Author

Wrote

  • Ongoing global disruption has pushed the supply chain industry into a phase of unparalleled transformation. Everything from the present pandemic, rapidly changing supply-demand dynamics, and technological advancements have accelerated radical change.  Supply chain resilience has become increasingly valued as organisations look to prepare themselves to face the unexpected. Today, we are looking at building supply chains that don’t merely survive disruptions but have the capacity to flourish amid the chaos.  As your organisation navigates through 2020 and prepares for the future, here are some trends that will continue to dominate supply chain management in the years ahead: No slowing down for technology   Companies today are leveraging technology more than ever and will continue to do so in the future. The recent spike in demand for integrated solutions that automate operations, increase efficiency and profitability, has shone a spotlight on the need for businesses to turn to technology to help them ride through a crisis.   While fortifying your supply chain resilience, be mindful of the fact that the digital-first mindset is here to stay. The future is cloud-based, automated solutions, whose innovations in machine learning, internet of things and artificial intelligence are rapidly reforming supply chain management. By adopting these technologies you will not only be able to capture weaknesses in your system but also reveal hidden opportunities in your business model. The big data buzz We are living in the big data era where supply chain management is data-driven and automated analytics demand the attention of supply chain professionals. To stay relevant in the market, ensure that you gather business intelligence by processing the data that your supply chains generate regularly and leveraging the insights gained.  Unlike before, the availability of advanced algorithms has not only simplified the complexity of data science but has made converting data into actionable insights...
  • With tightening capacity and ever-soaring rates in the face of COVID-19, managing logistics and shipping goods has become a turbulent experience. Investing in the right TMS can streamline your operations and boost business.  However, with so many options to choose from, how do you identify the TMS best-suited for your organisation and your budget?  What does a TMS do? A good TMS should simplify your shipping process by helping you plan, coordinate and track your shipments. It should also be designed to process data and generate insights that can assist you when making decisions. An efficient TMS should automate your freight management, improve your communication with vendors, save time and help you reduce costs.  Key factors to consider when buying a TMS The true cost of the system Be aware of companies offering you a low-cost solution as chances are further hidden charges lay in wait. Choose a system that caters to your business needs without having to rush to vendor’s support services or costly code changes every other day.  A low-cost system may appear attractive at the time of purchase, but over time, you may find your money going towards maintaining the system- instead of your bottom line.  Easy integration with existing systems A TMS is only as good as its functionality. Make sure that the TMS you choose is designed for easy integration with your existing systems and quick onboarding. A mistake here can affect you for the life of the system you select.  Scalability Ensure your chosen TMS is able to handle the depth of your existing requirements both in your jurisdiction and throughout your organisation.  Server-based systems are best avoided as these quickly become outdated. It is instead recommended to opt for a cloud-based solution as these will allow you to more easily upgrade your system...
  • The larger, more complex and interdependent an industry grows, greater the scope for errors to occur. Certainly, the rapidly growing and highly intricate supply chain industry is no exception.  When it comes to supply chains, be it a small error or a missed opportunity, mistakes can and do often cost a lot of money. They can not only leave businesses scrambling with reduced efficiency but directly affect your company’s profitability.  Luckily, most of these mistakes can be taken care of if only supply chain leaders are mindful of the red flags along the way and find long-term solutions to the problems.  Here are some of the most common mistakes supply chain professionals tend to make: Failure to break free from obsolete ways: While you might have got comfortable with the age-old way of creating inquiries manually and negotiating freight rates even without realising that it’s hurting your business, it’s high time you evolve. If your organisation is yet to adopt automated solutions and digitise supply chains, you are already at a major disadvantage.  Relying on the traditional system stifles the growth of your company as you unknowingly end up using resources where they aren’t needed. Managing your supply chain manually is not only labour intensive, time-consuming and tedious but affects your profits.  The easiest way to deal with this mistake is to deploy a supply chain software that can automate your business processes and save a great deal of time, energy and money.  Poor relationship with customers and vendors Your business is bound to suffer if you fail to create and maintain a good relationship on both ends of your supply chain network. Develop a system that will constantly listen to your customers and cater to their requirements. Remember that effective communication, concrete understanding of customer needs and timely management...
  • With cost-saving strategies more important than ever, companies around the world are facing a situation where faltering contracts and a widening gap between container demand and supply is forcing them to turn to the spot market to fulfil shipment orders.   For organisations with hundreds of shipments per month, suddenly having to manually create, compare and negotiate each and every rate to ensure they have secured the best deal is straining many beyond breaking point.  To ensure the best deals, your vendors need to be engaged in a series of negotiations to shrink their rates. For many, however, relying on the traditional system of negotiation is simply no longer an option.    Automate to win, with GoComet’s spot RFQ software  Quickly and easily strengthen your supply chain resilience through GoComet’s automated spot RFQ software. Deploying the power of our unique Recursive Rate Reduction system, you can ensure that you receive the very best rates from your vendors, every time, by automating freight negotiations and driving double-digit savings and efficiencies. Create and share inquiries with all of your logistics service providers in seconds and then sit back and relax, as our automated software takes care of the rest. Every time your vendors submit their quotes, the module instantly calculates the net landed costs of their quotation and reveals their rank as compared to their competitors. Crucially, however, the identity and price of their competing vendors remain concealed.  As your vendors battle to secure the coveted first rank to increase their chance of winning business, with each bid, your rates are squeezed lower and lower.  Low-touch, but high-tech GoComet is the most user-friendly logistics resource management software available in the market today. Whether combined with your existing ERP or as a stand-alone platform, our team will have this up and running for you in...
  • The COVID-19 menace has become a catalyst for organizations across the world to revisit their supply chain networks, examine its vulnerabilities and build resilience.  As your business gears up for the world beyond coronavirus, you might be facing questions such as how to emerge stronger from this crisis? How to maintain business stability in the post-COVID world? Is it possible to gain a competitive advantage while recovering from the setback?  If you focus on the right strategies that fortify your business for today and tomorrow winning this battle is not too far-fetched.    Here are six key takeaways that will help you navigate better in the world beyond the pandemic: Time for proactive crisis management The present crisis is a stark reminder that we need proactive and not reactive crisis management. A proactive approach stands on a well-planned and collaborative ground where teams are in a better position to handle disruptions.  Readiness to respond to disruptions cannot be achieved overnight and requires a flexible ecosystem. Adopting a proactive approach means diversifying sources, having a system that facilitates remote working, fully understand one’s supply chain network and having thorough visibility on operations. Undoubtedly, the post-COVID world will leave behind those with limited appetite for flexibility and diversification.  Supply chain visibility matters the most  Your immediate response to the pandemic should be focusing on improving visibility over your supply chains and extended networks. Companies that have visibility across their supply network have responded well to the crisis by making specific decisions. They are in the position to sense, respond and even predict how their supply chains will react to disruptions.   Without supply chain visibility, it is impossible to understand and assess the impact of disruptions. It is as simple as this, you cannot prevent or manage a problem without knowing where it lies.  There...
  • Spiraling freight rates have left businesses around the world scrambling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, piling yet more pressure on already stretched global supply chains.  At the core of this problem: shrinking cargo space.   Here’s what has led to a decrease in cargo capacity and how it is impacting freight rates. Airplanes grounded, but rates flying high Air freight rates are reaching abnormal highs as 90% of the airlines have grounded their planes amid lockdowns in various parts of the world. There are limited spots available on cargo planes and as manufacturing units in China are slowly recovering, shippers are striving to book them.  Generally, over half of the world’s air freight moves in the belly of passenger planes. The present situation, however, has forced shippers to turn to cargo planes. A recent report by Business Standard stated that China’s air cargo capacity has gone down by 39% relative to last year because of the cuts to passenger flights.   Blank sailings have opened the door to low supply Shipping lines are cutting down on the number of sailings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to an increase in blank sailing where scheduled voyages are suspended or canceled, containers are piling up at ports and freight rates are increasing despite a drop in crude oil prices. A further reason is that local markets have started facing the brunt of the crisis: as the spending capacity of consumers is compromised, orders are being canceled which in turn leads to yet more blank sailings. Moreover, cargo is beginning to accumulate across several ports as shipping lines skip calls to avoid sailing without full loads. To fetch better margins, operators are trying to reduce the number of ships to make sure that the carriers that actually sail are completely filled.  According...
  • As the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic, our reliance on supply chains has never been more starkly illustrated. From medicine to medical supplies, facemasks to foodstuff, manufacturers and their logistic teams are working round-the-clock to ensure that essential goods are being delivered.   Many though find themselves close to breaking point, as country lockdowns and chronic container shortages cripple their ability to keep the world’s goods moving. It is here that technology can help. GoComet’s Logistics Resource Management (LRM) platform makes it possible for companies to comprehensively transform the way that their supply chains operate, creating process resilience and driving double-digit cost savings. Cloud-based, our easy-to-use software is quick to set up and can be rapidly extended across organizations and is simple to integrate with existing systems. Automated Spot RFQs – the best deal at the best price  As freight contract rates across the world lose their competitiveness, organizations are rushing to the spot market to keep their goods moving. For companies with hundreds of shipments per month, the traditional practice of manually contacting each and every vendor, and comparing each quote becomes impossible. GoComet’s RFQ platform offers an innovative solution to this problem, by automating the negotiation for you and allowing you to create and share inquiries with all your vendors simultaneously.  RFQs can be created and submitted to vendors in seconds, who can then submit their quotes and see their rank compared to their competitors but crucially, not their price or identity.  Through compound negotiation via vendors’ efforts to secure the first rank and increase their chance of winning business, the rate you pay keeps shrinking, ensuring that by the end of the bidding process you can win the best deal at the best price.   Track & Trace on a single dashboard Knowing exactly where your goods...
  • Reducing costs is a key goal for most companies. Some expenses, however, are more difficult to see than others: they remain hidden, silently eating away at your profits whilst your competitors gain a critical pricing advantage from this lapse. The cost of manually reconciling freight invoices is a common example where organisations are spending too much. Industry studies estimate that manual invoice processing costs around $5 to $12 per invoice. It is time-consuming, prone to error, inefficient for your operations and accounts teams and stifles productivity.  But help is at hand with GoComet’s innovative software solution: fully deployed in as little as 2 weeks, GoComet’s automation can save you up to 76% of the total time taken to reconcile your invoices. Here’s how it works GoComet’s software automatically matches freight invoices to your original quotations and highlights any inconsistencies. The system can even auto-approve invoices, removing the need for your team to drag their way through the mundane (yet often complicated) task of matching internal rate sheets with the bills landing on your desk. Approximately 75% of logistics leaders believe that there are negligible discrepancies between the final quotation and invoice. Add this to the sheer volume of invoices logistics teams receive, and it’s clear that costly mistakes can, and do, happen. From our own data, we have discovered that up to 60% of invoices do not match the final quotation. Moreover, in about 20% of the cases, these discrepancies go unchecked. Even minor errors can combine to make a huge difference to your bottom line, causing overpayment, and duplicate payments and lost productivity.  So how does GoComet help? Once the vendor uploads the invoice on the GoComet platform, our software initiates the auto-verification process. This process is carried out through a combination of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, contextual...
  • The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for the logistics industry to adopt digital transformation. To contain the spread of COVID-19, work from home policy has become a norm across countries. However, it is challenging for an industry steeped in traditions to implement remote working. For an industry where ensuring transparency and efficiency is tough even in the normal course, change is difficult in light of such unprecedented disruptions. But it is worth noting that digitally transformed organizations have experienced a comparatively smooth transition. They have adapted to the present circumstances seamlessly in terms of remote working and managing overall operations.  Here is how companies that have digitized their logistics management have an edge in the present situation: 1. Easy container tracking on a single dashboard Companies are increasingly experiencing delays and failing supply chains. Manually visiting several websites and tracking containers like before is impossible now. However, companies that adopted digital tracking systems in the past are at an advantage. They are able to track all their shipments with ease on a single dashboard. We have observed a 62% rise in the usage of GoComet’s container tracking platform in light of the pandemic. We have also noticed that many clients have started using the platform to track shipments set out from multiple manufacturing units across the globe to get quick updates.  2. Today everything is ‘real-time’  Data today is getting outdated by the day given the volatility of the situation. We don’t know what will happen next week, let alone forecasts for the next quarter. Even a week old data is deemed to be irrelevant today. But digitized businesses are getting quick and real-time updates from automated systems. These systems have enabled them to make informed decisions even in such uncertain times.  3. Scalable platform is a boon Companies...
  • Ever since the novel coronavirus reared its ugly head, the global manufacturing industry has been at the receiving end of the menace. With partial and complete lockdowns gripping over half the world, most of the companies have resorted to the work from home option, a comfort particularly unavailable to the logistics department of manufacturing based industries.  The industry today is facing the fierce challenge of carrying out ground level operations while trying to be in compliance with government directives. Moreover, the impaired shipping industry has only added to the trouble. With the export and import of goods coming to a near standstill, some manufacturers are struggling to continue their production while the others are struggling to manage their manufactured goods.  Though China, the epicentre of the outbreak is slowly bouncing back to normalcy there is still a long way to go before the world recovers from the crisis. Absolute suspension of manufacturing process or logistics department’s services in all its likelihood is not a viable option. The next wisest option is to think of innovative ways to endure the situation.  As a company that manufactures goods, it is time to equip your company with ways to efficiently manage this adversity. Here are six practices you can adopt to fight COVID-19 successfully:   1. Vigilance and awareness does no harm Appoint a team to screen your employees for any symptoms at the entry point of the work space. Conduct a workshop and educate them about the safety measures they need to adopt. If any employee is symptomatic refer him to the concerned authorities. If possible, arrange for a quarantine facility to assist him/her. Do not put the lives of other employees at risk by entertaining symptomatic people at work place.  2. Hygiene first  Be it the administrative staff or the on ground...