Unpacking Supply Chain Visibility through Automated Logistics Systems

Sun Online Desk

8th May, 2021 08:06:38 PM printer

Unpacking Supply Chain Visibility through Automated Logistics Systems

Evergreen’s cargo ship “Ever Given” got stuck at the Suez Canal, thereby creating a blockade which withheld global trade worth around USD 9 billion which could potentially reduce annual trade growth by 0.2 to 0.4 percentage points. This incident has not only proved that efficient logistics plays a pivotal role in running the global economy but also brought to light the importance of high visibility in the supply chain.

What is supply chain visibility?

In the context of logistics, visibility refers to the act of being able to see detailed information on different processes within a supply chain.  The main objective of supply chain visibility is to improve the availability of data to all stakeholders involved. This ultimately helps strengthen and improve the supply chain by removing information asymmetry as transparency makes it easier to analyze and improve processes.

Over the last few years, several organizations have experienced unprecedented supply chain disruptions caused by abnormal weather events, natural disasters, factory fires etc. Additionally, supply chains are already strained by the impact of Covid-19. Incessant lockdowns and the accompanying travel restrictions have therefore made supply chain visibility an even bigger issue for businesses to deal with in recent times. Due to poor supply chain visibility, it is not unusual for companies to be unaware of discrepancies in their extended supply chains or they simply do not know where their goods or raw materials are located in real time.

A global supply chain survey conducted in 2017 by logistics company Geodis showed that complexities in the supply chain was a major reason behind poor supply chain visibility. As an indication of the importance of supply chain visibility, the companies in the survey with full visibility had achieved, on average, a higher EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) related to turnover than those with limited visibility. Hence, improving supply chain visibility is as important to an organization as availability and on-time delivery of their products.

How can automated and efficient logistics systems improve supply chain visibility?

Automated/Digitized logistics systems equipped with advanced tracking and tracing features can significantly help improve supply chain visibility. Moreover, an efficient and traceable logistics system can be a useful tool in risk management. For instance, in the unforeseen event of a discrepancy, those using logistics apps with real-time location tracking can immediately be alerted if there is a problem. This, in turn, may allow sufficient time for companies to resolve the issue at hand or make alternative arrangements.

In this regard, third party logistics apps, like Goods In Motion (GIM), can prove to be significantly beneficial in meeting the rising demand for higher supply chain visibility and sharing data on everything that is in-transit. In addition to visibly reducing lead times, increased logistics efficiency, with the help of free truck rental apps like GIM, can improve the transparency and traceability of the supply chain. GIM allows its users to track their trucks in real time and view their dashboard for the overall statistics. Users are also notified of any changes in order to ensure a seamless experience. For those who own the trucks, GIM helps to reduce idle time as well as to monitor the utilization and earnings for their fleet. Users of the app can also view the trip details for available, booked, live and completed trips, ensuring higher levels of transparency which facilitates higher supply chain visibility.

GIM has more than 14,000 registered trucks with carrying capacity of over 150,000 tons across the country.  Also, all sorts of trucks that run on the roads of Bangladesh are available on the app. During the three years of its operation, GIM is already recognized as a trusted brand by customers as it helps them derive the real value from improved supply chain visibility.