The Future of Supply Chain Visibility

Tags: Logistics, Supply Chain, Visibility

Q: What is the future of supply chain visibility?

A: If you look at where we’ve been, supply chain visibility used to mean the ability to track and trace a product in transit. Then, it evolved into the ability to manage by exception. Now, we are evolving to the point where we can share information between members of the supply chain; automate processes such as ordering, quotation, and route optimization; and collaboratively work together to manage the exceptions. In the future, systems will be able to automatically decide upon appropriate courses of action based upon analysis of data and rules-based algorithms.

Nearly 25 years of historical transaction and performance data are the foundation of the logic we build into our systems. Historical data can be compared to vendor tariffs, transit times, and other parameters to optimize vendor selection and routing. Supply chain partners have collaboration tools to manage exceptions. Machine Learning algorithms analyze those human interventions and teach the system to anticipate how human decision-makers would handle the exceptions.

Q: What is a Control Tower?

A: A Control Tower is a data hub that connects supply chain members to increase visibility and improve decision-making utilizing real-time analytics. Data is shared transparently between suppliers, customers, and vendors to lower costs, improve efficiency, and mitigate exceptions. Exceptions can be managed from within the platform.

Our cloud-based platform easily integrates with your existing ERP and WMS systems to provide total visibility from order to delivery. Using a flexible architecture, we are able to customize functionality and views based on your unique needs and the roles within your supply chain. Partners can see where shipments are in real time and take actions as necessary.

Q: What are the advantages of a cloud-based platform?

A: Having your Transportation Management System (TMS) in the cloud provides a scalable architecture that reduces costs and administration efforts. Users are able to access information from anywhere they have internet connectivity. No more waiting until Monday morning to find out what went awry over the weekend. Now, you can receive a notification of an exception, immediately access the data, drill down to the issue, connect with your supply chain partners, and take action to correct the issue the instant things go awry. This saves you time, money, and frustration.

Q: How can machine learning improve my business?

A: Machine learning can be used to factor dynamic parameters such as weather, dwell time, cargo capacity, and recent carrier performance into your cargo routing decisions. Dynamically incorporating data such as weather forecasts and recent carrier performance into your routing decisions can improve your on-time delivery performance. Pricing models that factor in your remaining capacity can be used to enhance profitability.