It is well known for any cargo owner or freight forwarding company who need a helicopter view of the supply chain information and flow, understanding the available data and running scenarios on possible benefits from their data, is key for supply chain optimization, continuous improvement and innovation.
In fact, having blind spots can result in high unexpected costs for the company in terms of demurrage costs. But when thinking about the presence of data and how to make it more complete or less costly, there are a few issues that should be taken into account: (1) access to the key data from all my logistic service providers; (2) how much effort it is required to gather manual data on websites and emails to fill gaps in the data; (3) how much costs involve creating and maintaining EDI or API connections; (4) how to make information available to different partners in order to derive true collaborative efficiencies.
These topics are analyzed in depth by Tradelens, a platform that enables cargo owners or freight forwarders to build their business on true end-to-end visibility, simplifying the connection and information exchange between their main partners.
Having data to monitor the supply chain is key to any type of operation
The main inputs and contributions are:
How to get access to the key data from all the logistic service providers?
- Mapping out all your logistics providers and what milestones and documents are critical as an initial step.
- Creating trusted insights when structuring supply chain data is a strategic requirement to make better and more proactive decisions.
How much effort it is required to gather manual data on websites and emails to fill gaps in the data?
- Combining data from different parties has always been a challenge.
- If all data is not available and maintained via automatic connections, there is a high level of manual work required to ensure data completeness.
- Visiting websites, receiving emails or evaluating separate reports on excel is an additional source of cost and inefficiencies. It should be automated as soon as possible.
How much costs involve creating and maintaining EDI or API connections?
- This process becomes even more problematic when considering that each provider may have different types of information to share, an uneven level of technical capability, and use different formats to provide the desired files and data.
- Allocating resources internally or hiring third parties to manage IT connections have a cost.
- When direct connections are not available, manual input that requires hours of work or other types of reports that must be incorporated to the main system are a common alternative
How to make information available to different partners in order to derive true collaborative efficiencies?
- In a journey that includes multiple modalities of transport and services provided by different entities the coordination and timeliness between them is key. But we should remind that having access to all the data is only the first step.
Supply chain data is not only a source of information for day-to-day decision-making and visibility, but a strategic tool for improving the bottom line through increased profitability and reduced costs and elevating the end-customer service level.
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