven shipping platform with full TMS capabilities, can help companies:

  • Increase control across their supply chain with real-time insights
  • Improve customer service with ETA predictions, enabling a better customer experience and increased transparency into shipments
  • Manage exceptions in the supply chain quickly and seamlessly without significant impact on rates or logistics operations
  • Improve carrier and partner relationships with dynamic data that provides visibility into historical performance at every level of the supply chain
  • Better understand the overall reliability of a selected carrier– weighing factors beyond just price (on-time delivery (OTD) rate, damage rate, etc. )
  • Easily access compliance and regulation documentation and systems designed to manage complex shipments
  • Develop and implement a more confident and successful shipping strategy

Supply chain visibility in a volatile market

The only constant in the logistics market is change. As a result, most companies recognize that supply chain planning has become imperative to having a successful logistics operation.  During black swan events like Covid-19, resilient supply chains have been the differentiating factor between companies that thrive, and those that haven’t made it through the pandemic.

“Our shipping and visibility platform has put our customers in a good position to weather this storm,” says Traff. “And because it’s cloud-based, it can help companies navigate future market disruptions while also de-risking their infrastructure spend.”  

With an uncertain future and so many factors beyond our control, now is the time for shippers to have supply chain solutions that put power back in their hands. Learn how Shipwell helped customers manage inventory levels, improve customer satisfaction and keep their business on track with its TMS and visibility technology.

Read more: Best practices for handling the worst: Lessons learned from Covid-19

Start shipping smarter today.

As logistics operations become increasingly complicated, it’s crucial to have all of your supply chain partners aligned to your strategy. Shipwell helps you do this with aggregated supply chain visibility capabilities within a single platform. By combining a robust partner network, real-time data analytics, and transportation management, visibility becomes a force multiplier in your digital transformation strategy.

The first step to understanding where to start is to determine which KPIs are important to your business and your team. Some examples include:

  • What do you want to know about your logistics operation? This could include your on-time delivery rate, carrier performance, average rates on different lanes, etc.
  • How are you looking to transform your supply chain with increased visibility? Track and trace capabilities are great for physical visibility, while a connected supply chain technology supplier could reduce inefficiencies across the team with end-to-end visibility.
  • What integrations do I need for a successful on-boarding? Get your IT infrastructure team involved to determine what integrations make the most sense for your supply chain needs.

With these in mind, you’ll be prepared to determine which supply chain partners are right for you and your business. To learn more about Shipwell’s connected platform, speak with an expert today!

Schedule a Personalized Demo Today!

Are you ready to join the shipping evolution?

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