“How much transparency suits you?”
The parties involved in a supply chain have different tasks and interests – the wishes regarding the flow of data are just as different in most cases. Therefore, the following applies: Only if the solutions offered create a benefit for the customer in his daily work routine they are convincing. Precisely observing who is to receive which data and when prevents overstimulation and can then accelerate processes.
Ideally, in the Supply Chain Management (SCM) of the future, everyone will always know everything – and will be able to make decisions for the next steps based on the existing data. This complete digital networking of all those involved is coming closer and closer in technical terms, and may even already exist for some individual projects. However, it should not be forgotten that each of the individual players in such a SCM project is still in many cases a specialist for a specific part of the process in a transport chain that often consists of many different elements.
Of course, there are intersections between the decision-makers in industry and trade, freight forwarders and carriers, and the people in charge in warehouses, terminal facilities and production plants when it comes to the demand for available information. For the implementation of the respective daily work tasks, access to a fraction of the immense amount of data that characterizes the age of digitalization under the key phrase “Big Data” is often sufficient for many of those involved. As experts in supply chain visibility, we at Synfioo try to prepare the key figures we condense from the real-time monitoring of global traffic flows and historical data in a customer-specific and appropriate form – so that our clients have the status quo quickly at hand in order to be able to push ahead with their separate activities in a goal-oriented way.
Process optimization on the macro level
For a supply chain manager of a large retailer, the slight delay of an individual truck may be a minor thorn in his side. Above all, he is interested in how he can ensure to his supervisors and to the regional and branch manager of his chain who are faced with price-conscious customers that logistics in general does not become a cost driver or, in the event of poor implementation of the supply chain concept due to frequently missing goods, that the end consumers switch to the competitor.
For him, an overview of the supply chain in the form of maps and associated reports on the reliability of individual routes and carriers thus becomes a focus. This helps to gain an overview of positive and negative developments, not least in terms of punctuality, damage rates and similar key figures. In the case of steady difficulties, for example, it can help to keep an eye out for alternative solutions.
Data visibility minimizes flawed developments
While supply chain managers may not be interested in the individual reasons for a carrier’s permanent delays in detail, the forwarder and its assigned transport company are in a different situation. In order not to lose orders, they have to get to the bottom of reports about unsatisfactory telematics data or recurring delays on individual routes. This is the only way they can counteract, for example, in road freight transport with new instructions that immediately or gradually optimize the performance of individual drivers, the deployment of the vehicle fleet and route planning.
At the end of a supply chain or at any preceding intermediate station of the transport, there is a logistics manager situated. Many of those involved demand precise information from him, which he must pass on to the recipients of raw materials, semi-finished materials and end products. Only those who receive exact arrival time predictions for the delivery of goods can operate an efficient time window management for the next steps. For example, extreme delays and their timely communication allow flexible deployment of personnel and materials for other tasks. Digital service providers such as Synfioo offer applications tailored to the respective requirements, which create fact-based transparency with customized information extract from the huge amount of data, where previously, due to a lack of IT systems, there was often only the principle of hope for the implementation of ambitious plans.