Throughout the pandemic, we saw the failure of age-old supply chain thinking. Coordination and cooperation fell apart; shippers were calling to try and locate their freight, and customers lost the ability to forecast. Ships sat outside the port waiting to unload; no one knew where their inventory sat. Due to this period, shippers started embracing the digital supply chain to learn more and take control.
To stay competitive post-pandemic, organizations must transform and embrace digital solutions to stop being controlled by their supply chains. Building supply chain resilience and increasing efficiency depends on digital adoption.
Digital adoption involves switching from limited legacy systems to advanced digital tools that create new efficiencies by giving shippers total visibility, data, analytics, and forecasting. By moving to the digital supply chain, cooperation increases, communication is simplified, exceptions are handled efficiently, and shippers gain actionable insights into improving their operations.
To address the supply chain digital transformation adequately, let’s discuss the benefits, challenges, and implementation strategies.
Digitalization Provides Powerful Benefits in Today’s Supply Chain
Shippers that embrace the digital transformation supply chain realize tremendous benefits, ultimately delighting their customers, saving money, and gaining a competitive advantage.
Enhanced Visibility and Real-Time Monitoring
Shippers can monitor shipments in real time by moving to digital platforms. With the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors, they gain the ability to know the location, condition, and status of their goods from the start to the finish of the supply chain journey.
Heightened visibility results in the ability to proactively make decisions, utilize automation, resolve issues immediately, and coordinate better with partners. It gives shippers the power to anticipate disruptions, optimize routes, and improve overall operational efficiency, leading to faster and more reliable deliveries.
Data-Driven Decision Making
As freight moves, digitalization generates tremendous data from each supply chain process. When this data is accessed by advanced analytics and AI technologies, shippers gain meaningful, actionable insights. They gain the ability to analyze historical trends, identify patterns, and forecast demand with greater accuracy. Informed decision-making regarding inventory levels, procurement strategies, and distribution channels becomes possible.
This data-driven approach minimizes risks, reduces waste, and ensures shippers respond quickly when market dynamics change.
Optimized Customer Experience
Customers expect total transparency, increasing speed, and immediate responsiveness in this digital age. Digitalization enables shippers to take the customer experience to the next level and make it exceptional.
Providing customers with accurate tracking information, timely notifications, and proactive issue resolution delights them, cultivating brand loyalty. Technology gives shippers the power to offer customization options, allowing customers to select their delivery preferences.
Increased customer satisfaction and brand loyalty create differentiation from competitors, resulting in a competitive advantage.
Implementing Digital Transformation: 3 Strategies for Success
Implementation sets the stage for later success for shippers moving to the digital supply chain. Goals, collaboration, and accessibility are the three components of an effective rollout.
Clear Goals Lead to Clear Results
Going into the process, starting with a clear set of goals that outline things like timeframes, expected growth, potential lane and carrier changes, and staffing needs is critical. What information does the organization need most, how does it plan to rate its carriers, and what KPIs are crucial?
Evaluating the existing tech stack and determining the end functionality and how well a new solution will integrate is also crucial. Additionally, organizations grow and change; goal setting needs to include a scalable solution that grows with the company.
The organization might initially decide to build its own in-house digital supply chain software but realize through planning and goal setting that it is better to partner with a solutions provider due to a lack of in-house staffing and expertise.
Collaboration is Key to Effective Digitalization
IT and business teams often have different definitions of success that must be reconciled for a solution to work best. These teams must collaborate to determine what information is crucial, how milestones are standardized, what data is vital to compile for analysis, and how it should be displayed for optimal impact.
The end goals are improved customer service and greater operational efficiency, meaning a comprehensive picture should be formed of what those results look like. A system is then instituted that is built around furthering these desired outcomes.
Accessibility is Essential for Visibility
A platform needs to provide ease of use and display information to allow users to extract the most critical information as it happens. Accessibility is essential for visibility to be effective. Plug and play with existing systems ensures the platform is used optimally.
A streamlined API easily integrated with existing tech and quickly deployed provides the best results. An API requires zero internal technical development, is visually formatted for useability, works with other systems, standardizes data, and scales with the company.
The Digital Transformation Needn’t Be Difficult
Shippers benefit tremendously from digital transformation, gaining the power of data-driven decision-making, real-time monitoring, and supercharging customer service. They realize true supply chain resilience and gain a competitive advantage.
Making this transformation happen needn’t be a difficult or expensive task when shippers partner with a provider whose API integrates with existing systems, standardizes freight milestones and makes information visually accessible. No internal development teams are needed, the API scales with the shipper, and the data necessary to refine operations is available with a mouse click.
Vizion API supercharges shippers’ operations with true real-time visibility, data analytics, and collaboration tools like event push notifications to supply chain stakeholders. The API integrates easily with existing systems, standardizes milestone events, and provides the actionable analytics needed for shippers to become proactive in their supply chain approaches.
Book a demo with Vizion API today to see how to simplify the digital transformation and realize the benefits immediately.