How To: Bridge the Gap in Your Supply Chain Tech Investments

PwC 2022 survey on Digital Trends in Supply Chain Technologies reveals a shocking 80% of Supply Chain executives are dissatisfied with supply chain technology investments.

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Supply chain technology investments boomed since the 2020 pandemic forced logistics providers to focus on the blind spots they ignored for years. The “status quo” is no longer sufficient to survive.


Global shippers see what their supply chains could and should be, and the hunger for faster and better management of complex supply chains continues expanding the gap between 3PL capabilities and customer critical requirements. But, bridging the gap with emerging technology brings its’ own set of challenges as recently highlighted in the PwC 2022 survey on Digital Trends in Supply Chain Technologies which signals Supply Chain executives moving away from venture tech and are now focused on cost reduction and operational efficiency.


I wanted to share my perspective from 20+ years working in logistics, on how logistics teams, particularly those managing truck deliveries, get full value out of available software solutions to satisfy their key clients.

I work with logistics clients around the world and across many industries, and time and time again the main problem our clients are looking to address is satisfying their key clients whose requirements continue to grow each year. Retaining and winning client business is not getting simpler, especially with the pandemic as a catalyst exacerbating the hunger for high-quality supply chain data that moves in real-time. The requirements grow and become more robust each year. It’s not just about moving the cargo from A to B anymore, it’s about specific events that need to be tracked and specific data that needs to be collected. These are historically difficult to obtain, such as photos of cargo or landmarks, and chassis documentation at each leg.


Each customer describes a specific set of requirements that need to be met as an expected standard of doing business with them. Having a highly-configurable solution is the beauty of Clockwork. The never-ending building of new in-house solutions to address each client's need is a hard path to sustain. Our software provides a scalable solution that meets the growing complexity of supply chain deliveries with configurable profiles that exactly match high-value client requirements.


While the idea of a seamless, automated supply chain is the ultimate goal, everything comes down to taking cost and waste out of the supply chain. Whether in chassis management, operational administration, chain of custody risk management (specifically for equipment management and penalties), missed ETAs, or excessive truck wait times, the supply chain is increasingly costly. We find cost savings in the small details and steps along the way and through unique ways of working and locating revenue leakage. But not by paying trucking carriers less.


 

My top three best practices to help satisfy key clients, manage costs and reduce revenue leakage are:


● Insource your relationship/partnership with truck power. Setup direct contracts and make sure you are focusing your buying power to be a meaningful customer to the Truck Carrier.

● Think of your operations as a network of partners working together and deploy systems that connect them.

● Improve procurement processes by infusing data-based insights to be proactive about hidden costs of failed delivery services

➔ Make Performance-based decisions vs. “Who we have always used”


 

The PwC study showed that global supply chain executives look to Cloud solutions for answers, with companies planning to spend, at least $1 Million during 2022 on Cloud tech.


Cloud-based supply chain technology solutions act as a 3PL “control tower”, enabling multiple parties and providers to connect- creating the visibility to orchestrate moves together. This is real value because you are attacking key client requirements head-on. The power of information centralized to the entire team automates 24/7 support while enabling split-second decisions when it matters.


Drawing back to the PwC study- a cloud-based solution is not enough, you also need partners who listen and are responsive. Ten percent of respondents in the PWC survey claimed that the main reason their supply chain tech investments came up short in the last year was a lack of support from their technology vendor.


We’ve heard this from clients that come to us for help, which is why we relentlessly focus on customer success with dedicated resources ensuring each client is extracting value from the program.


Enabling a cloud-based supply chain technology solution talks the talk, and ensuring your team is supported in your investments walks the walk. This is the bridge that gets you over gaps in your Global Supply Chain.

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