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Why supply chain visibility in B2B is crucial in 2019

Knut Fredrik Ramstad | 30. Jan 2019
4 minutes read

When we as individuals purchase goods online, we take it for granted that we will be able to track our order through every step in the fulfillment process, until we receive it and sign for it. In fact, we EXPECT to be provided with the pertinent information about the status of our order, in real time, through its entire journey to our doorstep. If it gets stopped at a specific point, we want to know.

After all, who doesn’t want the Amazon Map Tracking experience: an estimate on when the package will arrive, how many stops away the driver is and a map showing the delivery truck’s proximity to our home. This order accuracy experience, which we have come to view as an essential attribute of modern retail services, is now leading to the question: Since visibility is «default» in B2C logistics, why is it not so in B2B transport operations?

A survey by Forrester Research indicates that 78% of B2B buyers rate the ability to track and trace orders as being very important to their overall satisfaction with their suppliers. With the increased competition in 2019, these statistics are impossible to ignore.

 

How to achieve supply chain visibility

In B2C logistics, activities normally take place in closed «networks» operated by the likes of Amazon, UPS, DHL EXPRESS and others. Hence, information for providing visibility across all activities and processes are available in their individual large, centralised ICT systems. In B2B logistics, several stakeholders are involved, each typically using their own local ICT solutions, which normally do not communicate with one another electronically.

To achieve visibility in B2B logistics operations, digital exchange of information between all stakeholders’ systems is imperative.

The expensive way to achieve information exchange, or supply chain integration, is for each stakeholder on their own to establish communication with all other stakeholders directly. This is expensive and time-consuming, and there is no guarantee that full integration is attained. All stakeholders using the same ICT system for logistics management is also a possibility, but expensive and not feasible in practice.

Another option is to utilise the type of digital infrastructure provided by the EU Commission's department for informatics (DG DIGIT). So-called Access Points provide access to this infrastructure. These are like secure email servers providing information exchange and value-added services. Value-added services include the ability to convert logistics information from one format to another, thereby providing interoperability and seamless information exchange – while at the same time allowing companies to maintain their use of existing ICT systems without having to change or replace them.

 

Full supply chain visibility in one tool

For logistics companies without ICT systems, there are applications for smartphones that may be connected to such an infrastructure, making connectivity and interoperability easy and affordable. MIXMOVE provides innovative and cost-efficient solutions that allow you to tap in and immediately connect to an extensive network, enabling full visibility and real-time sharing of information over your end-to-end supply chain, across all carriers, transport modes and legs.

Full supply chain visibility and event tracking helps you keep operations under control and your clients satisfied. 

In 2019, full supply chain visibility is no longer a nice-to-have, it's a need-to-have.

 

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