October 2016 | Commentary | IT Matters

To Boost Shipment Productivity, Look to the Cloud

Tags: Logistics I.T., Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Cloud Computing, Supply Chain

Robert Clesi is Vice President, Marketing and Partners, Precision Software, 312-239-1630

Deploying a cloud-based shipment execution system promotes a healthier ecosystem within the company, reduces costs, and pays big dividends via customer satisfaction.

When corporate enterprises grow and evolve, their internal departments can develop a silo mentality and become more protective of their information. Because of these informational turf wars, the organization becomes disjointed and less effective. To instill discipline, improve productivity, and create a unified vision shared by everyone in the organization, look to the cloud.

Streamlining Supply Chains

A cloud shipment execution system can give long-distance trading partners visibility into the location of their shipments while en route, and send alerts when milestones are met or if shipments are delayed.

A supply chain portal provides everything suppliers need for shipment processing, including the ability to enter advance shipping notices electronically, and print barcode labels. In addition, the system can proactively track and trace a package or shipment from origin to destination and alert the shipper if it is going to be late.

Intelligent shipment execution systems can provide additional cost savings and efficiency benefits by automating label and manifest printing and, most importantly, by determining the optimal carrier for moving product from the manufacturer to the customer.

Eighty-two percent of companies that moved critical applications to the cloud reported lower costs, according to a Computer Sciences Corp. cloud usage whitepaper. IBM reports that cloud adopters showed twice the revenue growth and 2.5 times the profit growth of non-adopters.

It also is not unusual for a large organization with multiple office locations to send hundreds or thousands of shipments each day. A savings of just pennies per shipment results in a rapid return on investment. And a database of all capable, qualified carriers makes selecting a vendor for a one-off shipment easy and intuitive, regardless of the shipping criteria.

Additional rate shopping capabilities gained through access to a larger network of carriers help increase service offerings and reduce costs. The complexities of shipping products globally include regulations, documentation reporting, and compliance issues that a shipment execution system can help simplify.

When companies deploy an intelligent cloud-based shipment execution system, they can reduce shipping costs by 5 to 25 percent in the first year.

Vendor relationships and customer satisfaction invariably improve as well. Industrial customers—much like retail customers—want to know as much as possible about the status of an ordered product: Where is it? When will it arrive? Who is the carrier?

Breaking Down Silos

Dealing with carriers holistically, instead of relying on multiple agreements, leverages the organization's buying power, frees individuals from duplicating each other's efforts, and makes that information available to anyone in the organization.

When you consider that it also helps foster a positive partnership mentality with the carriers, saves money for the organization, and results in greater customer satisfaction, it's not just a win-win end game scenario, it's a win-win-win for the shipper, the carrier, and the end customer.






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