Supply Chain Control Tower Approach Delivers Visibility & Proactive Exception Management

Using a Supply Chain Control Tower for Visibility, Actionability & Proactive Exception Management

With the continued instability of recovering markets and nationwide reopening, the need for reliable and efficient exception management remains critical for supply chains everywhere. This has put more pressure and strain on existing platforms and tech stacks. It has also amplified the need for a supply chain control tower approach that focuses on providing visibility needed to take a proactive approach to contract and spot rate collaborations.

Though higher than in previous years, truckload spot rates are still lower than their usual price swings in advance of peak season, according to FreightWaves. The 7-day dry van rate sits at $4.06 per mile, but the whole situation is a powder-keg. A slight disruption could send rates to the moon.

As a result, shippers need to be ready for any possible disruption. An instantly deployable solution can overcome sudden, inevitable rate hikes when they arrive. Shippers can leverage a supply chain control tower to mitigate the impact.

A well-rounded supply chain control tower minimizes these disruptions, improves response time, and ensures better management of exceptions when they do occur. At the heart of it all is the need for a renewed focus on supply chain and transportation visibility.

What Is a Supply Chain Control Tower?

Tracking shipments abstractly with notifications of arrivals and departures and current location is great. However, the ability to visualize that data and track it more tangibly can make it easier for shippers and logistics directors to manage by exception.

This supply chain approach provides a distinct advantage because shippers can more easily make decisions when fulfilling orders or planning phases of shipping. A thorough control tower setup makes the end-to-end process much more manageable.

A supply chain control tower offers drivers, managers, and other team members the following:
  • Preconfigured controls with custom modules, reports, etc.
  • Enhanced pickup and delivery scheduling management.
  • Next event estimates to stay informed and on track.
  • Advanced notice of possible disruptions and obstacles.
  • Better supply chain visibility to enhance communication.
The best way to visualize the power of an effective supply chain control tower setup is to consider what happens to shipments and deliveries during inclement weather. Snowstorms, thunderstorms, and other natural events can cause shipment delays. Seeing weather systems, affected routes, and possible alternative routes can make it easier to respond to these exceptions and maximize efficient responses and solutions.

How a Single Control Tower Enables Proactive Supply Chain Management

A robust supply chain control tower, real-time capacity updates, and on-demand data analysis integrated with a TMS provide easy access to all valuable transportation data in a single pane of truth. This solution makes it easier for managers and team members alike to take a proactive approach to maximize productivity.
A single control tower setup provides team members with the following:
  • Single source of truth and information about supply chain status and marketing.
  • Instant visibility and insight into proactive exception management options.
  • Proactive management and response concerning disruptions through automation.
  • Dynamic rerouting to deal with real-time adjustments and changing route needs.
  • Data-driven workflows aimed at increasing network efficiency of throughput.
  • Real-time tracking, status updates, and push notifications for all involved parties.
Setting up and maintaining an effective control tower for the modern supply chain network aids in increasing the proactiveness and preparedness of managers and team members alike. Responding to disruptions and exceptions is easier when data can be present and analyzed, and solutions are accessible by everyone involved.

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Gain Control Over Your Full Supply Chain With the MercuryGate TMS

A supply chain control tower does not simply provide a static report or printout of data points and disparate information bits. A successful control tower lets managers and team members see shipments in real-time in a mutually-accessible platform or interface. Supply chain optimization becomes more than just a goal or target. It becomes a reality.

With this kind of presentation and organization, it is easy to identify problem areas, where exceptions are occurring, and where to access extra capacity. Gaining control over the whole supply chain is easier with the right tools and platforms in place.

Download our case study to see more about how a centralized control tower helped one shipper unify operations and control across a global logistics footprint.

Read how a global medical products and solutions provider uses control tower visibility to drive efficiency.

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