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Want More Control Over Your Supply Chain? Here’s How Collaborative Logistics Can Help.

May 7, 2020

Do you want more control over your supply chain? Here’s how collaborative logistics can help.

In transportation and logistics industries, a lot can happen between a shipment of products leaving the warehouse and arriving at its destination. Logistics collaboration in supply chains is essential for ensuring every delivery is made on time and in full (OTIF).

The concept of collaborative logistics is based on workers along each step of the supply chain having complete, real-time visibility into operations. With full visibility, they can take more control over each operation, share important updates and data with assets down the chain, and collaborate to take immediate action when problems arise.

Collaborative logistics tools can provide this level of operational visibility, enabling decision makers to make faster and smarter choices with real-time, actionable data at their fingertips. Most importantly, they can then share that data with drivers, warehouse managers, logistics teams, and customers to create and act upon a common operational picture throughout the supply chain.

What Is a Common Operational Picture?

A common operational picture is a single source of truth from which decision makers can gain complete situational awareness and keep others downstream informed. To have a full and effective common operational picture, companies need a collaborative logistics tool with a dashboard that allows for easy sharing of real-time information between all parties involved. The next and most important capability of collaborative logistics technology is the ability to enable teams to take immediate action based on the information shared.

Supply chain collaboration requires a common source of real-time data. But in order for teams to act with the common operational picture in mind, they also need the right technology and software solutions to enable action. The solution should have the capability to send updates, assign tasks, cancel orders, and more.

Drivers, warehouses, logistics teams, and even customers need access to necessary information along the supply chain and the ability to clearly determine appropriate next steps. For example, if both managers and warehouse workers can see the same information about delivery statuses or stalled shipments, they can act simultaneously to solve problems. While managers decide how to reroute trucks or inventory, warehouse workers can adjust for quantity or selection variations.

The Benefits of Supply Chain Collaboration in Action

Ultimately, collaborative logistics tools that allow for real-time data sharing and enable immediate action can help your company have greater control over the supply chain in the following ways:

1. Eliminate siloed data and workflows.

Being able to work with a common operational picture helps COOs and supply chain managers break down siloed data and workflows that make collaboration difficult. With the right collaborative logistics tool, teams across the entire supply chain can access real-time, actionable data and collaborate to overcome any challenges.

2. Make entire supply chains more agile.

When teams in the supply chain work with siloed data and workflows, agility is almost nonexistent. Being agile requires fast communication with streamlined access to up-to-date information. The right collaborative logistics tool can help companies become more agile by allowing for quicker, more effective decision-making informed by real-time data.

3. Improve last-mile delivery processes.

The last-mile delivery process is sometimes the most challenging piece of the supply chain, and breakdowns during the process can significantly hurt bottom-line results. Logistics collaboration in the supply chain helps companies avoid such breakdowns and the high costs that follow.

Today, more companies are realizing the benefits of supply chain collaboration with Coolfire’s help. Coolfire’s collaborative logistics software provides universal operational visibility to all decision makers and rapid communication capabilities to share relevant information with all interested parties on demand. When implemented correctly, it becomes the very core of supply chain collaboration.

For more information about how collaborative logistics can help you, see Coolfire’s use cases here.