It’s no secret that the impact of real-time visibility is continuing to grow across the supply chain industry. According to leading research and advisory firm Gartner, “visibility continues to be one of the top technologies supply chain end users invest in. By 2023, 50% of global leading enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility solutions.”
As a result of this ongoing shift, decreasing time to value is becoming an increasingly important factor. With so much competition in the industry and so many challenges to face – many of which have been exasperated by the Covid-19 pandemic – realising the ROI of real-time visibility is essential for shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs).
Meeting this goal requires international networks of carriers that can be built seamlessly and efficiently. This is where quick and easy carrier onboarding has a key role to play. Shippers and LSPs know that carriers keep supply chains moving, but ensuring they are all connected in real-time has traditionally been hard to achieve due to the fragmentation and complexity involved.
Streamlining the carrier onboarding process as much as possible – while ensuring security and data protection – reduces friction and removes barriers related to the sharing of real-time visibility data. This, in turn, empowers shippers and LSPs to optimise their operations using the data-driven insights that the network provides.
Onboarding made easy
Simplifying the onboarding process for carriers can provide a key differentiator. Offering an intuitive and easy to use platform that carriers can connect to in minutes ensures fast adoption and high usage, as well as reducing the amount of manual intervention required.
Businesses should take their lead from the consumer world to simplify processes and improve the user experience through functionality such as one-click integration and automatic authentication. A ‘login with Google’ or ‘login with Facebook’ approach where most of the setup and authentication processes are automatically completed in the background is what people are used to in their personal lives, so should be replicated where possible in B2B environments.
This removes the need for time-consuming email exchanges explaining what needs to be done and ensures that support requests regarding invalid user settings become a thing of the past. Not only does this foster positive relationships from day one, it also helps to cut costs for everyone involved and facilitates change across the network.
User-friendly one-click solutions mean onboarding can be completed in just a few minutes, without the hassle that has traditionally accompanied B2B systems. Being able to onboard carriers in the easiest way possible lets them focus on delivering goods quickly and safely, as well as helping businesses keep up with today’s fast-moving and increasingly complex logistics industry.
Of course, onboarding is just the first step in the process. The various business benefits that come from building an international carrier network with real-time visibility at the core are what provide the true value for shippers and LSPs. With this real-time visibility network in place, there is plenty of tangible value that can be achieved for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
For example, being able to keep customers updated with accurate information around where their order is, if there are any delays and when it is likely to arrive, can significantly increase customer satisfaction. This can be further enhanced through shorter waiting times and improved on-time delivery, as real-time insights can help identify and fix potential problems before they become more serious issues.
Efficiency across supply chain operations can also be enhanced, as having the location of carriers across the network available at the touch of a button eliminates the need for time and labour-intensive check calls. One of our customers in the oil and gas industry was able to reduce check calls by 50%. This frees employees up to focus on more important tasks, as well as enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions based on the comprehensive insights they collect.
Finally, many different processes can be automated based on the visibility information generated across the network. These include automated ePODs, the triggering of carrier payments following automated delivery notices and automated carrier quality reports – further increasing efficiency and cutting costs.
Ultimately, time is of the essence for all supply chain and logistics businesses. Competition and complexity are continuing to grow, which is why a fast and efficient carrier onboarding process is now so important. With this in place, shippers and LSPs can accelerate the move towards real-time visibility, empowering them to optimise their processes and drive value across their operations faster than ever before.