Real-Time Visibility: Today’s Supply Chain Necessity

February 27, 2017 | 0 Go Back to Blogs

Do you provide your customers with real-time visibility? According to an American Shipper Visibility Benchmark Study, 39% of shippers use their carrier’s track and trace tools, yet only 6% of shippers actually receive real-time visibility, while 31% say their visibility from service providers needs improvement.

Here are a few other items that shippers, and potentially your customers, say are most critical to enterprises seeking supply chain technology solutions:

  • 87% cost reduction
  • 73% visibility
  • 70% customer service
  • 68% integration

Have you considered offering visibility as a core component to your operations? Being able to see where cargo is at all times not only reduces supply chain theft risk and errors but also provides you a level of detail that assists you with making quick decisions needed to run your operations efficiently.

38% of 3PLs have lost business due to their visibility offering. Having full transparency to all stages in your supply chain will give you a competitive edge in today’s evolving marketplace – ultimately helping you win more business through access to a wider market of shippers that require a specific level of compliance and visibility.

Why is Supply Chain Visibility Important?

Being able to track all products in transit down to the level of who’s driving the truck puts you in control of better decision making. Why? Because with real-time visibility comes on-time performance reports including live ETA’s of arrival, delivery and all the stops in between. Having this level of visibility enables your supply chain to be more agile and responsive in the fast-paced trucking industry. Let’s say your driver in-transit is delayed at pickup causing the delivery time to change. Knowing this ahead of time allows you to make the necessary adjustments you need quickly helping you gain more trust with your customers.

Having more visibility in to your supply chain will also help you reduce risks and costs while improving your communication. Fewer mistakes means more cost savings. You’ll also see an increase in communication among vendors and customers which will also help reduce costs as you begin to see an improvement in performance.

Will Implementing a New Tool Cause More Disruption?

Well, that depends on the platform you select. Some visibility platforms require software setup and costly hardware installations while others are simple plug and play technology. With today’s technological advances, low-cost, cloud-based solutions connected via a mobile app enable you, your customers and carriers to be completely and seamlessly connected so you never skip a beat. With the right visibility tool, you’re equipped to predict events to avoid the REAL disruptions in your supply chain operations.

Things to Keep in Mind

Our deep industry roots have given us the knowledge needed for successful, secure hauls, so we’ve put together some key visibility considerations to keep in mind so you get the transparency you need to streamline operations and run your business more efficiently. Things to consider include:

  1. A simple, plug and play platform that helps you get off the ground quickly — a platform that easily integrates into your TMS or that can be used independently.
  2. Visibility in real-time. Seeing exactly where the truck is will enable you to manage by exception and make faster, proactive decisions.
  3. On-Time Performance reports are a must. Knowing when to react ahead of a potential delay or shipment issue with a color-coded OTP dashboard helps you avoid disruptions within your operations.
  4. Immediate confirmation of arrival at destination with instant electronic PODs – this will allow you to get payments processed faster!
  5. Two-way communication features including instant messaging and real-time alerts and notifications. With transparency tools like these, you can avoid constant calls to drivers as well as provide superior customer experiences helping you gain customer confidence.
  6. Security, particularly for higher value shippers, is paramount. Let technology support you with a series of system-generated protocols drivers can follow to minimize the risk of theft, keep the driver safe and customers feeling informed.

By implementing a visibility solution, you’re not only able to make informed decisions about eliminating inefficiencies, but you’re also reducing the risk of something going wrong; not to mention the ability to prevent missed deadlines and having goods become damaged, lost or stolen. Be the broker or freight forwarder with a competitive edge today by providing your customers with real-time visibility solutions they – and you – can trust.

Overhaul’s trusted technology can help. Visit our broker solution web page to learn more today.

 


 

References

Johnson, Eric, editor. A Clear View of Supply Chain Visibility Benchmark Study. Compiled by Zach Cole, American Shipper, 2016.

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