The number of parcels being shipped is growing each year, which means more deliveries and packages to keep track of. According to the Pitney Bowes index, the number of parcels is expected to more than double within the next six years and reach 200 billion, which is an enormous growth from 2017. In addition to a growing number of parcels, customer expectations and market trends are changing rapidly.
With the increasing number of parcels, real-time visibility becomes more and more important. But in B2B, this is still one of the biggest challenges. In September 2019, Gartner published a report on smart insight for real-time transportation visibility to help companies understand how real-time visibility can improve internal efficiencies and how to be better equipped for responding to customer requirements. A report that is even more relevant in 2020 and in the years to come. So, let’s have a look at 3 of their main key-points.
One thing is becoming very clear: Visibility across your supply chain is no longer nice to have, it is a need to have. Real-time visibility should be implemented as a core part of logistics technology according to Gartner. Consumers expect accurate ETA, and if you want to stay competitive in the years to come, you need to be able to deliver this feature. 46% of the respondents in Gartner’s research states that visibility across the entire supply chain is their most important initiative. Gartner highlight how all organizations, no matter size, industry or geography need to adopt visibility and advanced analytics.
Gaining full end-to-end supply chain visibility is not done over-night. Patience is needed. You are dependent on many external factors such as: :
But despite this, the road towards visibility is a journey worth taking because it will create much bigger value for your business once you are able to derive actionable insights and spawning actions.
Gartner also puts emphasis on the importance of data quality. If the data is bad, it will have an effect on the accuracy of the predictions. Data compliance is therefore an essential factor to achieve success in your visibility project.
According to Gartner, visibility should be used as a collaborative tool across all networks to improve logistics processes. Connecting everyone involved will increase communication between parties, and we all know that communication is the key to success.
Supply chain visibility makes it possible to connect all the different parties in a supply chain: Shippers, 3Pls, carriers, your private fleet, and customers. The results are great benefits for all parts involved. For a shipper or a 3PL, visibility would mean the chance to improve customer delivery service, reduced costs, less manual work and the possibility to better manage the yard, warehouse and shop floor.
Carriers will experience reduced waiting time due to accurate dock scheduling and better utilization of available capacity. The recipient of the products will be much more proactive when unexpected events occur.
There is no doubt that supply chain visibility is beneficial for all. If you want to stay competitive in today's environment, this should be at the top of your priority list.