With current market volatility and instability reaching unprecedented levels, shippers need to renew their focus on implementing supply chain visibility software upgrades that can streamline critical processes. By implementing innovative and effective supply chain visibility solutions and using the latest in supply chain visibility tools, shipping service providers can make the most of every opportunity that comes along. Of all the issues impacting supply chain management and logistics today, a lack of visibility and freight visibility remains the most devastating.
Without solid visibility and a well-implemented supply chain visibility platform, shippers will inevitably lose out on sales and leave money on the table regularly. An article published by Supply Chain Digest revealed that “62% of companies have limited visibility of their supply chain. By overlooking the value in implementing the practices of supply chain visibility and connectivity, companies forgo the ability to assess the holistic value in their investments.” Proper onboarding and utilization of supply chain visibility software and technology are vital for continued growth and success in today’s market. Knowing what features to look for when choosing supply chain visibility solutions can help shippers find the best match for their short-term and long-term goals regarding transportation visibility.
1. Can the Supply Chain Visibility Software Be Configured to Your Needs?
The first thing to know about any strategy for choosing a supply chain visibility software starts with considering its configurability. Yes, technically, any system can be highly configured to meet your unique needs, but each configuration change may come with long-term added costs. However, the right supply chain visibility solutions will be able to share data more efficiently to configure output based on global supply chain managers’ unique needs. As a result, it’s still a highly configurable system of supply chain visibility tools that can scale its configurability to avoid added maintenance costs over time.
2. Is It Compatible with Your Systems in Your Tech Stack?
Another core consideration is the compatibility of supply chain visibility solutions with your existing technology stack. There is literally a system for every need, and that diversity comes with differences in coding and structure. If the supply chain visibility software and overall system cannot reasonably share data with your existing systems and do so in real-time, its value begins to diminish. Finding the right supply chain visibility platform has a lot to do with knowing where current processes and systems are today when dealing with the visibility of containers and where they need to be down the road to ensure proper tech stack generation and implementation.
3. Does It Work Across EDI/API/TMS Connections?
Compatibility issues are almost nonexistent in the world of APIs and EDI. But TMS platforms and properly integrated supply chain visibility solutions may also rely on third-party connections to share data too. Some TMS platforms may be incompatible with certain systems. Modern systems also work together with EDI/API and other connecting technologies to enable omnichannel integration. Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms today offer native applications that provide the proper context and material to share information easily and quickly.
Using EDI and API, these systems enable more access to data within supply chain visibility software without breaking the bank while increasing supply chain resilience. According to research shared by Supply & Demand Chain Executive, 98% of global companies are actively pursuing ways to improve the resilience of their manufacturing supply chains. And using supply chain visibility tools such as VIZION API makes that possible.
4. Does It Require Investment in Existing Systems to Deploy?
There will inevitably be instances where supply chain visibility software is missing something necessary to deploy. That comes with the proliferation of technology in a cloud-based environment. In those cases, supply chain parties must consider whether existing systems require additional investment to deploy a new shipping container visibility software.
For example, suppose a company wishes to leverage VIZION API supply chain visibility solutions. In that case, legacy systems may lack the connectivity features necessary to access and apply data from the supply chain visibility platform. As a result, legacy systems may require some updates or complete overhauls, depending on the antiquity of the existing systems, to facilitate the shared data streams within VIZION API.
5. Is the Supply Chain Visibility Solutions Cloud-Based?
The best modern supply chain visibility software will rely on cloud-based data collection and sharing as well as on-demand communications and tracking opportunities. Shippers today need to implement supply chain visibility solutions that utilize the latest tools and technology geared specifically for shipping and transportation service improvement. Cloud-based supply chain visibility tools and platforms enable remote and on-demand access between all team members, LSPs, 3PLS, and customers alike.
6. Does It Send Automated Push Notifications?
There will always exist the need for communication between shippers and customers concerning logistics visibility. From standard status reports to communications regarding disruptions and delays, automated notifications and communications must be part of supply chain visibility software. Shippers focused on finding supply chain visibility solutions and ensuring customer satisfaction with every delivery must ensure their tech stack allows for automation. Push notifications, on-demand customer support, and client-driven reports should come standard with innovative supply chain visibility platforms and dashboards.
7. Is It Scalable and Adaptable to Real-Time Trends?
The shipping and transportation market is continually changing and shifting in terms of current market focus and consumer-related pressure points. Finding and implementing supply chain visibility software designed to help track and monitor these real-time shifts is vital to ongoing service and productivity. Supply chain visibility solutions must be scalable and adaptable in response to these real-time trends. Real-time capabilities and features should be highlights of any supply chain visibility tools or software used in today’s volatile and high-pressure container shipment markets.
8. Can the Software Expand and Customize the Type of Data Provided?
The best supply chain visibility software and supply chain visibility tools will provide shippers and team members with valuable data access and analysis. From gathering data-rich streams related to the company or industry-specific trends to providing more tailored and customized data, the best software personalizes data analytics. Supply chain visibility solutions like VIZION API can provide data in real-time about specific locations, fleets, trucks, loads, and market niches. Customization is critical to optimized supply chain networks and shipping services.
9. Does It Streamline Customs and Transport Management?
Customization is often the deciding factor when choosing the best supply chain visibility software. Streamlining management processes with custom data and supply chain visibility solutions must offer reliable data related to customers, transportation, logistics, tracking, and market navigation. The best supply chain visibility platform add-ons will help team members and management focus on streamlining routine processes so they can direct more attention and resources to critical and customer-centric services.
10. Does the Supply Chain Visibility Tool Set Provide Adjusted ETA Updates?
Adjusted planning is another area where the right supply chain visibility software can significantly improve on-time in-full delivery rates. The ability to provide customers with real-time ETA notifications and updates while offering adjusted planning resources for logistics management teams is a major selling point for innovative software and technology that includes digital documentation and processing of bills of lading and other critical paperwork. Adjusted supply chain visibility solutions and tools allow shippers and their industry partners to coordinate and plan more effectively for what the supply chain market might have in store.
11. Does It Make It Easier to Understand Drayage Needs?
Perhaps the final issue to consider is how does the data from a newer supply chain visibility software impact drayage planning? Where does its true value lie if the system’s data doesn’t have much impact? The right supply chain visibility solutions should provide continuous updates and insight into the expected ETA of containers, so downstream parties, including drayage service providers, can know when to head to the port. Further, a top-quality supply chain visibility platform will:
- Facilitate the sharing of information automatically.
- Track and monitor container vessels.
- Keep your network partners in the loop without relying on your company to share the information.
- Reduce bottlenecks.
- Help everyone better plan and accommodate changes to the overall transportation plan.
Choose the Right Supply Chain Visibility Software—VIZION API—to Reap the Greatest Benefits
Today’s supply chain is continually evolving, and the developments around supply chain visibility software have given rise to a new era of insight and executability of shipments. Furthermore, the next disruption is around the corner, and advanced supply chain visibility solutions can help shippers—particularly importers and exporters—better plan downstream supply chain moves. However, the best supply chain visibility tools on the planet will lack value if they do not work well for an existing company or fall short of the above-listed features. As a result, those parties need to choose an all-encompassing supply chain visibility platform with the capability and diversity needed to work across any existing system or process without breaking the bank. VIZION API is that system. Book a demo of VIZION API to get started today.