It is no doubt that technology is the core of everything we do today. Yet, many organisations don't know how to make the most of technology for their supply chain. How do you ensure that your supply chain can benefit from the technologies that you invest in?
Too many companies select software they hope will make them more efficient, and they structure their workflows and processes around that chosen technology. Instead, they should first review the processes that need improvement, and only then select the technology that best satisfies those process needs. That may seem self-evident, but we have seen more than a few companies buy first and figure things out later.
Perhaps that is why in many companies, the supply chain organization seems to be "feeding the system" (such as an enterprise resource planning system) with information, and they have difficulty retrieving the type of data they need for making sound strategy and business decisions.
At best-in-class companies, by contrast, managers understand that "the system" should help them better manage their supply chains. They find a way to use technology to produce beneficial information without having to perform various "work-arounds" to extract and view the data. They recognize the importance of an efficient purchase-to-pay process and have adopted strategies and mechanisms to get the greatest benefits from technology.
In the freight forwarding industry, the latter is rare to find. Often, freight technologies such as freight tracking are not offered in a way that provides much value to the organisation. For example, a parcel delivery may come with tracking, that indicates the most significant milestones, i.e. dispatched, received, delivered. Real time freight tracking, on the other hand, offers the sender utmost visibility of the parcel, from the route it took to customer, to the exact location at sea. This data further allows stakeholders to take action quickly, should there be any complications.
Additionally, freight forwarders are essentially providing a service, in which technology and automation are not yet able to replace. However, their service can also be enhanced by technology, such as pooling resources and increase synergy from better information communication. It is after all much more reassuring when you are able to talk to a real person, who will ensure your freight will be delivered soundly and in time.
Technology can also improve back-end operations significantly. To achieve effective supply chain integration, the firms need to implement information technology. Literature suggests that by using technology of information, supply chain managers could managing the flow and impact of numerous supply chains dimension, such as quality, cost, flexibility, delivery, and profit. And by collecting and extracting data that is tailored to their supply chain strategy, they are able to save time and money when operating their businesses.
For example, with the aid of modern computer software, supply chain managers can greatly simplify the process of shipping and returns. Specifically designed programs enable consolidation in all aspects of their supply chain in one place. Software will enable digitally organised data and inventory, allowing you to manage, monitor and track shipping information, paired with an electronic invoice. Not only can this reduce the risk of error, but there are also significant benefits in efficiency and quality control, saving you great amounts of money.
So in summary, using technology as part of your supply chain management practices is now the norm, yet not many choose the right platforms and incorporates technology into their long term supply chain strategy. When you do consider to implement new technology practices, make sure to answer the below questions:
- What existing problem does it solve?
- How does it improve my company's quality, cost, flexibility, delivery, and/or profit?
- How am I able to leverage the technology for better decision making, both for my clients and the company itself?
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Whale Logistics are Australia’s leading Freight Forwarder and Logistics company located in Sydney and Melbourne. We deliver digital-focused freight forwarding services such as Australian customs parcel tracking, parcel delivery box, and comprehensive ocean, air and road freight solutions. For cost competitive and innovative freight forwarding solutions, or if you want to get in touch with one of our Customer Success Managers, drop us a line and we will be in touch shortly.