The word “visibility” is ubiquitous in today’s supply chain discussions and literature. The recent buzz over RFID technology is, in a large part, about visibility. Before that it was barcodes. But what does it mean to have visibility? What are enterprises watching so closely? What is gained through enhanced or even total visibility?
Freightgate’s I-Trek!® is a powerful logistics visibility solution is designed to sharpen your competitive edge by providing tracking and tracing and event management information along the entire logistics Lifecycle. I-Trek! lets you utilize the Cloud-based Internet to collaborate with your customers and trading partners by sharing vital shipping information. It enables all parties to simultaneously update the status of a shipment or to track a shipment by multiple parameters including Billing Reference, Shipper Reference, Consignee Reference, PO Numbers, Shipment Status, Date Range and much more. By providing a vehicle to incorporate freight costs with inventory carrying costs and other cost components, I-Trek® will give a customer the decision support tools to make landed cost decisions that can have a major impact on bottom line performance.Get Started
The demand for logistics visibility has moved beyond just shipment trach and trace to include the entire logistics cycle from order generation through to final disposition of the goods — e.g. sale, consumption or manufacturing — and invoice payment. Enterprises want that visibility down to the most granular level possible — order, sku/part, style, size, lot, serial #, Julian Date, and the list goes on.
An axiom of quality engineering says that, in order to control something, one must first be able to measure it. Armed with the scope and depth of information achieved above, supply chain professionals have what they need to manage processes and control costs in the Logistics Management Lifecycle.
The process of moving goods from arrival port/airport to door is referred to as “last leg management.” Companies with excellent last leg management enjoy competitive advantage in the form of lower demurrage costs, lower dock labor costs, higher product availability, less inventory and better cash to cash cycle. Last leg management is even more hands on and collaborative than PO management. It absolutely requires an Internet native tool to track and update goods flow through the various stages of the process and make that information available to authorized stakeholders. Event driven alerts warn of missing documents, Customs and FDA inspections, missed pick-ups, hot shipments as defined by the consignee, and limitless other statuses.
The net result is that goods arrive according to priority, on schedule, without penalties, at a rate that is optimal for the receiving site.
Purchase order management and last leg management are just two areas of opportunity made possible by total end to end supply chain visibility for logistics providers. Others visibility and control solutions include bid management, network optimization, shipment booking, transport scheduling, invoice auditing, quality assurance, and capacity control.
The bottom line from a macro and practical perspective is that transport carriers and logistics providers are working diligently to drive cost out of their logistics supply chains. One would be hard pressed to find a success case that did not employ improved visibility information — timelier, more accurate, more comprehensive and more granular visibility and control solutions.Get Started
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