The digitization of today’s world calls for an ever-increasing number of changes to the way that business is handled on a daily basis. Today’s consumers have every type of information at their fingertips with just a Google search away. As this trend continues to grow, so does the consumer’s need for increased visibility and information.
The supply-chain industry is no different. The value of visibility and data has helped to strengthen the industry and provide readily available information to all stakeholders. Today’s consumers and manufacturers are utilizing this information to their advantage by employing data throughout the supply chain, developing better business practices and understanding where improvements can be made to the process.
As with other sectors, the supply-chain industry has developed numerous ways to increase visibility and, in turn, boost productivity and effectiveness within individual companies. In particular, the implementation of transportation management system (TMS) software enables companies to better manage the movement of their goods from one location to another. Once this process begins, the TMS can afford companies visibility over their entire supply chains, and allow for clearer detection of where goods are currently located. Stakeholders can use the data to oversee broader trends within the supply chain, develop better techniques for managing suppliers and transportation providers, and reduce overall logistics spend. The proper use of a TMS allows for the enhancement of key business functions. Supply-chain teams can closely monitor spend and become more proactive in managing it.
Yet another benefit of better supply-chain visibility is risk reduction throughout the company. Visibility decreases the likelihood that something will go wrong within the supply chain, and helps to identify points of failure when they occur.
Due to the nature of business today, customers are demanding shorter lead and transit times. To meet those requirements, companies need a smoother and more reliable flow of data. Information retrieved through a TMS can result in better forecasts, and keep teams ahead of the curve by identifying potential shortages. What’s more, supply-chain visibility provided through a TMS enables companies to meet constantly changing regulatory demands. As more and more organizations push toward globalization, visibility provides a heightened awareness of the risks involving in taking various actions throughout the supply chain.
At a time when technology is continuing to broaden its impact on global business, better visibility over transportation and logistics is decreasing the margin of error, and increasing preparedness for all involved in the supply chain.
Garrett Applegate is a logistics team leader at Allyn International.
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