Finding Solutions for Visibility and Control at SCOPE Supply Chain Conference
Earlier this week, Nate Endicott and I had the opportunity to meet with retail and high-tech companies, distributors, and manufacturers. All were searching for solutions to their shipping problems while attending the SCOPE Supply Chain Conference and the Procurement Summit, at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, GA.
We enjoy the format of SCOPE; the 20-minute one-on-one meetings are a great way to start an in-depth conversation and gain just enough insight to know how we may be able to develop custom solutions for a company’s logistics systems. Attendance was strong and a really good mix of industries were represented. The tone from the attendees was one of curiosity and seeing who could help them solve the problems that they are facing
The Common Problem of Visibility
We talked to many companies that were looking for visibility and control over their supply chain. There were a handful that were trying to get a handle around their inbound freight. They were looking for visibility to the PO, so they know when they order 10 of an item that the supplier is sending them 10 of the item. Then they want control over which carrier is going to be used to deliver the freight. And last, they want visibility again to the shipment as it’s being transported so they know when it will arrive at their location. If there are any exceptions, they want to know the impact to their delivery date.
Many of our customers have solved this problem using the RateLinx Supplier Portal which provides visibility to the PO and the inbound freight, as well as the control over the carrier that is hauling the freight. Because RateLinx matches the PO and the shipment record to the freight invoice, the customers now have access to the Integrated Shipping Intelligence’ they need to better manage logistics. With this intelligence, our customers are able to leverage historical data to diagnose any issues on the inbound side, develop new strategies to address these issues and deploy the strategies using the Supplier Portal.
Integrating Datasets in Real Time for Intelligence
When we meet with companies, they usually want to discuss various issues surrounding their existing logistics approach or their current software. The biggest complaints we heard at SCOPE were:
- the age of their data,
- the amount of time it takes to integrate the four key datasets together (freight invoice, track & trace, shipment, and order & item level data), and
- the overall lack of intelligence that their current systems provide.
I heard the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’ a lot in references to the companies’ current systems. That’s why the RateLinx approach stands out and is so important for shippers. Built into our Intelligent Invoice ManagementSM (IIM) is the real-time integration of the four datasets along with the standardizing and cleansing of data. As we work with new customers, they are pleased (and a little amazed) to see how the Supplier Portal and IIM works with their current systems to provide the intelligence needed to develop and deploy new shipping strategies strategies that actually work for them.
Our next show is NASSTRAC Annual Shippers Conference & Transportation Expo April 9-12 in Orlando. If you would like to learn more about how RateLinx can help you solve your logistics problems, we hope to see you there, or to talk sooner, please reach out to me.