Supply Chain Disruption in 2020: How Freight Tech Systems, Automation, & Analytics Aided the Industry

Supply Chain Disruption in 2020
2020 has been a dramatic year of change within the supply chain and individual carrier networks. Local, national, and global networks have dealt with some of the most extensive supply chain disruptions ever seen. From the spread of COVID-19 to the ensuing increase of e-commerce, 2020 is the year supply chains have had to learn on the fly and adapt.

Technology automations have long been the key to overcoming supply chain disruption. With access to real-time data, improved automated systems, a streamlined flow within the supply chain, and enhanced digitization, supply chains of all sizes can recover from disruptions more easily. According to Inbound Logistics, it is crucial “that vendors and LSPs are in daily contact with one another regarding shipping needs, and that they convey the results of those daily huddles back to [management]. The transition from manufacturing to shipping is vital to [lead times], and a lack of communication between supply chain players can cause unneeded delays.” Understanding how to come back from supply chain disruption when these delays occur can pay enormous dividends for manufacturers, forwarders, and freight managers. To that end, let’s take a closer look at how a few technologies aided the industry this past year.

Freight Tech Systems Improved Visibility for Shippers

When dealing with supply chain disruption within the network, freight managers will have to rely on better communication systems and visibility. With digital access and automated processes becoming the norm, freight tech systems are streamlined for easy sharing of data. Additionally, they also need to be focused on improved end-to-end visibility throughout the supply chain.

Automation Reduced the Need for More Physical Workers in Back-Office

Automated systems, machine learning, advanced AI capabilities, and improved processes allow managers and workers to shift their focus to more pressing needs such as moving freight, filling orders, and proactively managing exceptions. Autonomous machines and automated systems can bubble up exceptions as they occur or take automated action on exceptions with robotics process automation. Allowing workers and managers to focus on more critical aspects of the chain gives a more focused response in all back-office processes. In a sense, it reduced the need for more physical workers in the back-office by streamlining operations. And that’s why automation is one of the best ways to deal with supply chain disruptions.

Analytics Highlighted Where and Why Inefficiencies Existed and Revealed How to Achieve the Optimum Outcome

With improved data access and more streamlined sharing options available, supply chains and freight management systems are better prepared to analyze and respond to inefficiencies. Knowing why issues occurred and recognizing what needs to happen to fix the problem, preventing it from occurring again, are crucial to handling supply chain disruptions practically and efficiently. Proper analytics make it easier to reach optimal performance levels throughout the supply chain and secure the best outcome for everyone.

Help Protect Your Company Against Supply Chain Disruption

In an industry facing changes and upheavals regularly, shipping managers need to know how to quickly and professionally identify and respond to supply chain disruptions. Despite the best planning, issues will occur. Understanding how to address concerns, respond to deviations, and react to customer demands through automation, freight tech systems will aid in hedging risk against future supply chain disruptions. Additionally, many freight market participants will turn to analytics to move past disruptions in the supply chain in the year ahead.

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