Last week we attended the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in Phoenix, AZ. With 1,900 attendees at the show, we had many great conversations with Chief Supply Chain Officers and their teams about actionable data. In fact, all conversations revolved around data and how to turn it into actionable data. Most of the companies we talked to told us a story about how they either have a bunch of data but don’t trust it (because it wasn’t cleansed and standardized), or the data wasn’t offering any insight because they didn’t know what to do with it. We were happy (of course) to share with both attendees and Gartner analysts how RateLinx solves these critical data issues.
3-in-1 Solution for Actionable Data
RateLinx started working with Gartner late last year. As a leading research and advisory company, Gartner is where many of our current and prospective customers go for insight when making decisions around what solutions are available to address their current challenges.
It was good to sit down and talk with the analysts at Gartner to explain the RateLinx solution. The challenge we have in working with them is, unlike other logistics software and consulting options, the RateLinx solution encompasses a few different Gartner categories. Part of our solution does Freight Audit & Payment, part of our solution does analytics and part of our solution is a TMS. When you combine these as RateLinx does, you get a strategic platform that provides actionable data with insight and intelligence.
As the first analyst at Gartner told us; “There’s no other solution like the RateLinx solution in the market today. You almost belong in your own category.” The second analyst commended us with the approach we take, starting with data to diagnose the problem, using the analytics to develop the strategy, and then using the software to deploy the strategy. He said far too often he sees companies start by deploying software without a strategy, and without first diagnosing the root cause of the issues they are trying to address.
These conversations with the analysts will help potential customers learn about our solution and how our 3D approach (Diagnose, Develop, Deploy) falls right in line with Gartner’s recommendations on how to solve the logistics problems that customers face today.
Collaborate to Measure the Right Things
The theme of the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference was “ACT: Aspire, Challenge, and Transform in a Disruptive World.” The disruptions discussed were from the context of the disruptive solutions that are going to change how companies manage their supply chain, namely, the use of data and analytics which are becoming more prevalent today. The latest best practices in supply chain management and logistics were also part of the discussion. The two most important best practices in supply chain management are:
- Measure the right things
- Collaborate with partners in the supply chain
The opening keynote on Tuesday addressed these best practices through a story about supplying U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The supplier measured their success by making sure that every order placed was shipped out that day. This caused the receiving DC in Afghanistan to receive pallets that had orders for different locations so it slowed down transporting goods to the troops once the goods arrived in Afghanistan. The group loading the cargo planes measured their success by how densely they could load a cargo plane. This caused the goods that had been segregated based on their ultimate destination in Afghanistan to be consolidated. The DC in Afghanistan measured their success by how quickly they could receive the goods and get them in the troops’ hands. You can see how challenging this situation was when the three different parties all had different goals.
However, once the three parties collaborated and created the common goal of ensuring an efficient movement of the goods to the troops, they were able to solve the problem. The supplier organized each pallet based on the ultimate destination in Afghanistan. The group loading the cargo planes stopped combining pallets, and the DC in Afghanistan was able to quickly receive and send the goods to the troops. This is a great example of how you have to collaborate to ensure that all parties are measuring the same thing. Once you do that, everyone wins.
Collaboration is one of RateLinx’ core values. We make collaboration a priority—with our customers, their carriers and among our staff—to ensure we all work together to solve the right problem and measure the right things. Measuring the right things is actually how we get started, using data to accurately diagnose the problem. This is the first “D” in our 3D approach of Diagnose, Develop, Deploy.
Finding Actionable Data
We found the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference to be very valuable and we are looking forward to attending again in 2018. This upcoming week we will be attending The Logistics & Supply Chain Forum in Miami, FL. If you would like to schedule an appointment with us at the conference to learn more about how you can get actionable data to have logistics in 3D, reach out to me here.