The effects of continued market disruption in logistics are clear. A review of inventory levels is a great way to gauge potential challenges. According to JOC.com, “The gap between retail inventories and sales was still almost $55 billion in August, the latest U.S. Census Bureau data shows. Retail inventories were up 2.3% in August year over year, but down 9.2% when compared with August 2019, the pre pandemic high point for retail stocks.” This highlights an emerging need for shippers and service providers to improve logistics collaboration in supply chains.
What Does Supply Chain Collaboration Mean?
A key factor in supply chain collaboration is software or technology that allows for seamless communication and sharing of information. With the right solution, shippers can aggregate updates and shipment data. In turn, they can better leverage predictive analytics and improve their logistics throughout the delivery process. Ultimately, collaboration brings about the timely use of data.
Challenges of Supply Chain Collaboration
True supply chain collaboration can be hard to achieve due to the level of trust required between companies. Supply chain partners can push through those boundaries and quickly experience benefits, such as touchless management and timely service all around. Yet, there are several issues that continue to hinder logistics collaboration in supply chains, including:
- Outdated systems and data – This can cause issues with sharing information, communication, and service quality.
- Inability to track real-time shipment and driver status – Not tracking shipments in real time leads to poor collaboration and communication with carriers, logistics service providers (LSPs) and customers.
- Poor inventory visibility – Collaboration depends on shared information, and limited inventory visibility makes working together impossible.
- Limited access to capacity – Market dynamics create confusion among LSPs and results in limited access to traditional carriers.
- Trouble finding the most efficient route – Some shipments may require rerouting to account for changing conditions and needs, creating new collaboration challenges.
- Problems securing competitive contracted rates – Outdated systems and a lack of data make planning RFP processes more intrusive and confusing.
- Decreased customer service – Pitfalls in collaboration result in missed or late deliveries, creating stock-outs for retailers and resulting in poor customer service.
Shippers and carriers need to gain a competitive edge. Working with a transportation management system (TMS) to achieve logistics collaboration in supply chains can provide many benefits and improve service where it matters most, but how?
How a TMS Creates More Collaboration
Leveraging the TMS customer portal, supply chain partners can strengthen relationships by providing real-time visibility on every shipment. A customer portal can help identify delays and support communications for shippers and carriers. At the same time, carriers can use the portal to find more freight, while shippers gain visibility to supply chain optimization opportunities.
- Customers can fully track their shipments, staying informed and confident in their orders
- Carriers using a TMS reduce the hassle of searching dozens of load boards.
- Brokers access a unified system that makes managing freight and assets easier.
Enhance Logistics Collaboration in Supply Chains With MercuryGate
Together, that supports the best customer experience possible for both B2B and D2C transactions. Start your TMS Journey to see how a TMS delivers the benefits of collaboration and a customer-focused supply chain.