April 2012 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

Maximizing Global Logistics Management Effectiveness

Tags: Logistics I.T.

Chris Johnson is Vice President of Research & Development, LeanLogistics, 877-828-5861

Q: What are the biggest challenges shippers face with globalization in today's market?

A: Many shippers face the challenge of orchestrating an end-to-end process and managing interplay with third parties, such as customers, suppliers, ocean carriers, freight forwarders, customs brokers, and government agencies. Doing so effectively is difficult, regardless of whether the shipper is importing or exporting internationally.

Next, international freight management is still largely dominated by manual processes and point solutions. That is changing quickly, but many companies looking for technology solutions are met with a very short list of providers offering the robust functionality needed to manage all the moving parts and pieces of global logistics on one platform. Furthermore, since many supply chain organizations are not fully integrated—separate groups and often separate systems manage domestic and global logistics—it is even more crucial to have visibility and connectivity with supply chain partners.

Lastly, as if dealing with international laws and regulations—and multiple languages, currencies, and units of measure—is not difficult enough, supply chain security and compliance programs such as the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism place even more burdens on global shippers.

Q: How can shippers use technology to help support their companies' global initiatives?

A: To support global initiatives, shippers can leverage a Software-as-a-Service transportation management system with global functionality. These tools provide multi-modal planning, execution, trade compliance, carrier connectivity, financial reconciliation, and reporting features to effectively manage global transportation. This innovative global logistics technology enables companies to successfully manage all modes of transportation under a common umbrella while providing complete visibility. This technology also enables direct communication between shippers and carriers.

Q: How can companies impact their bottom line while efficiently managing global transportation?

A: By utilizing global logistics management technology, companies can directly impact the bottom line. Automated communications, processes, and workflow between supply chain partners allow companies to improve efficiencies while gaining visibility into freight payment and discrepancies before they impact the company's finances. Furthermore, embedded trade compliance tools reduce the burden of ensuring regulatory compliance.

By leveraging technology to manage global logistics, companies can understand true costs and lead times to make better sourcing decisions for importers while also being able to monitor and manage carrier performance.

Finally, many international companies have carbon emission directives that make a significant impact on their organization. When businesses fail to meet or cannot document these standards, it affects everything from market perceptions to bottom lines. With enhanced emissions reporting and analytics, technology tools give companies greater insight into making better decisions for their company as well as the environment.