More than two years of jarring supply chain disruption have proven the business case for end-to-end, real-time shipment visibility. But the horizon keeps moving, and while actionable data and visibility are critical, they’re only just a good beginning.
Shippers and third-party logistics providers have picked much of the low-hanging fruit in responding to congestion, supply uncertainty and misaligned capacity and demand. Getting there has been a defensive game of crisis-driven solutions improvised on the fly. Now comes the even harder part: identifying and delivering small operational, business and organizational efficiency gains which shave minutes and small dollar amounts that otherwise add up over time to serious money left on the table. This data-driven “game of inches,” optimizing people, processes and assets at each step in the supply chain, is key to long-term, sustained cost and performance advantage.
In an increasingly omnichannel, continuous flow, time-critical environment, modular cloud-based platform solutions integrated with conventional transportation, warehouse, inventory or order management systems are optimizing — and automating — everything from pick and pack travel time, to cartonization that minimize and lowers freight charges, to container and truck loading, route and scenario planning that maximize utilization, to workflow sequencing that reduces error rates and employee churn.
The logical focus is in the final mile, where the largest share of logistics cost, complexity, customer expectation and environmental impact reside. Changes extend beyond physical operations, requiring thoughtful planning, a full reassessment of the business’s current state and future objectives, and top-down buy-in across the organization.
The process can appear daunting, especially to the small and mid-sized players who need it most. Well-rounded third-party expertise in logistics, technology and management can help fill in the knowledge gaps. Beyond that, the potential rewards of future resilience and growth stem from a common set of questions, that begin with “What if…?”
Please CLICK HERE to download the white paper.
Timely, incisive articles delivered directly to your inbox.