Oceania is made up of Australia and its nearby islands, along with three island regions: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Countries in Oceania besides Australia include American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. As an island nation, Australia in particular is heavily reliant on imports and exports. Efficient freight movement is critical to the success of the economy, whether shipping in urban environments or from rural areas. With the freight market projected to increase by 35% between 2018 and 2040, it’s important that businesses be agile as well as efficient. Supply chains need to be able to respond more quickly to customer demand, with the ability to deliver the right products to the right place at the right time.
In response, Australia’s Freight Strategy and Infrastructure Council have published an action plan. It calls for the building of key freight corridors and assets, such as port rail shuttles, roadways, and intermodal terminals. It also involves creation of connecting infrastructure for remote regions to major gateways, including the building of inland rail. A 2024 goal is to create a digital infrastructure and communication services to support and improve supply chains, including better mobile coverage along major freight lines.
Another strategy is to improve supply-chain efficiencies and decrease costs with the help of skilled labor and innovative technologies. With digitalization comes visibility into what’s happening across supply chains; the linking of all players, including material suppliers, logistics providers, contractors and project owners; and collaboration among the connected ecosystem for greater efficiencies and productivity.
Using a collaborative network for digitization to connect all players in the supply chain improves the sharing of data and collaboration on projects, so that everyone is on the same page. If a change order is made or shipment changed, all involved in the project will know. Transactions are executed and information collected over the collaborative network, to deliver insights with a speed and accuracy that fuels success.
A digital collaborative network allows disparate systems to communicate with one another, removing silos from supply chains to enable visibility from end-to-end. If a bottleneck occurs because of a material shortage, managers can quickly see where other inventory lies, and place an order. They can be alerted if a shipment is going to be late due to roadwork or other type of diversion, and can determine what to do so that labor isn’t just sitting around.
Paper-based processes need to be eliminated within supply chains. They cause inefficiencies, require extra labor, decrease productivity, and can lead to injury if the truck driver has to get out of his truck when on a busy construction site to manually drop off tickets or other paperwork. By digitizing these processes, administrative errors are decreased, decisions can be made faster, and greater efficiencies result that improve bottom-line numbers.
More and more businesses are finding that a collaborative networked environment will help them to better address the issues of supply chains in Oceania. As additional companies connect to the network, businesses are able to rely on networked-based business intelligence, optimization, and analytics to drive more value through their supply chains. Everyone operates off the same data — a single version of the truth — which helps to create efficiencies that lead to bottom-line profitability.
Jason Pulliam is sales manager at Command Alkon.
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