The coronavirus pandemic caught organisations around the world off guard due to a series of factors, one the main reasons being lack of supply chain visibility. Even today, as businesses try to bounce back from the setback, gaining end-to-end supply chain visibility on the movement of their freight remains a challenge.
While supply chain visibility could mean different things to different stakeholders, fundamentally it implies having access to real-time information on the movement of all your freight. It is the ability to trace and track every single element of your supply chain easily. Naturally, this level of sophistication is not easy to achieve. However, modern-day solutions have made it possible to a great extent.
Why is supply chain visibility important?
When you have end-to-end visibility on the functioning of your supply chain network, every time something goes wrong, you’re well equipped to identify and resolve the issue. It puts you in a position where you can easily address unforeseen problems and offers you a certain level of flexibility.
Due to the complexity of supply chains, a major issue with supply chain visibility is being able to access all the relevant information at one place in a format that facilitates easy understanding. True clarity can be achieved only when each person in the organisation or every stakeholder involved in the chain has access to the same set of information.
This is where the modern-day shipment tracking solutions step in. These systems allow you to track all your shipments in real-time on a single dashboard. They automatically notify you every time your freight achieves a milestone in its journey and even alert you regarding possible delays.
We observed that when coronavirus hit the industry, many of our clients rapidly extended our shipment tracking module to their companies in other geographies. This seldom highlights the importance of high supply chain visibility especially in the times of a crisis and how certain tools can be used to enhance visibility.
Benefits of supply chain visibility tools:
Saves valuable time:
As a shipment tracking module makes it possible to automatically track all your international shipments on a unified dashboard, your team doesn’t have to go through the laborious and time-consuming process of visiting the websites of each carrier and track each shipment individually. Needless to say, the time saved can be put to better use.
Boosts operational efficiency:
With the ability to monitor the movement of your shipments in real-time, you can make better business decisions. You can drive efficiency with better strategic planning, increased control over your network and thus, ultimately boost your profitability.
Additional lead-time gains:
With the help of the system, you can potentially optimise the entire journey of your shipment. By analysing waiting time for every stage of a shipment, the cost involved, quality of the service provided, etc. you can keep a close check on the commitments made by your forwarder as well as the carrier.
Eliminates additional costs:
As you are constantly updated about the whereabouts of your goods, you are better equipped to make alternative arrangements to deal with any possible changes in the schedule. By keeping your customers informed about these changes, you can help them proactively handle exceptional situations too. This ensures that you don’t incur demurrage or detention charges or any other extra operational costs like fees for lost or compromised shipment.
Improved customer relations:
Some systems allow you to share the tracking data with your customers as well. This minimises the scope for any miscommunication and keeps your clients informed about the status of the shipments at all times. Moreover, you are in a better position to address the queries your customers may have, paving way for unprecedented transparency.
Gain instant actionable insights:
Once you digitise and automate the tracking process, the system records several data points for you. The system can also analyse these numbers and offer quick, actionable insights. As the time taken for every shipment, delays and more gets documented you can easily identify your best service providers and make informed decisions.
Research well, invest right
At this point, the value added by tracking systems is indisputable. The true challenge, however, lies in finding a solution that best suits the requirements of your business and helps you drive profitability. So do your research well and ask the right questions before you make the decision.
If you would like to learn more about how GoComet’s shipment tracking system can help you gain end-to-end supply chain visibility by automating tracking and leverage predictive analytics to drive cost savings, reach us here.