Technology Can Supercharge Your Supply Chain, Here’s Where to Start
Q: What are the most important technology trends in the supply chain?
A: With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting global supply chains, real-time product and shipment visibility has become paramount to disruption planning and customer expectations. According to the most recent Gartner study, "By 2023, 50% of enterprises will have invested in a real-time transportation visibility platform."
Unfortunately, the majority of these platforms will be utilizing last-generation technologies that solely rely on partner carriers’ data. And while a shipment status of "in transit" is better than nothing, detailed real-time information is always preferred.
Let’s face it, in today’s customer-centric environment, it’s not sufficient to simply let your customer know their product has shipped. Customers demand more, and not the generic statuses of the past, but rather, real-time shipment visibility.
Q: How can shippers gain this level of shipment intimacy?
A: It is not achieved through any singular technology, but instead through a comprehensive mix of metadata and input sources including vendor APIs, GPS, ELD, cellular, and RFID to name just a few. The most advanced systems, like MGN Logistics’ Tracking and Tracing module, combine machine learning and artificial intelligence, along with travel and weather advisory data, to supercharge the customer’s peripheral experience, providing near seamless transparency. This experience can be further customized to the customer’s desired level of automated notifications and alerts.
Q: What other technology trends should shippers be aware of?
A: The trifecta integration of traditional business intelligence, transportation data, and traditional KPIs is another important trend. Most enterprises have data silos in operations, customer service, accounting, and transportation; therefore, they struggle with mining this valuable information. The bigger the enterprise, the greater the challenge in viewing this data organizationally.
Often decisions that improve performance in one department, negatively impact another and therefore, the enterprise in its entirety. However, with the introduction of artificial intelligence in today’s most advanced TMS platforms, once nearly impossible calculations are being easily solved, providing insights not previously obtainable.
The complex data integration between business intelligence, freight data, and traditional KPIs creates sophisticated visualization reporting tools that provide easily translated actionable data. This inevitable trend of utilizing artificial intelligence in the supply chain has already started to pay forward.
Advanced TMS platforms such as MGN Logistics are heavily investing in this next-generation technology with substantial current market applications. The complex crossroads between departmental silos and actionable organizational data have been simplified. Sophisticated visualization tools with real-time data have begun to replace static KPI charts. Metrics that often seemed to contradict, now make sense as complex algorithms are being rapidly calculated in the background to provide the best organizational outcomes possible. The future of logistics is here today.