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Four data insights critical for smoother logistics

What if you could bring down your average response time to supply chain disruptions from months or days to mere minutes, say up to 90% faster than before, wouldn’t you be embracing that possibility immediately? And what if you already have half the solution in hand and only need to work on getting the other half right! The first half of the solution is the massive amount of data flowing through your supply chain and the second half is the actionable insights you need to extract from that data. We will tell you how this second half of the solution could help your company with numerous opportunities to cut costs and improve your customers’ experience. 

Before exploring data insights as a competitive advantage, let us look at a few basics you need to figure out first.

What is your immediate priority using data insights?

The sheer volume of data available across the various supply chain touchpoints could be daunting to any organisation. If you want to leverage data, you need to determine your immediate priorities. What supply chain problem would you like to solve first? Are you going to use these insights to:

  • Reduce costs
  • Maximise revenue
  • Improve customer relationships
  • Optimise supply chain process
  • Mitigate risks

Once you’ve figured this out, you will better understand the kind of data insights you will require. Now comes the next step – making sense of the data.

The struggle is real

We have a two-part problem. 

One, most companies are crammed with large volumes of data, which is a huge challenge. In addition, the data is often stored in multiple systems and databases. To make things worse, the supply chain is one area with an added complexity of data flowing from external parties such as logistics and distribution partners. The question now is – Do you have the expertise and resources to develop a supply chain technology solution to convert these data into deeper, accurate, actionable insights? Very few larger tech firms may, but not the others. 

Two, not every business user will have the vision to conclude what might be possible with the available data or interpret it to make informed business decisions. This brings us to our next question – What is the solution?

The solution

With the growing complexities in the global supply chain and rapidly fluctuating data points, finding a solution on its own could be an enormous undertaking for an organisation. But thanks to intuitive, easy-to-use multi-modal logistics platforms, organisations no longer have to worry about investing excessively in expensive systems for data management. Several companies, large and small, have started investing in multi-modal logistics solutions to provide them with deeper data insights to drive down costs and optimise the process. Besides a higher level of transparency and real-time supply chain visibility, these solutions have been helping companies to successfully navigate supply chain disruptions and save costs, even during the toughest of times. 

According to a report by KPMG, this year will see an accelerated level of investment in supply chain technologies as businesses look to enhance supply chain planning capabilities by adopting more advanced digital enablers such as AI-driven predictive analytics. 

Data Vs deeper, actionable data insights

When it comes to solving your data management woes, it is not just about giving you a report of what has happened. For instance, while it is good to know how many of your shipments have arrived on time last month from the port of Shanghai to the port of Los Angeles, it is not an insight that will give you a competitive advantage or help you mitigate disruptions. It would be best if you had a more profound understanding of who is the best carrier, the lowest freight rate, how to ship faster in the most cost-effective way, or whatever other parameter you may need to address. And most importantly, you need these data insights in an intuitive, single dashboard presented in the simplest way possible. 

Four timely, actionable data insights critical for your supply chain

With the right actionable data insights at their disposal, businesses can achieve more. So, what are some of the data insights you need in hand to help your logistics run a lot smoother while also maximising your supply chain ROI? Let us have a look.

  1. Insights into carrier performance 

Moving goods on time and at the lowest rate possible is the number one priority for the logistics team. If few of your carriers are consistently causing you revenue loss, you should be able to identify these carriers by leveraging data insights. If you could collect, consolidate and assess carrier performance data insights in real-time, there lies a huge opportunity to make cost-effective business decisions and maximise your ROI. Real-time visibility data insights enable you to view the cost and service implications of changing a carrier or service level across the country or in a specific region. These data insights are essential to measuring the performance of all your carriers in the long run. Real-time data insights on port congestion also help companies steer clear of possible delays. 

  1. Freight rates insights

Data insights in freight rate procurement are crucial for efficiently managing any supply chain. Selecting the most reliable vendor could be a daunting task without data insights to fall back on. But with the help of data insights obtained based on past shipments and conversations with vendors, metrics can be assigned to vendor performance. 

A leading global manufacturer and a worldwide seller of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products in 31 countries, was greatly affected by the lack of data-driven decision making in their supply chain process. The company had to incur additional freight costs due to poor vendor performance and a dependency on human efficiency. When GoComet deployed its automated RFQ management solution GoProcure, it made data-driven decision-making possible for the global manufacturer. The company's engagement with vendors increased by 180%, leading to more negotiations and competitive freight rates. This helped the company cut down unnecessary costs and achieve double-digit cost savings.
  1. Insights to uncover KPIs 

Data insights are crucial to uncovering KPIs across your supply chain. As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you cannot measure. And to measure, it is vital to uncover KPIs that can help assess and consolidate your supply chain efforts. For instance, it takes so much time to locate a carrier willing to ship consolidated freights, but these carriers can be easily found with data insights. KPIs can be set in other crucial areas such as carrier performance, freight rates, invoice reconciliation, shipping schedules and lead times, only if there are real-time data insights. 

  1. Insights about revenue leakage

Revenue leakage is often caused by human errors and a lack of automation to provide timely data insights. Finding out the most financially impactful factors in your supply chain without the help of data insights is next to impossible. Suppose you anticipate excess capacity in a particular route and a time frame. In that case, you may negotiate better and get the lowest rates from the shipper instead of paying the regular price. If you know that your revenue leakage always happens with port charges, the next logical step is to contract them. But all these could be made possible only if you have timely access to data insights at the time of decision making.  

In the last few years, organisations have realised that supply chains are ripe with opportunities to save costs and maximise ROI. If you deploy the right multi-modal logistics solution, the valuable data insights can open new doors to save costs and boost your operational efficiency.

Chitransh Sahai | CBO, GoComet

If there is one sure-shot way organisations have figured to navigate supply chain disruptions and maximise their effort, it is by leveraging data insights. When unprecedented disruptions plagued the worldwide supply chains in the last two years, data insights helped several organisations from crumbling and steering them towards the path of building supply chain resilience. 

Feel free to reach out to us if you’re looking to build your supply chain resilience and maximise your ROI through an intuitive, easy-to-use multi-modal logistics platform.  

Read our exclusive blog on “Maximise your ROI with supply chain visibility, and here’s how”.