Areas Where Technology Can Help Logistics Communications and Visibility Avoid Trouble en Route
Many Shippers are currently using manual methods for logistics visibility, such as email, spreadsheets and the telephone, in order to manage transportation budgets. Shippers should be aware that there are better alternatives—by using technological applications as part of their management system, they will be able to automate and gain more visibility into their shipments and logistical activity, thus having a competitive advantage.
Society as a whole is becoming more reliant on exchanging information between customers and companies, and this means that visibility into supply chain and logistics is becoming more of an issue for companies. Many of todays shipping companies are citing visibility among their main priorities for optimizing their supply chain. A lot of these companies only understand visibility in the context of tracking orders. They should be aware that visibility in logistics can mean they gain insight into their daily shipping processes, plus the ability to adjust their shipping methods to allow for variable demand, and to develop better standards of customer service.
These are some of the ways in which technology can be used to help logistics communications visibility:
Using a Variety of Fulfillment Models
As trade now crosses international borders, and some shipments require up to twenty handoffs to reach their location, it is important that visibility tools are utilized so that fulfillment models can be analyzed and optimized. This may mean using the most efficient one in a specific area, so shippers must consider a variety of options.
Assessing the Quality of Data
The majority of shippers have the ability to collect data automatically at each point in the shipping process, but they must also consider the quality of this data and how it can effect their projections. Many work on the assumption that all data is high quality, but this simply is not the case, and they need to be more discriminate.
Tracking Deliveries to the Point of Origin
This is especially important for international shipments coming into the US, as the CBP (US Customs and Border Protection) will scrutinize shipments point of origin. Accurate data must be present at this point to avoid penalties, delays and even denial of entry to the country. This can mean major problems for the flow of items through the supply chain, so it is important that point of origin is traceable.