Wicked weather, ongoing impacts from the Omicron surge. We’ve entered a new year, but the supply chain issues of the past two years are still with us. With so many uncontrollable factors causing disruption, retailers across the globe are racing to improve supply chain management models, taking control wherever they can. In fact, by 2024, Gartner predicts 75% of the world’s top 50 companies will have implemented networks to support end-to-end supply chain visibility.
Visibility has been the buzzword over the past several years in transportation and logistics, but while many 3PL’s have invested in visibility solutions, they often still lack critical real-time location and conditional aspects of their customers’ cargo. For high-value and time or temperature sensitive shipments, it’s not enough to simply know that key milestones have been achieved and the final delivery status. This doesn’t allow for corrective actions during transit that, if not identified in real-time, may result in the product being damaged or stolen.
Historically, when 3PLs identify a need for a new solution to streamline operations, they’ve created it in-house. But what may have worked well in the short term might not be the best approach for the long run. Most 3PLs are hindered by antiquated and homegrown systems, and as a result, these solutions often don’t integrate with one another, which makes it hard to unify internal and external data.
So, how can 3PLs demonstrate to their partners that they can proactively manage, report, and mitigate risks? And how can they gain the competitive advantage of the right technology?
During a recent GDS event we gained insights from supply chain executives across Europe, how they are solving today’s biggest supply chain challenges and scaling their businesses.
Supply Chain Challenges Identified
- End-to-end visibility
- Build business at scale and have the resources to support that mission
- Consistent expertise, standards, and systems
- Recruiting and labor
- Educating customers to use new tools
- Reducing dependency on import materials and sourcing locally
Supply Chain Solutions Identified
The supply chain labor pool is shrinking. Many supply chain executives are combatting the shortage by implementing automation and machine learning to become more efficient. Some are achieving supply chain resilience by investing more in technology, educating customers to utilize online platforms and change their habits when it comes to shipping. The suggestion here is to choose partners carefully, who can deliver the support you need. This often means you must work with several vendors.
Enabling end-to-end visibility is all about using the data that’s out there to give you the insights you need to predict potential disruption and react to it in real-time. Start small, get those quick wins, learn, and build from there. Today, every supply chain is complex, and the problems keep changing. Having flexibility with your partners is key. As the executive from a global transportation software consulting service told us, “The challenge is how much we must change so often to meet changing needs. We’re trying to stitch together all that complexity, diverse carrier bases and multiple technologies between countries, to give you a standard visibility across all that complexity. When disruption occurs being able to divert a shipment away from a congested port to ensure on time delivery of goods and proactively make that decision in real time is key.”
Want to Learn More?
GDS Summits are tailored 3-day virtual event conferences that bring together business leaders and solution providers to accelerate sales cycles, industry conversations and outcomes. Regarding the Supply Chain Insight Summits 82% of Delegates said the overall experience of Digital Summit they attended was either Above Average or Excellent and 75% of Solution Providers said they would be interested in sponsoring future events.
For more, click here to hear from attendees on how GDS has helped them to achieve their business outcomes.
Continue the debate at GDS’ Supply Chain Insight Summits where we bring together senior supply chain executives who are actively seeking to share, learn, engage, and find the best solutions.