Improving the IT Framework in Supply Chain Management with Clean, Enriched, and Standardized Ocean Tracking Data

Improving the IT Framework in Supply Chain Management with Clean, Enriched, and Standardized Ocean Tracking Data

The role of technology in supply chain management has grown increasingly more vital. Nevertheless, the supply chain technology of many organizations continues to lag compared to what has been made possible by modern advancements. Of particular importance, the ability to collect clean, enriched, and standardized ocean tracking data is something many supply chain managers still lack. In this article, we'll explore the importance of a robust information technology framework in supply chain management, in addition to covering how organizations can improve their IT framework with real-time container tracking data from VIZION API.

The Role of IT in Supply Chain Management

The challenges of today's global economy have made it more important than ever for organizations to achieve real-time visibility across their supply chains. This includes maintaining efficient information sharing between vendors and partners, as well as the ability to track the location and status of all purchased commodities. In the past, these were incredibly challenging goals to achieve. However, IT technology has made it possible for organizations to send and receive a wide range of data in real-time.

With a robust IT framework, organizations can transition from performing a one-time analysis of their supply chain to more real-time monitoring. The live stream of data provided by real-time monitoring allows decision-makers to be far more agile in predicting and responding to supply chain disrupting events. In addition to helping organizations create a more robust supply chain that is less prone to disruption, IT can also be leveraged to create a more efficient and cost-effective supply chain. From ensuring that inventory levels are properly managed to reducing demurrage and detention fees through improved logistics, there is no shortage of ways to use supply chain technology to boost an organization's supply chain and, ultimately, its bottom line. However, every supply chain management IT framework is wholly reliant on accurate and timely container tracking data.

The Importance of Real-Time Ocean Tracking Data

High-quality ocean tracking data is the fuel that powers a supply chain management IT framework. When organizations don't know where their cargo is, when it will arrive, and why it was delayed, all of the potential benefits of an optimized IT framework go out the window. With a steady stream of real-time ocean tracking data, organizations can far better manage the health of their supply chains and create a truly optimized supply chain management IT framework.

Organizations armed with real-time container tracking data communicated to key decision-makers via the organization's IT framework can better predict and respond to "black swan" events that could cause delays or disruptions. Simply knowing where cargo is, when it will arrive, and why it was delayed goes an incredibly long way toward helping organizations manage disruption. The value of real-time container tracking data, though, goes far beyond simply ensuring that organizations are always made aware of disruptive events. With the complete supply chain visibility that quality ocean tracking data provides, decision-makers are not only made aware of disruptive events but also armed with the information they need to respond to those events — for example, which carrier to choose if a replacement is needed or when to place or cancel a PO.

All of these capabilities and more rely on both a well-developed IT framework as well as timely, detailed, and standardized ocean tracking data. Unfortunately, collecting real-time ocean tracking data continues to be a challenge for supply chain managers across the globe.

How to Collect the Ocean Tracking Data Needed to Support Your IT Framework

Despite all the technological advancements we've witnessed over the past few decades, collecting real-time container tracking data remains a real struggle for organizations across all industries.

While many organizations still rely on manually collecting container tracking data, this process still has several problems. For one, it's time-consuming and costly, requiring a lot of staffing resources to achieve even a semblance of what is possible to accomplish with a quality ocean tracking API. Collecting tracking data manually also opens up your data to the possibility of corruption due to human error. When it comes to supply chain management, the only thing worse than not having any data at all is making misguided decisions based on faulty data.

Automating the process of gathering container tracking data via a container tracking API is a far more efficient and reliable solution, but building such an API is no easy task. Organizations that hope to create their own custom container tracking API from the ground must accept a massive investment of time and money alike, with custom container tracking APIs often taking years to complete and costing a small fortune along the way. In fact, building a custom container tracking API is often the most expensive and time-consuming element of creating a supply chain management technology stack, and it's an investment that many organizations simply cannot justify.

Even when organizations successfully collect container tracking data either manually or automatically via a custom-built API, issues still persist. If the tracking data that an organization collects is messy or unorganized, analyzing it for insights can become a time-consuming challenge. If the tracking data is not standardized, sharing it efficiently between partners can also become a challenge. Unfortunately, most of the tracking data collected are neither standardized nor organized, leaving organizations with a mess of raw data that provides little if any real value.

The good news is that there is a better way for organizations to collect detailed, organized, and standardized real-time container tracking data without having to invest years of time and loads of money into building their own container tracking solution.

How VIZION API Provides Clean, Enriched, and Standardized Ocean Tracking Data

The value of real-time container tracking data is undeniable, but the challenges associated with collecting it can be daunting. At VIZION, we strive to help our clients negate these challenges with VIZION API — the most innovative and efficient ocean tracking solution available today.

With VIZION API, shippers and BCOs can automatically receive detailed and standardized container tracking events pushed via API to any software system or spreadsheet. Rather than having to spend years and hundreds of thousands of dollars hiring a software development firm to build your container tracking API, VIZION API's low code-no code platform enables you to build your own custom container tracking API in a matter of days regardless of your coding experience. All you need to get started automatically receiving real-time container tracking events via VIZION API is a simple spreadsheet, making real-time container tracking data more accessible than ever before.

In addition to providing tracking data that is timely and accurate, VIZION API also includes data that is organized, standardized, and enriched with critical insights. As a result, your team can quickly analyze your tracking data for the answers they need, making it easy for you to share tracking data between partners and stakeholders.

VIZION API solves the two biggest challenges standing in the way of your company accessing the ocean tracking data it needs to optimize its supply chain management IT framework. It eliminates the need for time-consuming and error-prone manual data collection while simultaneously removing the need to bring in a software development firm to build a costly custom API.

If you want to develop an IT framework that allows for true real-time monitoring of your supply chain, then VIZION API is the solution you need. With VIZION API, you will never again have to wonder where your ocean freight is, when it will arrive, or why it was delayed. To see for yourself the supply chain optimizing benefits of VIZION API, be sure to request a demo today. Or, if you have any questions about how VIZION API works or how it will function within your existing supply chain management IT framework, feel free to contact us. Our ocean tracking experts love to answer questions and are always happy to help!

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