January 2015 | Sponsored | Knowledge Base

Leverage Data to Navigate Uncertain Times

Tags: 3PL, Supply Chain Management, Lean, Logistics

Laura Easley is Chief Operating Officer, Transportation Insight, 877-226-9950

If you're tracking the Producer Price Index, consumer spending surveys and driver shortage statistics, you know that the economy and the global supply chain are becoming more and more complicated. Increasing volatility in operating costs, capacity, consumer demands, technology evolution and government regulations are producing a blinding effect on many shippers. To restore insight and understanding, there has been a surge in North American companies seeking a fresh perspective on their investments, infrastructure and, in particular, their supply chains. From the board room to the shipping docks, companies are seeking data for understanding, and strategic enterprise partners are providing the needed information to them through logistics. Here are some examples of what the market is saying:

  • Financial executives are reporting their logistics-related costs are rising an average of 10 percent.
  • Operations executives say that their gains are limited by external factors, as they try to improve internal productivity. Supply chain networks are becoming increasingly complex, and serving the customer is becoming more challenging.
  • Logistics managers are having difficulty finding trucks on a reliable basis to cover all of their loads as the driver shortage, more stringent hours of service (HOS) rules and the expanding economy are tightening capacity. Managers are calling more carriers for spot quotes and breaking truckload shipments into less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments just to get product out the door. They do not always have time or the option to ensure they're getting the best rates.
  • Companies collect data, but need the expertise, time and technology to transform that data into useful business intelligence.
  • Research shows more businesses are partnering with third-party logistics (3PL) providers to secure enterprise data through financial and operational technology solutions, providing a basis for more advanced business insight. Whether in growth or survival mode, companies must carefully navigate the changing marketplace to deliver on their customer promises, stay ahead of their competition, accurately measure past performance and properly prepare for the future. More companies are seeking a 3PL partner which understands their business and does the following:

  • Drives much deeper into transportation data to find the root cause of logistics-related cost increases.
  • Possesses an excellent reputation among an expansive carrier network to deliver the reliable, on-time capacity that companies require to meet customer demand now and in the future.
  • Brings the expertise to leverage cutting-edge Supply Chain Analytics tools and a LEAN continuous improvement mindset to generate a network model that efficiently blends new and existing production and distribution networks.
  • Helps companies determine when and where they should consider a shift in production or distribution locations to accommodate additions or subtractions in manufacturing and transportation costs, as well as customer delivery demands.
  • Integrates deep data analysis with the creation of a Value Stream Map of the extended supply chain to identify, loosen and in some cases remove the pinch points in a company's supply chain.
  • Provides a Big Data solution that integrates supply chain data with any number of other data sources critical to a company's operation.
  • Works under a consultative business model that leaves decision-making control in the client's hands. Clients are able to maintain their supplier, carrier and customer relationships in the manner that is best for their business.

Transportation Insight, consultative in its approach, is an Enterprise Logistics Provider that drives enterprise value through insight. The 3PL/4PL blends its Extended LEAN® methodology of supply chain continuous improvement with Co-managed Logistics® solutions to help companies of all sizes reduce logistics-related costs, alleviate capacity constraints, improve customer satisfaction and accurately measure and analyze results. To support its industry-leading service offering, Transportation Insight also delivers next-level Supply Chain Analytics and interactive business intelligence through Insight Fusion®, its proprietary cloud-based Big Data application. This unsurpassed suite of services, along with deep expertise and unmatched flexibility, helps Transportation Insight's clients leave one less thing to the unknown—the supply chain.

Transportation Insight delivers LEAN Enterprise Logistics solutions to North American manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Laura Easley is Transportation Insight's Chief Operating Officer. Easley has over 25 years of industry experience blending her operational logistics expertise with the facilitation of complex, value-added solutions for clients with the goal of achieving enterprise excellence.