Successful supply chain management depends on the ability to collect data and apply it accordingly. That is an essential capability for all shippers and brokers alike. And major companies have taken notice. As explained by Grainger, “In today’s global economy, technology trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data have become an indispensable part of everyday business. Before cloud computing and the era of Big Data, collecting inventory information required more resources and extra manpower. Plus, manual data entry often left inventory management susceptible to human error.” Supply chain professionals need to realize that real-time freight and shipping data is crucial to making market decisions and maximizing profitability across all loads for these five reasons.
Supply chain leaders still have difficulty justifying the business case for real-time freight data within the supply chain. Real-time freight management is not necessarily about booking orders right this second; instead, it focuses on intervening as soon as possible when something goes wrong. Yes, it does allow companies to reduce the time to execute a load. However, its greatest value is in enabling true exception management.
Improvements within the supply chain, including more on-time deliveries and less risk of damage, will inevitably lead to fewer customer complaints. In other words, customers are more likely to have positive experiences. And that will result in additional improvements in customer retention rates, increase profitability for the individual companies, and overall gains in the value of using that data.
Real-time freight market insights empower freight management segments for improved RFP processes. Regardless of vertical, all companies endure the trials of annual truckload RFPs. Unfortunately, market instability, a characteristic that supersedes nearly every facet of supply chain management, requires renewed RFP processes throughout the year. There are times when the market does maintain stability. However, a stable market does not necessarily appear on the horizon at this time. For that reason, companies need to leverage real-time freight data to understand market trends, use it to guide mini-bids, and even consider investing in their in-house fleets.
For freight brokers, the application of real-time data is a no-brainer. Leveraging real-time data allows brokers to get the most accurate view of the market, quote the most realistic rates for shipments, and secure their customers’ confidence. In 2020 supply chains have shown that freight market dynamics can change within hours. Additionally, securing those positive customer experiences may also involve significant rerouting of shipments, rescheduling final delivery, and sign-on-glass systems to improve safety. Even with some stability returning to the market, customer confidence remains shaken. That’s been the dominant trend in 2020. And success in 2021 will depend on the ability to offer the most competitive freight rates and maximize profit margins simultaneously by using effective supply chain and freight brokerage software.
In recent years, agile, flexible and adaptive supply chains have become the new logistics strategies. After all, an adaptive supply chain is capable of surviving disruption. With that in mind, supply chain leaders need insight across all lanes and market conditions to understand what is necessary to achieve the desired result. In other words, the best predictive and prescriptive analytics insights are useless if a company does not look beyond its operation. The market is big. And companies that do not view the external picture are losing revenue growth opportunities.
Supply chain leaders can add value to their organizations by leveraging a real-time freight data engine and advanced analytics to guide management. The best digital systems on the planet will not add value without access to the most relevant, accurate and insightful data. And an advanced freight forecasting resource is essential to that success. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo to get started.