There are things the freight shipping industry desperately needs for to improve the supply chain. At the top of that list is a way to increase supply chain visibility. Shipping data and big data analytics have proven themselves an asset in providing this visibility to supply chain management.
Control tower visibility is one of the most important capabilities for freight shipping companies, but it isn’t a common piece of many supply chain management strategies, yet. Too many freight shippers still haven’t adopted shipping technology or shipping software capable of shipping data analytics. The failure to utilize freight shipping analytics is having a horrible impact on supply chains all throughout the industry.
The goals of supply chain management have changed recently, however. Freight supply chains’ number one objective is no longer on saving money shipping. Instead, meeting customer demands and improving the customer experience is the main purpose. Regardless of freight shipping supply chain goals, big data and shipping analytics provide several benefits. Freight shipping companies can better manage risk, increase frequency of on-time and correct orders, improve supply chain flexibility, improve customer satisfaction, and finally maximize profits with better visibility.
Supply chains are more consumer focused, which means current freight shipper customer expectations are more important. It’s not only freight shippers who want visibility, consumers expect the ability to track their orders immediately after they’re placed. Consumers are used to getting updated every step of the way. From inventory, to shipment from the warehouse, to delivery confirmation, customers expect information like that which companies like Amazon provide. Freight shipping supply chains should have greater visibility than the customer.
There are plenty of places in freight shipping supply chains that big data can help to optimize efficiency in business processes, but industry professionals have barely put a dent in their attempts to increase visibility into operations to the level they want. Supply chains have used shipping technology and shipping software to measure quantifiable key performance indicators (KPIs) for a long time. The freight industry has only recently begun to incorporate big data analytics to understand their operations, however.
Newer analytic shipping technology searches through massive amounts of shipping data to locate patterns, correlations, and customer desires that are otherwise impossible to see. There were limitations to shipping data analytics in the past, but shipping software is more capable now. More freight shipping data can be analyzed in more ways to provide useful KPIs.
The purpose of freight shipping software and technology is to look through massive quantities of data, much faster than a human could. It is able to take raw numbers and relate different data points and processes to analyze performance and efficiency to find weak points in the supply chain. Through various analyses, it can provide total visibility of shipping operations.
The data can look at freight shipping performance in operations from order entry to delivery and see how data points interact. This allows freight shippers to look at efficiency in distribution networks and locate the causes for delays. Supply chains can use the shipping technology to analyze and optimize larger issues with entire systems down to minute details with individual orders to fix any problems with the supply chain.
Freight shipping companies are starting to target consumer demands over supply chain savings. They need to work on creating a consistently fast, on-time, supply chain process offering accurate deliveries with less costs for consumers. The risk of not meeting on-time delivery is decreased customer satisfaction, and an inability to retain customers.
Without proactively using shipping data to locate issues, they may not become apparent until customer satisfaction falls, and business declines. Supply chain management would then be sent into a panic trying to find out if the problem is internal or external, or if it’s handling, production, delivery, or even how many people it affected.
In the end, freight shipping data and analytics provide the necessary visibility for supply chains to attend to consumer needs. Inefficiencies can be discovered and steps can be taken to correct them, and the data can be viewed in real-time to ensure problems don’t continue to damage operations for extend periods of time. A more proactive approach to supply chain management will ensure freight shipping processes continue to work efficiently to keep consumers coming back.