Lessons for LSPs + Shippers from the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium

Our team traveled to Orlando, FL this past May to attend the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium with CSCOs, supply chain leaders, and a community of logistics professionals. Here's a full breakdown of what we learned at this year's conference.

Lessons for LSPs + Shippers from Gartner Supply Chain Symposium

Our team traveled to Orlando, FL this past May to attend the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium with CSCOs, supply chain leaders, and a community of logistics professionals.

Sessions at the event covered the most significant challenges that CSCOs and supply chain leaders face as they are continuously confronted with increasingly complex challenges and are expected to outperform and overdeliver.

Many of the sessions are geared toward what we call shippers: large international retailers and cargo owners who are selling products. The lessons learned from these shipper sessions have some hidden lessons for service providers and software vendors, too. Here’s a full breakdown of what we learned at this year’s conference.

Defining Supply Chain Buzzwords

At any industry event, there are always new terms and buzzwords shared. Here are a few that were hot topics at the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium:

  • Digital Transformation: Integrating digital technology and making use of data from all areas of the business, changing how you deliver value to customers. Also referred to as digitization.
  • Centers of Excellence: Dedicated teams of IT, logistics, and supply chain professionals focused on driving digital transformation cross-functionally.
  • Decision Governance: The framework and processes that ensure data decisions are made effectively and align with the organization's strategic goals.

Today’s Reality for Shippers

Over 60% of shippers are starting or undergoing a major digital transformation project this year, and they expect and will rely on their service providers for the data they need to get started with these projects. Their top transformation priorities are:

  • Data automation
  • Accountability
  • Data governance

Many shippers feel they need more data to create a better experience for their customers. For LSPs working with existing and prospective customers, it’s important to have the information that not only your customer needs, but the information their customer needs too.

One of the biggest lessons for LSPs from this event? Your shipper customers are expecting more. Only 33% of shippers are satisfied with their provider's tech. There is opportunity to win their loyalty by providing:

  • Better visibility in customer facing portals
  • Automated booking processes
  • Data from your systems and third-party providers in your TMS

Chain.io helps you get all of this data in one place and available for your customers.

Strategic Partnerships Between LSPs + Shippers

During the event, our team also heard many stories about the best in class service providers that excel and differentiate themselves. These providers all were innovative and forward thinking, and forthcoming about their technical capabilities, integration capabilities, and data management capabilities.

Some questions for LSPs to consider:

  • How can you integrate and share data to help your customers gain visibility?
  • Can you take data one step further and help shippers with data modeling and analysis?

For shippers, the best-in-class examples were all said to be engaging in RFI and RFP exercises more strategically. Beyond just a sheet of paper and some basic check boxes, shippers are actively taking discovery calls and participating in tech and data exploration exercises to make sure they’re getting the best support from vendors. The best shippers are then finding ways to turn their wins into wins for their end customers, too.

Strategic Partnerships Between LSPs + Shippers

Overall, the lesson is to prioritize supporting your customer’s customer. Think of the end user when designing your product and service offerings.

How can you help your customer make their customer happier? This can look like investments in technology to position your business as a strategic partner for shippers, or investing in automation and data integration to support your customer’s top priority: digital transformation.

LSPs are the custodian of key data that shippers can use to build digital products of their own to deliver value to other internal business units like purchasing, finance, or marketing, but also create value for the end consumer in the form of loyalty programs, targeted marketing, and of course a better delivery experience.

driving value

Digital Transformation and Data Governance

In many organizations, there is a divide between IT and Logistics teams.

No one speaks the same language. Teams don’t have access to the same data. They don’t collaborate often.

But there have been a couple of big explosions in our industry: an explosion in the amount of software and tools available, and an explosion in the data that shippers, LSPs, and software providers are responsible for.

Supply chain teams are now looking to bridge the gap between the IT and logistics teams. The answer? Implementing digital transformation and center of excellence teams. These teams are comprised of technical employees that also understand the underlying supply chain and business processes of their organization.

Center of excellence teams are implementing a decision rights and accountability framework to ensure ownership in the valuation, creation, consumption, and control of data that is critical to supply chain organizations. By 2027, 50% of large supply chain orgs will have revised data governance to better manage complex cross-organizational data.

As a result, both logistics and IT teams are now being looked at as profit centers.

Getting data usable and accessible across your team and service providers isn’t glamorous or easy. There is a constant maintenance and grind required to do this manually and in house. Check out our guide on aligning your data with your business needs to learn more.

Download the Guide

Transformation Trends

Gartner shared a number of survey and poll results throughout the conference. The results showed that enterprises are spending more on tech initiatives and will continue to increase financial and time investments in these digital strategies.

Some other results:

  • 58% of BOD top strategic business priorities in 2024-2025 are digital tech initiatives
  • 78% of CEOs will increase investment in digital capabilities in 2024
  • 82% of CSCOs will increase supply chain tech investments in 2024-2025

If you’re an LSP, you should be thinking about ways you can help your customer maximize their digital investments.

If you’re a shipper, you should be looking at your vendor selection processes and adopting a true partner mindset to find the right providers.

Other Top Priorities for 2024 - 2025

Beyond digital transformation, sustainability and artificial intelligence were hot topics at the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain symposium.

Sustainability

Experts share that there is still a major focus on sustainability initiatives across supply chains.

Many shippers have ambitious emissions reduction targets, like getting to net zero. Many organizations are still working to understand how to report and capture their scope 3 emissions data.

Experts recommend connecting the supply chain team across the business and with third parties to have better visibility into emissions data.

We spoke with shippers and LSPs to understand more about sustainability initiatives this year. Download our research to learn more about the top priorities and strategies shippers and LSPs are using to comply with carbon reporting regulations.

data co2 and emissions
See the research

Artificial Intelligence

AI is still a hot topic across the supply chain and logistics space. While  60% of supply chain teams are planning to implement GenAI in the next year, researchers say only 54% of AI projects make it from pilot to production.

Experts shared that AI’s purpose should be to enhance what your team is already doing well. If your business is investing in or building tools with AI, having the right data architecture on the front end is required before starting any AI projects. AI won’t work if the wrong data is fueling the product.

See you at the next show!

Want to hear more about what we learned at the 2024 Gartner Supply Chain Symposium? We held an exclusive call with our customers to share even more takeaways and lessons. We're sharing the recap with the full Chain.io community now - check it out here.

Check out our LinkedIn and follow along to stay up to date on all of the conferences the Chain.io team is attending for the rest of 2024 and beyond!

Watch the RecapLatest Chain.io Updates
Molly Evola, Director of Marketing
By Molly Evola
written on June 25, 2024

Molly is the Director of Manager at Chain.io.

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