If you’re interested in real-time track and trace systems, here’s what you need to know.
Q: What are the benefits of track & trace visibility?
A: Track & trace ultimately helps companies provide better customer service. When used to track inbound freight, it allows companies to plan their receiving efforts more efficiently. When applied to outbound freight, it provides a way for the customer to have instant access to the status of their shipment, preventing long calls to customer service to find out where their order is and when it will arrive.
Track & trace data allows for the shipping process to move smoothly and expectedly and provides opportunities for remedies when things don’t go smoothly.
Q: How should my track & trace system improve my logistics?
A: There are many ways to provide improved logistics management, but what companies need is a system that provides end-to-end track & trace that makes the data actionable. Some solutions only show you the status of the order once it leaves the shipping dock. Tracking data should show you when a truck is broken down, but there is no magic button to get the shipment moving again.
More advanced systems integrate the data from the vendor (for inbound freight) to the end consumer (for outbound freight). The data allows a shipper to diagnose the cause of their late shipments and develop sustainable strategies to fix it.
Q: What is the biggest hazard when implementing a visibility platform?
A: Many systems have great visualizations but lack the data quality required to improve logistics measurably. The problem usually occurs when incoming data streams need cleansing and normalization. Disparate sources provide different data quality. Your provider should be able to handle multiple data streams and types, cleansing it to create a platform that is both accurate and actionable.
Q: What should I ask my track & trace provider?
A: When evaluating a track & trace supplier, I would ask one question: “How will you help me create strategies that will provide me with a competitive advantage?” If they can’t answer and show you how their system is going to make the data actionable, find a different provider.
Q: What should my track & trace platform provide?
A: The right track & trace solution should provide the following three things: First, actionable data that allows you to dig deeper into how you’re performing and diagnose the issues. Second, strategy development data to identify where to begin and what actions to take to solve these issues. And third, a deployment strategy that allows you to expand beyond where you are today, creating competitive advantage and long-term value.