Shippers striving to meet customer expectations for service, cost and choice face increasingly complicated challenges. In the ever-changing modern transportation marketplace, game-changing solutions require analysis of transportation information across modes. Technology powered by experience provides deeper understanding of cost-to-serve metrics. Information validates strategies that drive improved customer service.
Through a holistic network view, organizations understand and manage current supply chain operations. Combining that clarity with expert analysis empowers impact awareness when changes occur. An additional layer of insight provided through historical trends offers shippers the unique ability to leverage data-backed estimations to budget for peak period labor needs, accrual costs plus growth and overall spend.
As the amount of available data increases, shippers and their logistics partners need to be able to take available information and make it relevant. Technology applications simplify access to multi-modal transactional data across logistics activity. When those applications also produce business intelligence, organizations are able to make evidence-based decisions that can enhance customer experience and accelerate competitive speed to market.
Data Sources, Formats and Volumes Create Complexity
Retailers, manufacturers and distributors all regularly require multiple transportation modes to supply their customers’ demand sufficiently.
Distinct variations in invoicing practices and reporting formats between Parcel, LTL and TL service providers can significantly impede shippers’ ability to collect, manage and analyze data. These are all essential capabilities for organizations focused on identifying problem points and growth opportunities.
Beyond transportation data, an expanding array of digital points across the end-to-end supply chain stream a flood of information that complicates data management and analysis efforts. Gleaning actionable insight from the myriad of data becomes more difficult when internal and external technology applications produce output that also deserves decision-makers’ consideration.
The data wave can be overwhelming. It is not always easy to assimilate the right information required to make the best decisions. If decision-makers operate in organizational silos – or they lack access to all available intelligence – rapid response to customer experience liabilities may be impossible.
Organizations focused on enhancing their customers’ experience need a holistic network view of their entire transportation spend. Providing the most rapid, cost-effective shipping strategies that empower choice-conscious clients requires a platform to bridge the gap between disparate information sources. Integrating vital transportation information from freight and parcel service providers, along with historical shipping data and trend analysis positions shippers to improve supply chain performance and bottom-line profitability.
When deep transportation industry expertise and data visualization underpins that multi-modal information management platform, shippers gain a new window into enterprise performance. A best-in-class business intelligence tool offers key capabilities to shippers when it gives a clear window into Enterprise performance:
- Presents massive amounts of data in a transparent, actionable and on-demand fashion
- Provides accurate operational information on everything from inventories to transit times
- Sharpens understanding of production and supply chain variations
- Impacts profitability through improved management of enterprise operating costs
- Supports the creation of sophisticated analytics that enables real-time proactive decision making
Transportation Insight’s enhanced business intelligence tool Insight Fusion can assimilate data from multiple sources and formats to deliver what you need, when and how you need it.
Interacting with Data Drives Control
Shippers that are able to interact with their information can create trend-based estimates, and pivot key performance indicators to more effectively identify areas of opportunity or cost mitigation. Whether an intuitive seasonal calendar grants visibility to day-by-day order volumes or data-driven weight analysis helps forecast optimal service and mode utilization, interactive dashboards deliver impactful value when they put business intelligence in the hands of business users.
C-Suite executives need a big-picture understanding to monitor performance through summary level reporting. Transportation managers need in-depth detail and access to transportation-specific pre-built calculations, reports and scorecards to support continuous improvement. When reporting and metrics can be customized by adjusting a variety of data parameters, organizational decision-makers can:
- Determine total cost to serve for every customer
- Orchestrate time-critical supply chain activities
- Adapt to changing customer demands
- Understand service/mode utilization to determine opportunities for savings
To see the power of interactive data access, look no further than national parcel carriers’ annual General Rate Increases and periodic changes to rate and service guides. As service specifications, rates, accessorials and surcharges change, small package shippers need a tool to understand how these changes will impact their programs going forward.
Visibility to package characteristics, volumes and historical trends facilitates strategy shifts that can reduce fuel cost, improve profit margin and mitigate cost impacts. Understanding geographical distribution provides a roadmap for future optimization of distribution center alignment.
Compiling data and analysis into a user-friendly format powered by Tableau, Insight Fusion gives shippers greater control of supply chain performance through increased awareness of how freight cost and service affect profit and working capital.
Document Storage Critical to Risk Mitigation
Accessing all transportation documents from point of purchase to final delivery provides more than resource for data-driven strategy changes. For shippers relying on transport of goods across international borders, on-demand access to shipping documents validates compliance to trade regulations.
Common documents required for trade compliance that are stored in Insight Fusion include:
- Bill of Entry
- Commercial Invoice
- Bill of Lading/Airway bill
- Import License
- Insurance Certificate
- Purchase order/Letter of Credit
- Technical write-up, literature
- Industrial License
- RCMC – Registration cum Membership Certificate
- Central excise document
- GATT/DGFT declaration
Document storage and management capabilities are critical to mitigating the threat of penalties issued during inspections at ports of entry. And because maintenance of these records is required for five years from the date of entry, document storage can quickly become cumbersome, but vital task. Accessing and providing this information at ports of entry can not only mitigate penalties from trade violations, but this capability can also help avoid costly delays that affect customer experience.
Analysis Driven by Expertise Fuels Performance
Data is critical to managing modern supply chain networks. It is integral to understanding performance.
Improving that performance requires an in-depth understanding of the intricacies of multi-modal transportation networks. Parcel operations knowledge color analysis of SKU-level profitability to improve cost-to-serve. Cross-discipline experience across multiple industry sectors allows understanding of the nuances that exist in varied supply chain networks.
Combined, technology-enabled data management and expertise-driven analysis become an engine for shippers driving toward improving performance. As data accessibility and complexity continues to grow, Insight Fusion is a powerful tool that shippers can leverage to realize competitive advantage by transportation spend management and improving customer experience.
Transportation Insight offers consultations that detail Insight Fusion’s powerful business intelligence capabilities through real-world applications that yield measurable results for our clients. Schedule your consultation to understand how to leverage your supply chain data, analysis, and multi-modal transportation expertise to drive the decisions that keep your customers happy.