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Companies often fall victim to thinking that they can have a greater measure of control over international shipments than is really feasible today. While it is possible to achieve a measure of performance improvement through service level agreements and "strong-arming" carriers and suppliers, there are limits to this strategy. Weather events, customs delays, and bottlenecks at logistics hubs make unforeseen delays inevitable. Best-in-class companies recognize this reality, and have adopted a strategy of agility and responsiveness in order to still meet their supply chain goals. The cornerstone of the agile supply chain is visibility--both of inventory in transit, as well as the market events which will impact the on-time delivery of that inventory. When these two pieces of information are visible on the same platform, then unexpected events can be rapidly assessed and resolution plans can be quickly developed and implemented.
-Ian Hobkirk, senior analyst, Supply Chain Execution, AberdeenGroup
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