Overseeing transportation operations has become increasingly challenging over the years given growing customer demands and driver shortages. This continues despite the promise of driverless vehicles as potential solutions – an invention that is yet to be fully realized commercially.
However, there are exciting innovations on the horizon that transportation managers can resort to while waiting for new technologies to hit the market. These are solutions that can help deliver on short-term return on investment by assisting in dealing with process inefficiencies and data siloes.
Here are three innovations Jim Monkmeyer, President of DHL Supply Chain, has advised to consider as they will continue providing value in the meantime:
Unified Platforms For Full Operational Visibility
The current competitive marketplace has made it mandatory for freight in transit to always have visibility. The problem with this is that the visibility given by current transportation management systems (TMS) has been limited to the carrier data available through the TMS. This results in blind spots in the supply chain and complicates the process of gathering and analyzing data for performance and cost optimization.
This limitation is being addressed through the new generation of TMS by gathering data from carriers together with data from WMS, order management, other TMS and ERP systems. Doing this and integrating data across the supply chain allows these platforms to provide a unified view of transportation-related activities that deliver full operational visibility.
Having access to near real-time data from all systems and carriers enables managers to quickly resolve any freight issues that may arise, even before consumers notice. Managers are also able to evaluate vendor performances, understand & act on opportunities, and implement predictive forecasting all through big data analytics they obtain easily from a single platform.
Realize ROI Through
- Time saved calling and emailing to resolve issues
- Enhanced use of analytics by consolidating all relevant data in a single platform
- Lower costs without compromising performance
- Stronger customer relationships
Big Data and Machine Learning to Mitigate Risk
Unfortunately, unforeseen events such as political instability, climate events, strikes and numerous other uncontrollable factors can create uncertainty in transportation which then leads to expensive delays and lost or damaged shipment. The good news is that through risk management platforms that combine big data and machine learning, supply chain managers are able to predict disruptions before they actually occur while simplifying regulatory compliance across the supply chain too.
A risk mitigation platform can provide a multi-faceted view of suppliers and logistical locations, products, parts, “value at risk” and other attributes and at the same time be able to capture the logic of specific network interdependencies. Visualization capabilities show the status of a supply chain in an intuitive manner through an interactive world map. For example, if the supply chain involves ocean transport, it provides visibility of relevant vessel movements and predicts when shipments will arrive at the destination port.
A complete and all-inclusive view of interdependencies reveals exposure and vulnerability in more than 20 risk categories. Data from different sources validated by humans and machine learning allows a risk mitigation platform to give cost/benefits analysis related to risk. It also identifies hotspots and recommends appropriate mitigations and alternatives.
Realize ROI Through
- Avoiding potential supply chain disruptions before they occur
- Focusing compliance, audit and risk management activities on the most relevant suppliers
- Preventing reputation damage by addressing emerging issues quickly
- Identifying supplier non-compliance with financial, safety, labour and environmental regulations
Find Capacity Fast Through an E-Marketplace
The sharing economy is bringing chaos to numerous industries that range from hospitality to transportation. By providing a platform where those who need a service can connect with those who have the resources and capacity to provide that service, e-marketplaces can lower costs for users and be able to increase asset utilization for providers.
Such a solution is perfect for freight brokerage as it streamlines the process of finding and securing a carrier in a major way. It also on the other hand offers a convenient tool to infrequent or low-volume shippers that helps them quickly secure the capacity they require without upfront investment in a delicate TMS system.
The main benefit of an e-marketplace is found in the use of software that’s able to deliver a simple and intuitive experience to shippers and carriers. By taking advantage of the global scale of smartphone users, digital freight brokerage platforms permit real-time data flow and communication between shippers and carriers, providing seamless matching of loads with available capacity.
Realize ROI Through
- Quickly aligning capacity with freight needs in a constricted market
- Reducing need for phone calls and tedious credit checking to get brokered freight
- Allowing insight into all available options to ensure cost competitiveness
Do you know the Top 8 Crucial Benefits Of Using A Transportation Management Provider?