The ocean shipping industry has traditionally used EDI for shipment tendering, booking and milestone tracking. A new solution has emerged that leverages near real time vessel tracking data to improve shipment planning and tracking.
These days, sourcing has become a common discipline in supply chain and transportation management. There is an organizational expectation that transportation modes will be sourced and cost will be taken out of the network with some regularity. However, meeting these expectations while maintaining service year-over-year has become more challenging.
Warehouses and distribution centers are undergoing a quiet revolution in the adoption of advanced technologies. The warehouse is on the trajectory to implement many of the capabilities sought in the vision of the Industrial Internet of Things.
The transparent supply chain solution called the Control Tower acts as the supply chain nerve center, utilizing technology, organization and processes that capture product movement visibility from the supplier all the way to the customer.
One of the biggest opportunities to dramatically improve supply chain performance occurs when traditional supply chain functions are decomposed and reinvented as integrated business processes. Few supply chain practitioners would dispute that notion. However, when it comes to their technology strategy, too many practitioners fall back into deploying the TMS, WMS, route planning, mobile and other technological silos developed in the 1990s that don't ultimately support their vision.
At the heart of everything omnichannel is inventory. The customer needs to be able to get the merchandise they want, when they want it, and through their channel of choice. There has to be inventory visibility across channels, so stores, warehouses and distribution centers can see real-time inventory levels as part of the order fulfillment process. And finally, in order to actually fulfill orders in a timely and efficient manner, inventory needs to be shared across channels.
There's a glaring gap in today's omnichannel world. Or perhaps it's best described as a blind spot. In either case, as manufacturers, retailers and 3PLs invest millions of dollars to provide a truly seamless, fully integrated buying experience, many continue to overlook the significant costs and complexities of the "final mile" between DC and the consumer's front porch.