You Have a Data Problem. Here’s What to Do About It
Logistics I.T., Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Big DataTo make 2020 better than years past, shippers must make this New Year's resolution: Get the data right before the product leaves the dock.Shannon Vaillancourt is President, RateLinx, 262-565-6150From time to time, logistics managers may disagree on the path to take to get from Point A to Point B. But the fact of the matter is that there is just one best choice. And the key to determining that best choice is data.Sounds simple enough, but—as in so many things in business and in life—the devil is in the details.Questions Before AnswersData professionals that are worth their weight in, well, data, begin with more questions than answers:1. What are the significant data issues plaguing logistics companies?2. What are the long-term implications of not solving data problems?3. How are companies currently handling these data issues? 4. What are common internal hurdles that keep shippers from solving their data problems?5. Why have technology providers struggled to solve data problems for shippers?6. What should shippers look for in a data partner?Individualizing the AnswersEach company faces unique challenges, of course, but individual solutions are found only against the broad backdrop of industry best practices. The goal of your data partner must be to create an integrated data platform that connects shipping, track and trace, and payment data to create one unified framework in order to give you insights into your company's complete logistics and supply-chain lifecycle.Advanced analytics help you transform your logistics and payment data into powerful, actionable insights in real time so you can make the right choices to improve your supply chain.Money MattersTime is money, of course, but for shippers there is considerably more to the equation. The first step in reducing shipping costs is to understand what influences the cost. Shipping costs are always determined by the same four characteristics: Distance Density Shipment size SpeedWhen shippers have a clear picture of these four components, they now have a way to understand their costs. This is when they can see that there are some profit leaks, most generally due to outdated rules and the use of the incorrect carrier on some lanes.Using a system with artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine data errors and fix them, allows you to diagnose process problems, and develop the right strategies that when deployed will prevent the profit leaks. Additionally, the cleansed data creates more accurate and powerful analytics and alerts.The next step is to connect your order and tracking data to your financial data to get real-time access to your global freight spend. Reduce cost and optimize transportation strategies by automating your freight audit process and using financial-driven key performance indicators (KPIs). In this way, you have created an intelligent freight audit and payment solution tailored to your company's highly specific needs.Partners in ProgressIn the pursuit of these goals, the smart shipper knows that being in the driver's seat does not mean going it alone. Your data partner leverages advanced data analysis tools to solve even the most challenging supply chain problems.Let 2020 be the year you harness the power of data to empower your organization with effective new supply-chain strategies. In doing so, getting from Point A to Point B will be more effective and profitable than it ever has been before.
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