Enhancing Visibility and Control Over Supplier Managed Freight

Without clear insights into where your supplier-managed shipments are at any given moment, responding to delays or disruptions becomes a reactive rather than proactive process. Chain.io uses ASN & Milestone data to close your visibility gaps with suppliers so you can anticipate disruptions, accurately manage inventory and timelines, and become more proactive and efficient overall.

Without clear insights into where supplier-managed shipments are at any given moment, many shippers find themselves reacting to delays and disruptions rather than preventing them. This reactive stance leads to increased lead times and missed delivery deadlines, leaving customers dissatisfied and loyalty strained.

The challenge extends into inventory management. A lack of real-time data on incoming shipments renders accurate stock prediction nearly impossible. The result? Companies oscillate between the extremes of excess inventory and stockouts, leading to lost sales and further unhappy customers.

Beyond immediate operational headaches, a lack of data flowing from suppliers greatly affects your ability to make informed, data-driven decisions that support strategic growth. This limitation affects procurement strategies, market expansion efforts, and overall competitive advantage.

So how can you enhance your visibility into and control of supplier-managed shipments? Start by connecting and automating data between your supplier systems and your systems. Whether suppliers share data from a spreadsheet or a cloud-based system, Chain.io connects the shipment details you need into your systems for proactive status updates your team can actually use.

Close Your Supply Chain Visibility and Control Gaps

The Impact of Limited Visibility

When you're in the dark about the location of your shipments, or unable to predict their arrival accurately, navigating global shipping becomes incredibly challenging. This lack of visibility introduces a range of operational difficulties and strategic expenses that can overwhelm even the most experienced shippers.

Operational Challenges

Without real-time insights into where shipments are, companies are stuck in a constant mode of reaction. If a crucial shipment gets delayed, but you only find out about it when your customers start asking where their orders are, it's a scramble to address these issues after the fact, rather than proactively managing or even preventing them.

Accurate inventory management becomes a game of chance. Without knowing when the next shipment will land, how do you decide how much stock to keep? Lean too conservatively, and you're looking at stockouts and lost sales. Overcompensate, and your storage is overflowing with items that aren't moving. Both scenarios are a nightmare for inventory managers and can significantly dent the bottom line.

There's nothing customers dislike more than missed delivery deadlines, especially when they're left in the dark about the reasons. In today's world, where next-day delivery has become the norm, delays can quickly turn first-time buyers into one-time buyers. The damage to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty can be severe and long-lasting.

Strategic Costs

You can’t make procurement and market expansion decisions without solid data from your suppliers. If you don't know how reliable your current supply chain is, how can you confidently make decisions about entering new markets or adjusting your procurement strategy? Planning your next move without access to shipment and milestone data is like building a house on quicksand—the foundation is just not solid.

Agility and responsiveness aren't just nice to have; they're essential for staying ahead. When you're making decisions based on outdated or incomplete data, you're not just moving slowly; you're risking your position in the market. Competitors who can adapt more quickly to supply chain disruptions or capitalize on emerging market trends will outpace those who can't.

The inability to see into your supply chain not only puts your operations at risk but also threatens your long-term strategic positioning. As we move forward, finding solutions that bridge these visibility gaps becomes not just a matter of operational efficiency, but of survival and growth in the cutthroat world of global commerce.

Bridging the Visibility Gap

Chain.io leverages two critical types of data to shed light on the whereabouts and status of shipments: Advanced Shipping Notices (ASN) and Milestone data. Chain.io connects systems to provide proactive status updates throughout the lifecycle of a shipment and exchange detailed shipment level data such as invoices, documents, and advance shipment notifications.

Whether your supplier is working with the latest in logistics technology or uses spreadsheets and emails to manage your freight, Chain.io can seamlessly consolidate this information into your system. This adaptability ensures that businesses can access the shipment details they need, regardless of the format they come in.

Operational Benefits

With the enhanced data access Chain.io provides, logistics teams can transition from a reactive to a proactive management style. Instead of scrambling to respond to delays or disruptions after they've occurred, teams can use real-time data to anticipate and mitigate these issues before they impact the supply chain. This forward-looking approach enables more efficient and effective management of shipments, reducing the likelihood of costly setbacks.

One of the most tangible benefits of improved visibility is the ability to manage inventory with greater precision. By knowing exactly when shipments will arrive, companies can plan their inventory levels more accurately, avoiding the pitfalls of overstocking or stockouts. Additionally, with the ability to preemptively address potential delays, businesses can reduce lead times, ensuring that products reach their destinations—and their customers—faster than ever. This reliability plays a crucial role in maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction.

Strategic Advantages

Enhanced visibility doesn't just make operational tasks easier; it also provides a strategic advantage.

With a clearer view of the supply chain, companies can refine their procurement strategies, choosing suppliers and logistics partners based on performance and reliability. Moreover, the confidence that comes with having a transparent supply chain facilitates smoother market expansion efforts, as businesses can make informed decisions about entering new territories or scaling their operations.

The ability to make quick, well-informed decisions is a key differentiator. Chain.io empowers companies to base their strategies on solid, real-time data, ensuring that every move they make is grounded in accurate, up-to-date information. This capacity for data-driven decision-making strengthens a company's competitive position, enabling you to adapt swiftly to market changes, anticipate supply chain challenges, and seize opportunities as they arise.

Close Your Visibility and Control Gaps

Knowing exactly where your goods are and when they’ll arrive is the difference between meeting customer expectations and falling short, and between optimizing your inventory or dealing with shortages and surpluses. Closing your supplier visibility and control gaps keeps your operations running smoothly and better positions your business for strategic growth.

Using the Chain.io platform, we extract ASN and milestone data from your supplier’s TMS and plug it directly into your systems, providing proactive status updates throughout the lifecycle of a shipment.

ASN & Milestone automation

With Chain.io, you can streamline your operations, enhance your strategic decision-making, and turn supply chain management into one of your biggest advantages. Check out our product or book a demo to dive deeper with our supply chain experts.

Molly Evola, Marketing Manager
By Molly Evola
written on April 9, 2024

Molly is a Marketing Manager at Chain.io.

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