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Visibility Is the Master Key to Solve Most Challenges in Logistics

Last week, we explored the 2019 study conducted by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) on Supply Chain Priorities and Investments.   It concluded with an assumption that customer experience will be the top differentiator between brands over the next five years.  Whether or not you agree with this trend, the study offered simple recommendations any supply chain could adopt to improve on their customer experience.  One of them being having real-time visibility.

Traditional logistics has been challenged with the trending shift towards sustainability priorities, faster shipping, and new complexities with variability.  Nowadays, logistics experts have been crediting visibility as a master key of sorts to solving all supply chain challenges.

It is a known fact that the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States comes from the logistics industry.  Transportation has surpassed power plant emissions in 2017 for the first time since 1978.  Though the number of trucks in fleets has increased by 4.6% in the past decade, their greenhouse gas emissions have grown more than eight times the rate of lighter vehicles giving a rightful growing cause for concern. 

Now, policies that enforce sustainability are providing companies a competitive advantage whereas before, the stance may have been viewed as a corporate responsibility initiative.  It is becoming more and more of an asset to be environmentally conscious and taking the steps to achieve climate positive, or at the very least—net zero carbon.  For example, Qantas Group recently announced their goal of being net zero carbon by 2050.  Amazon earlier this year announced they want to be net zero carbon by 2040.  IKEA wants to be climate positive by 2030. 

Not every company has the means to tackle such a difficult, expensive, and timely task.  This is how visibility can be a simple solution to provide that competitive edge everyone wants.  Visibility software can assist with tracking progress on sustainability initiatives by providing information that can help reduce dwell time, improve traceability, and eliminate empty miles also known as, “deadhead”. 

Some companies may lack the actual resources to provide faster shipping to their customers making it difficult to keep up with the competition.  However, implementing a visibility software that allows customers to track their shipments as it goes through the supply chain process can still give a company the leg up on their competition.  Through visibility, customer requirements can be addressed in real-time and provide greater responsiveness to customers. 

As supply chain evolves to be more and more complex filled with variability, visibility can assist in many ways.  Overall, visibility can provide transparency and reveal supply chain blind spots that would otherwise remain unnoticed like more efficient ways to manage stock.  It makes monitoring business metrics and outcomes much easier. It allows anyone, including the customer, to instantly access vital information. 

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