Building Competitive Advantage with Supply Chain Digitization

The new-age business reality is one of rising costs, continuous disruptions, and volatile demand patterns. This reality is wreaking havoc by rendering forecasting and planning less accurate and useful. The customer expectations for supply chain visibility and collaboration are also changing. As the business cycles continue to get shorter, adaptability and agility are key for survival and success.

In this scenario, businesses need to proactively craft new methods and processes to wrest back control of their operations or risk falling victim to the volatile environment. Those who adopt the new operational paradigms can gain a competitive advantage.

New challenges and opportunities in Supply Chains

The modern supply chain with the complexities posed by new distribution and sales channels poses a host of new challenges for leaders to wrestle with. There is an urgent need for improved demand and distribution visibility, integration of new channels, and improving control over quality and speed of delivery in both the first and last miles of the supply chain.

A framework to mitigate risk and build resilience is a must-have for every organization, but they need to be practical for an organization’s specific situation and flexible enough to keep absorbing shocks. This chaotic environment is a great opportunity for those moving proactively, as organizations can get a critical competitive advantage by achieving resilience, improved responsiveness, and lower costs in their supply chains.

Most organizations have correctly identified digitization, redundancy building, and collaboration as key pillars of the reliable & resilient supply chain network. The next phase is evolving a framework that can be reliably executed within reasonable budgets and timelines. Collaboration works in tandem with digitization and visibility, and a unified platform is just the starting point. While stakeholders were aware of the utility and value that collaboration brings to the table, affordable technology solutions were not available before.

In the new scenario where organizations are forced to repeatedly stray from the established processes, there is a realization that new ways need to be looked at for eking out efficiencies and cost savings.

A new framework for Supply Chain Digitization

The recently concluded Economic Times SCM Summit brought together the top minds in the industry to discuss and share their take on the unfolding changes. The need to be proactive and take control of the volatile situation was a broad theme, and there were some specific inputs as well on the same.

A standout approach to actively control logistics operations was presented by Anjani Mandal of TruckNet Digital, a Bangalore-based Supply Chain and Logistics Technology solutions provider. The core of the approach is the Optimization & Collaborative Execution framework, which is executed as a secure cloud-based platform and supported with services to provide a complete solution.

Reducing Supply Chain Costs through Optimization & Collaborative Execution

The TruckNet platform helps with optimization at the planning and execution stage thereby enabling a greater scope of cost savings as compared to optimization only at the execution stage. With this approach, organizations can automate Load Planning, and optimize each truckload based on multiple constraints and business rules, including but not limited to truck capacity (weight & volume), delivery sequencing, order prioritization, truck mix, multi-point pick up and drop schedules, and floor loading plans. By integrating with ERP and automating the planning process, organizations can execute exception-based planning, and transport the same volumes with fewer trips.

The platform is capable of splitting and merging orders to form full truckloads while meeting all relevant constraints which an organization’s planning team might find difficult to optimize manually. The solution is based on a globally well-established optimization engine and TruckNet says it can typically deliver 4% to 8% savings in an organization’s logistics costs through better order planning and load optimization.

The collaborative execution is realized through TruckNet’s TMS Module. It addresses the critical problem of enabling collaboration in the supply chain ecosystem and allows for improved end-to-end control and visibility of logistics operations. The platform enables seamless collaboration between both the organization’s internal stakeholders – Supply Chain and Logistics, accounting, sales, and leadership – as well as external stakeholders – vendors, customers, suppliers, and distributors. It helps reduce cycle time and improves efficiency in service provider and recipient transaction interactions. This leads to a platform that is highly responsive to changing customer needs and helps maintain customer goodwill.

The platform is geared for practicality and can handle e-Indenting, digital documentation, eWay bills, ePoDs, vendor invoicing, trip tracking, and freight reconciliation. It allows organizations to monitor and manage process and stakeholder performance and provides useful data-driven insights through reports and dashboards to identify areas of improvement. The secure cloud-based platform can be accessed anytime anywhere from the web as well as mobile devices to ensure seamless connectivity and information flow for all stakeholders. Any practical solution today needs to have a secure cloud-based technology approach that enables quicker implementation and allows easier maintenance with lower cost and time implications compared to the traditional on-premises approach.

The current business environment demands automation & digitization in logistics and supply chain and that can be enabled through Optimization and Collaborative Execution which is offered through new-age companies like TruckNet.

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