Logistics is never easy. In fact, a single mistake not only throws off the entire process, it can ruin a product and hurt the overall brand as well. The major challenge today is working with more demand while still supporting a constantly growing global supply chain. Every single stat and trend points to more people leveraging logistics and transportation. Consider this, Gartner recently pointed out that advanced analytics enable companies to proactively take advantage of future opportunities and mitigate future adverse events. Prescriptive analytics can improve decision making in functional areas like supply chain planning, sourcing, and logistics and transportation, and can be deployed to improve end-to-end supply chain performance.
This has forced organizations to remove manual processes and leverage new and advanced technologies. Let me give you an example, UPS manages more than 16 million shipments a day, all over the world. They leverage a single, integrated and optimized, network which results in numerous benefits for the organization. First of all, environmental benefits include reductions in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, this type of connected logistical system also allows them to deliver tens of thousands of route optimizations per-minute leveraging real-time information.
Now, to make the network operate more efficiently and reduce environmental impact, UPS designs, acquires, implements and optimizes IT for continuous improvement. Technology has helped UPS fine-tune various aspects of its operations – from planning and routing to flying and driving. And, again, this is great both for business and the environment.
As UPS points out, a key tool in achieving sustainability improvements is the use of “big data.” UPS uses proprietary package flow technology to determine what packages are loaded on each vehicle, then gathers data from several aspects of fleet operations using a telematics technology system.
What if I’m Not the Size of UPS?
As you take this all in, I’m sure you’re noting the fact that connected and smart transportation solutions can offer you a lot of benefits. However, if you don’t have the resources to develop your own propriety data architecture – there are some really powerful tools that can really help you out.
Oracle has been a leader in the space of data management, analytics, and delivery. They’re also impact the connected transportation world. Their Transportation Management systems is designed to support both shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs). The cool part here is that their logistics platform can help with a number of capabilities. Plus, they’ll enable you to reduce freight costs, optimize service levels, and automate processes so that you can run your logistics operations more efficiently.
Automation is the key word here. An architecture that can help you leverage the power of data, remove manual processes, and make the entire transportation management processes easier is one that should absolutely be explored. Remember, you’re impacting core areas of your logistics business. That is:
- Operational Planning. This allows you to align with business requirements, logistical needs, your trading partners, and process streamlining. An operational planning engine can help you with everything from consolidating things like shipments to improving location flow.
- Transportation Intelligence. This is your dashboard to your entire logistical model. This is where you’ll be able to really leverage data and metrics to make some powerful decisions including services which improve cost, proactive alerting, and even monitoring business benchmarks.
- Fleet Management. You have so many people who make the transportation and logistical process possible. Not only that, you have vehicles, trailers, and other parts of the business to worry about. This feature is critical in helping you manage all of these critical points.
- Payment and Billing Systems. A big part here is automating your billing process and even core components around payment auditing. Good payment and billing systems help you track costs, claims, and much more.
- Carrier Sourcing. You can actually leverage your transportation management system to manage ongoing negotiations, rates, and specific logistical services. Furthermore, you can control bid processing and ensure that you’re getting the best service provider rates.
- Management and Visibility. You can’t manage what you can’t see. And with logistics and transportation, there’s a lot to keep an eye on. A good management and visibility system will help you proactively manage the lifecycle of various shipments and orders. Furthermore, you’ll have granular visibility into shipments, orders, and inventory levels. All of this provides increased value for the organization and the customer.
Whether you’re a small logistics firm or once that’s really actively growing, working with intelligent transportation management systems can really go a long way. Most of all, you’ll be able to leverage all of that data you’re creating. You’ll be able to monitor business metrics and even see granular trends within your own logistics model. All of this transforms data into actionable information. The key to being competitive in today’s transportation world is to leverage smarter logistical systems; capable of help you make better and more informed decisions.
Looking for a Transportation Management Solution Partner?
Aptude is a transportation systems implementation and integration innovator with nearly 20 years of IT consulting experience. As a Microsoft and Oracle Certified Gold Partner, we have the experience to get your technical solution implemented properly.
- Business Intelligence & Reporting
- Big Data Solutions
- Application Support
- Mobile App Development
- Oracle Transportation Management
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