Visibility along the supply chain consistently sits as a top priority for customers of supply chain companies. They want it, they need it and it has become a commodity. If you don’t have supply chain visibility as part of your product suite, you aren’t getting the business.
But visibility is about reporting what has transpired, and most improvement efforts in this area have been about having visibility to more milestones, and more real time to allow for better decision making.
Chips to get in the game as I see it.
But some companies are redefining the game. They are using disruptive technologies, big data, mobility to provide anticipatory visibility. Think alerts, modeling, data integration to alert about potential, probable and actual supply chain disruptions and opportunities – before they happen.
I am advising, and have invested in several such companies:
Austin-based Riskpulse provides shippers with weather-related alerts based on algorithmic models and real time forecasting data. A shipper knows the likelihood of a disruption and can make adjustments. Disruptions aren’t just about time; imagine a truckload of beer stuck in a snowstorm – complete loss of product. Planning tools based on historical algorithms allow shippers to plan routes that have higher on-time probability.
Brazil-based Comprovei, uses mobility and data to create a whole new level of realtime last mile delivery reporting. The shipper, trucker and customer are connected on the cloud network and any proactive updates by the driver allow for re-routing, proactive customer notification/rescheduling. Big data allows for reporting on route integrity, theft zones, driver delivery performance, customer delay patterns.
Brazil based Cargo-X is the Uber of trucking. And that is just the beginning. It gives truckers visibility to opportunities for back-hauls as they are head-hauling. It allows shippers visibility on capacity, allows 3PLS to manage their network to optimize truck asset utilization and pricing. Big data drives decisions – Cargox, for example, knows where the driver is based so they can work to get them home with route presentment. They know shipping and booking patterns of shippers and can anticipate demand. The develop lane triangulations to optimize network efficiencies. Big data algorithms allows for modeling that projects supply and demand to the benefit of all parties in the network.
Hong Kong-based Openport, uses big data from it’s cloud-based, collaborative TMS system to provide management tools that save shippers storage and detention charges, optimize trucker utilization; customers on the network can see trucking asset availability and engage on the network.
Visibility is attaining that holy grail – finally, we are redefining visibility to where it is no longer a commodity, but a value-add in the supply chain. Thank big data, cloud networking and mobility to move visibility from “this is what happened” to integrating modeling and proactive scenario planning to optimize transit, utilization, product quality, supply/demand.