Shippers need vital data from throughout the supply chain in one, easily accessible place, says Tim Story, president and co-founder of Third Axiom Solutions.
In the foreseeable future, Story says, “I think it's just one challenge after another after another after another. And our industry has to be prepared to deal with the disruptions and the chaos.”
That means companies have to plan in a world of unpredictability. “The best way for me to do that is to have a very good handle on my whole transportation network, whether I'm a shipper, a 3PL or a manufacturer, and we think the best way to do that is to have really deep insights into your data.”
Data prioritization is important, but getting a “central spot” for all of the data is even more so, he says. “It's not uncommon for our third-party providers to have multiple transportation software systems. For them to get a whole view of their transportation network is difficult because it's in separate systems.” That leads to disconnected silos in truckload, LTL, ocean, intermodal and on and on, he says. “Anybody who can put all of that information together can give themselves more insights into their networks, both things that are happening now and things that are not happening.”
There is a need for a platform that can integrate various transportation management systems so companies don’t have to hire a data scientist and or construct large databases, Story says. Such a platform would allow transportation executives to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning, technologies that he maintains most transportation management system providers don’t have. As he sees it, transportation professionals, be they shippers, manufacturers, third-party logistics companies or the end user receiving the goods, need such a platform.
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