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Considering A Supply Chain Visibility System?

Here are six criteria logistics organizations should consider when selecting and implementing a supply chain visibility system.

The logistics sector is experiencing significant growth and technological advancement, significantly increasing the importance of real-time transportation visibility systems. These systems enable organizations to enhance supply chain and delivery efficiency, as well as adapt to the evolving expectations of the market. 

Info-Tech Research Group’s latest industry blueprint, Real-Time Transportation Visibility Systems, explores how these technologies can transform logistics operations by providing immediate insights into shipment statuses, thereby improving operational reliability and customer satisfaction.

“Supply chain visibility is the capacity to track various items or products in transit, providing a clear picture of the inventory and activity,” explains Kevin Tucker, principal research director at Info-Tech Research Group. “Using real-time information that identifies problems, a real-time supply chain visibility system can assist logistics organizations in identifying possible problems before they arise so that they can implement solutions that minimize risks and prevent disruptions.”

supply chain visibility system
Info-Tech Research Group’s “Real-Time Transportation Visibility” blueprint offers practical guidance for organizations aiming to optimize their supply chain operations, ensuring timely delivery and robust response capabilities in a rapidly changing global market. (CNW Group/Info-Tech Research Group)

Real-time transportation visibility systems can streamline operations by providing continuous monitoring and updates on shipments, as well as considerably reducing costs associated with delays and miscommunications. By integrating these technologies, organizations can exceed customer expectations, ensuring prompt and reliable service delivery. This proactive approach is crucial for maintaining a competitive edge in the fast-paced logistics industry.

“The more sophisticated visibility systems combine data from all sources, both internal and external, spanning the whole supply chain service region,” explains Tucker. “This includes data about people, processes, technology, and environmental factors like weather, road conditions, and other factors that could affect product delivery services. These solutions also make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide precise forecasts and recommended fixes.”

Info-Tech’s blueprint highlights the transformative impact these technologies have on logistics operations. By leveraging comprehensive data analytics and real-time tracking, logistics organizations can optimize routing, reduce delays, and enhance overall supply chain efficiency. This level of sophistication in visibility systems not only mitigates risk but also adapts to dynamic market conditions, ensuring logistics operations are both resilient and responsive to unforeseen challenges.

Six Criteria For Supply Chain Visibility Systems 

Here are the six criteria that logistics organizations must consider when selecting and implementing a supply chain visibility system, courtesy of Info-Tech:

1.  Internal Data Integrations: Ensure the system integrates seamlessly with:

  • WMS – Warehouse Management System
  • YMS – Yard Management System
  • IMS – Inventory Management System
  • TMS – Transportation Management System
  • ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning System
Supply Chain
(Image: Adobe Stock / AI by Bernice)

2.  Account for External Conditions: The visibility system will need to incorporate data on external factors affecting logistics, like:

  • Road Conditions
  • Weather
  • Traffic

3.  External Data Handling: Manage data interactions with external parties effectively, including:

  • Third-Party and Fourth-Party Logistics
  • Customers, Suppliers, and Partners
  • Contractors, Depots, and Agencies

4.  Real-Time Decision-Making: Key processes to enhance with real-time data, such as:

  • Route Planning
  • Driver Communication
  • Expense Management
  • Proof of Delivery
  • Load Status
  • Data Management

5.  System Selection: Choose a visibility system that aligns with organizational goals and integrates well with existing tools. Example visibility systems include:

  • Project 44
  • FourKites
  • BLUME Global
  • Transporeon
  • TMS First
  • MacroPoint

6.  Cybersecurity Measures: Implement robust cybersecurity solutions to protect data integrity and privacy.

Read more about business resilience and continuity at Continuity Insights.

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