Real-time decision-making and predictive analytics have catalyzed effective utilization of data in the logistics landscape. But one of the key features that has gained relevance with the evolution of data as the key differentiator is the importance of data-enabled visibility in logistics. One of the most essential requirements of logistics is to simplify every transaction within the supply chain - and the first step toward achieving this simplicity is by attaining an end-to-end visibility of the entire network.
But why has visibility become such an essential element in today's logistics landscape?
The reasons are spread all across the ecosystem:
- The supply chain is an intricate system that is often difficult to comprehend in its entirety, with buyers, sellers, third party logistics providers, original equipment manufacturers, and several other entities forming an integral part of the landscape. Achieving a seamless connect across all these stakeholders requires a holistic system landscape to be completely transparent in terms of tracking and tracing, simplified quote to invoicing, and using a single version of relevant data across all the stakeholders in the network.
- A well-connected and transparent network also enables seamless interaction with the indirect participants of the supply chain - from trade financiers and credit providers to banks and other financial services companies.
- One of the key influencers of logistics functionality is its ability to deliver a transparent process - from order placement to invoicing. End-to-end visibility across the process builds efficiency in inventory management, achieving demand-supply balance and accurate lead times.
- Visibility-enabled operational excellence helps you establish your supremacy in the competitive logistics landscape by optimizing on time, cost, and quality.
- With the customer calling the shots in today's logistics world, every provider is currently focusing on exceeding customer expectations with every transaction. A critical aspect of achieving this purpose is to ensure that customer is aware of their order status in real time. Easy-to-access information anytime from anywhere is the key.
- Visibility highlights impending deviations from the pre-planned route in real time. Data-enabled insights, in such instances, provide stakeholders the ability to respond with risk mitigations in a timely and effective manner.
Transparency is critical for sensitive consignments such as goods requiring cold storage. Refrigerated transportations with temperature alerts provide real-time warning when the temperature dips below admissible levels. Instant visibility in such instances enables stakeholders to take immediate actions.
Data - The Visibility Enabler
The entire landscape today generates colossal amount of data - even after filtering out the noisy data, what remains has immense application in delivering comprehensive visibility across all the logistics transactions. Having information at your fingertips is certainly empowering since it provides you the ability to communicate with the relevant stakeholders and take timely decisions.
Achieving comprehensive visibility in logistics requires a well-orchestrated and perfectly synchronized set of tools including
- A trusted means of data capture
- In-depth, embedded data analytics
- Multi-channel-friendly data insight delivery
- Seamless data integration with all the supply chain nodes
Data-enabled visibility delivers accurate interpretation and extrapolation of every minor and major incident in the landscape. This priceless ability allows stakeholders to visualize the ecosystem, evaluate multiple aspects of the captured data, and manage all logistics functionalities with ease.
Graph database and visibility
But captured data requires detailed behind-the-scenes activities - in terms of analytics and conversion - to create application-worthy visibility. The latest buzzword in the data ecosystem that can help you achieve this visibility is 'graph'- a concept that has had a quiet presence across all walks of lives for centuries but is back in the limelight now!
Graph database is a term that is now capturing the imagination of all domains as a critical differentiator that will enable organizations to make accurate, data-enabled decisions.
The graph database simplifies our understanding of the contributions and functioning of all the logistics stakeholders. It captures data from multiple nodes across the supply chain and extrapolates the captured data to deliver insights on relationships between the different nodes of the network. This approach prioritizes the relational visibility of the landscape rather than a transactional one. Its intuitive nature provides accurate and real-time descriptions of the landscape - a feature that has immense application in route optimization, setting up route deviation alerts, asset management, warehouse operations, and effective customer management.
A graph database can hence deliver visibility by enabling a well-integrated logistics landscape that can deliver on cost savings, save time, and boost customer experience.
As simple as this may sound, building visibility across the logistics network is much easier said than done. Much like any data-oriented concept, the result appears extremely simplified, but the process of achieving this visibility is indeed complex.
However, the benefits are so far reaching that it is definitely worth the while. An intricate, extensive and sophisticated system is required in order to create a supply chain that is transparent across all levels of the landscape. Logistics service providers with end-to-end visibility will definitely possess an incredible edge over their competition.
Not only will they be in a position to make timely decisions but they will also have enough understanding of the system to implement future policies that will maximize their gains, including delivering exemplary customer experience.
The role of data in logistics cannot be undermined, from delivering visibility to tracking shipments. In our blog, we'll look into how technology has transformed shipment monitoring from a cumbersome activity to a simple task that happens in real time.
Ramco Logistics has taken innovative ways to meet the needs of 3PLs, Freight Forwarders and Courier Service Providers. We at Ramco Systems ensure that our customers have end-to-end visibility in their transportation, warehousing and fleet management with real-time data as a useful aid. You can get a glimpse of our Command Center in this video here. Along with our industry specific mobility solutions, unified platform for seamless integrations, we have a lot of other product innovations brewing in our lab. To know more, leave a comment below or write to us at [email protected].