New technology has reshaped the freight and logistics market by enabling better efficiency and collaborative operating models. It’s clear that transportation is a major component of supply chain management, and there’s pressure to stay at the top of your game while trying to save on costs in a rapidly evolving industry.
OMNIA Partners freight industry expert Conner Reed discusses what procurement teams can be doing right now to help enhance your purchasing strategy.
"As you continue to navigate the chaos of the current freight and logistics market, it's important to keep and eye on how you're leveraging the major technological advancements that the pandemic brought us. While also understanding how to best optimize costs, capacity and timing in todays market."
We’ve outlined how purchasing professionals can take advantage of technology to gain better control over your procurement process and undoubtedly, can result in cost savings for your organization.
Measuring Performance Through Digitalization & Visibility
We’ve witnessed a fast-paced economic turnaround with a large increase in consumer demand for goods at the start of 2021, impacting the market’s need for digitalization and visibility to measure performance.
Ocean carriers are embracing technology to digitally transform their operations and streamline freight procurement, while there’s also a need to review cyber security options as trucking, logistics, and ocean carriers are also falling victim to cyber-attacks.
Let’s take a look at a couple areas of technology your organization can be keeping an eye on going forward.
Digitalization & Robotics
COVID-19's impact accelerated much-needed advances in digitalization, which helps tracks on-time delivery, cost of lanes, claims, and other areas of freight and logistics. Modernized processes such as, Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), are now must-haves for logistics to maintain a sophisticated operation, and you can lean on a GPO with supplier partners offering those solutions.
“The pandemic has forced companies to innovate faster and focus on flexibility with their technology to help solve supply chain challenges," says Ashwin Vasudevan, Director of Marketing at KBX Logistics. “The new electronic bill of lading solution from KBX allows the entire supply chain to move to a completely touch-free, that achieves greater efficiency and safety, accessibility, storage and compliance needs – all while reducing operational costs for everyone involved. This solution is a critical upgrade to any customers current manual application, especially in the environment with COVID-19 where we try to limit interactions between personnel along all aspects of the shipping cycle.”
Industry experts continue to reveal new advances in automation, and we’ve seen the first wave of it through intelligent robotics being used in logistics. Whether mobile or stationary, robots are boosting productivity and will adopt more roles in the supply chain, assisting workers with warehousing, transportation, and last-mile delivery activities.
Visibility is an important term in the industry, and its impact is critical to predicting and mitigating risks within transportation. Having clear visibility provides you an opportunity to better understand inbound/outbound production planning, freight in transit, and cost data.
OMNIA Partners supplier DHL offers an advanced inventory management software called the Internet of Things (IoT), which can provide real-time visibility into where your goods are and how you can move them efficiently. IoT systems are more attractive to logistics operators than ever before.
“Connecting to data from suppliers, warehouses, production facilities and distributors will allow you to establish an integrated approach to managing your supply chain – helping to prevent bottlenecks and delays,” says experts at DHL.
Innovative Cost Savings & Mode Optimization
You’re tasked with finding innovative ways to handle challenging freight in a method that is also cost-effective. Before identifying the best mode of transportation you’ll choose to move your freight, your organization must evaluate shipment size, weight, commodity type, speed, and any service options that may be available. Utilizing a strong digital mode optimization strategy can help you get there.
Mode optimization is having a solution to put your shipments on the correct mode of transportation- road, rail, ocean, and air. A GPO can align you with supplier partners that help your organization remain successful in optimizing your transportation mode no matter what the market is doing.
GPO Empowers Procurement in Freight & Logistics
Plan for new disruptions that may arise and build resiliency within your organization through the help of a GPO.
As you align with your company’s freight and logistics stakeholders, keep in mind that your industries have proven to be powerhouses in the current climate. The pandemic revolutionized the way people think about freight and procurement, which have never been more important.
Check out parts one and two of our Freight and Logistics market challenges/solutions series.