The Critical Importance of Global Transportation Visibility

Visibility into your global supply chain activities is a critical factor that parses out the companies that remain status quo from the ones that are evolving and leading the industry. A Gartner report predicts that by 2023, as many as 50% of leading global enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility solutions. The ability to perceive the efficacy of your operations, a precise breakdown of your transportation spend, quality of delivery, delivery time accuracy, and viable opportunities is imperative to elevate your supply chain practices.

We’ve seen it many times at Trax. An end-to-end line of sight across global transportation spend is a key component toward optimizing your supply chain management. You can compare actual versus estimated spend, uncover the most cost-effective shipping lanes, find the most suitable carriers for your needs, increase cost reductions, and more. And global transportation visibility doesn’t even need to be centrally managed.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits you gain through enhanced global transportation visibility.

Reduce Supply Chain Risk 

You can’t mitigate risks that you don’t see coming, but having robust global transportation visibility gives you that foresight. The ability to predict—and understand—what risks lie ahead allows you to take a more proactive stance so you can adequately plan and prepare. And when you can anticipate and prepare, you can drastically reduce risk throughout your supply chain.

For example, heightened visibility means you can decrease risk to customers. This includes shortening delivery times, increasing distribution, and maintaining value. Such factors directly impact your brand and customer satisfaction, which are crucial and sometimes difficult to maintain in the riskiest of times, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another example is you can decrease your carrier risk. Global transportation visibility means you can ensure mode and carrier compliance, grade carrier performance, and understand differing carrier costs. This can be done through various methods, such as carrier scorecards, and offers not only cost reductions, but insights to help identify the best carrier for the job.

We saw the COVID-19 pandemic shake the global supply chain landscape to its core. More companies began to understand the importance of risk mitigation through digitizing their supply chains, and it pushed supply chain management to evolve years ahead of its time—the ecommerce industry alone has pushed five years ahead as a result of the pandemic.

Optimize Carriers

Partnering with carriers that best meet your needs can really help set you apart from the competition. Through optimizing carrier options and performance, along with the most suitable costs, you can expand your brand and market share.

Diligent data collection and analysis provides you with full visibility, so you can start optimizing the process and tailoring requests for proposals (RFPs) to freight aids in identifying the right carriers to meet your company’s needs. Furthermore, having the right KPIs helps with monitoring the quality of performance, eliminating carriers that don’t meet your requirements.

Through enhanced visibility into carrier performance, rates, and overall suitability, you can change or reduce the number of carriers to enhance the value delivered to customers, boost cost reduction, implement favorable contractual agreements and compliance standards, mitigate accessorial charges, optimize routing guides, and more.

Increase Data Quality and Compliance 

Data quality and compliance are a cornerstone of continuous improvement for your supply chain management. It’s useless to blindly collect data and then try to force it into metrics—some of which may not even be valuable metrics to your company. Enhanced visibility allows you to increase data quality, understand which metrics it’s suited for, fill data gaps, and analyze it to glean meaningful results.

It’s imperative to utilize accurate, precise, and comprehensive data to enable objective and informed decision making. Equally important is to create a strong influx of consistent, high-quality data. This translates into reports that help you make intelligent business decisions.     

During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies that positioned themselves to meet growing customer expectations used the market to their advantage. Through reliable, consistent, and timely data, you can act fast and make data-driven decisions. Our seasoned Trax experts help companies make decisions so they can not just survive, but thrive in such unprecedented times.

Improve Business Intelligence

By having reliable, consistent, and high-quality data, along with suitable metrics, you achieve a level of business intelligence that gives you the agile, resilient, and dynamic approach needed to anticipate hiccups or shifts in market trends rather than just react to them. Furthermore, business intelligence, gleaned from end-to-end visibility, also has a positive impact on product management—it behooves your sourcing, manufacturing, costing, and sales.

During 2020, we saw extreme fluctuations in fuel surcharges and global shutdowns that greatly affected delivery times. Even during normal circumstances, there’s a spike in delayed delivery times due to the hectic holiday season. The dire effect of such market fluctuations can be largely negated with a proactive stance and planning ahead. These are exactly the situations where you need to rely on business-intelligent strategies.

Business intelligence allows you to identify new or hard-to-spot opportunities in a market, so you can capitalize on them before the competition is even aware they exist. A robust business intelligence practice based on data management and analytics is a key part of any company flourishing in the market—and ultimately leading it.

Mature Your Transportation Spend Management

Global transportation visibility not only impacts discrete parts of your supply chain, but is a part of something much bigger: Transportation Spend Management.

Transportation Spend Management (TSM) is a data-driven approach to analyzing and optimizing the financial and operational performance of your logistics network, as well as factors that impact spend and the delivery of value to customers. It's a complex component of the supply chain.

The Trax Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model is a framework that provides a roadmap for large, global enterprises to shift from a lack of visibility and control to a fully optimized and accurate data-based transportation supply chain—for all modes and geographies. It consists of stages: Proactive, Optimizing, and Leading. As a company matures through them, it’s rewarded with greater capabilities and expertise to become more optimized and eventually a leader in the market.

Trax Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model

Let’s discuss the stages that companies must move through to fully optimize and mature their Transportation Spend Management.

  • Proactive—Companies in this stage respond to issues as they arise, and as they evolve to become more adept at planning ahead and anticipating matters that may arise. Global transportation visibility starts collecting the necessary data at this stage to begin optimizing processes.
  • Optimizing—Companies here obtain high-quality data and analyze it conscientiously. This stage offers higher visibility and comprehensive information availability, allowing companies to make informed decisions based on data rather than assumptions. Global transportation visibility enhances immensely in this stage, offering you greater insights into your supply chain.
  • Leading—Companies reveling in this stage don’t just weather challenges, but use them to their advantage, widening the gap with the competition. This is accompanied by the aptitude, capability, visibility, total control, expertise, and optimized operations to fully lead the market. They’re pioneers of the market, driving change and innovation while simultaneously growing their market share and achieving drastic cost reductions.

Boost Your Global Transportation Visibility

Global transportation visibility is a cornerstone of a robust Transportation Spend Management strategy. As your visibility improves, so does your supply chain management optimization and ability to journey through the Trax Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model.

Having complete visibility over your transportation spend, operations, financial activities, and more positions your company to lead the market and go after new opportunities. To learn more about increasing your global transportation visibility and the Trax Transportation Spend Management Maturity Model, contact Trax today.

Trax Technologies

Trax Technologies

Trax is the global leader in Transportation Spend Management solutions. We partner with the most global and complex brands to drive meaningful optimizations and savings through industry-leading technology solutions and world-class advisory services. With the largest global footprint spanning North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, we enable our clients to have greater control over their transportation performance and spend. Our focus is on your success.