What Does it Take to Manage a Global Supply Chain Ecosystem?

For logistics service providers, expanding into new markets and geographies can mean competitive differentiation through diversified product and partner portfolios. But business growth, especially through enlarging networks, comes with its own complexities.

One4pl is a global logistics service provider offering sophisticated, 4pl solutions to their clients. Its VP, Armando Robles, was inspired by a real need he saw in the market and spoke to his vision of creating a global supply chain ecosystem, as well as the challenges such an expansion posed for his company. Leveraging the MPO Supply Chain Control Tower for multi-party orchestration, he’s currently laying the groundwork for highly responsive logistics networks capable of meeting his customers’ wide-ranging needs.

Connecting the Network

One4pl’s unique approach offers multi-modal, global freight services alongside global hubs that reconnect cargo with multimodal operations. Mr. Robles calls this a ‘logistical ecosystem’ which covers broad sets of needs for his clients. For instance, some companies require capabilities for building a warehouse to in Montevideo Uruguay, a free trade zone, to reconnect cargo in South America. Many companies also expect to connect global logistics with last mile delivery solutions. In order to meet these needs, Mr. Robles must build the ecosystems quickly. These companies are pressured by a real need in the market, so it’s critical for One4pl to support their efforts as fast as possible.

One4pl started their expansion in Latin America, spanning across 15 countries. They then turned their sights to Europe, starting with Spain. The challenge, for Mr. Robles, is orchestrating across the LSP’s vast ecosystem, which spans transportation order management, logistics, and last-mile delivery.

As the logistics ecosystem goes global, One4pl will need to manage buffer inventory across the corporation. This is impossible to do if they can’t search for the service providers across multiple locations and determine who can immediately deliver on any given order. “How are we going to get the information? How are they going to deliver the solutions?” asks Mr. Robles, reflecting on the urgent questions that helped inform his technology strategy and led him to seek a solution that would “set a common world for (their) entire global ecosystem.”

Take for instance that during execution there are multiple stopover points. When the cargo is ready, confirmations vary depending on the various logistics partners they work with around the world. To collaborate and effectively orchestrate across all their partners, it would be essential to define a common process and synchronize all ecosystems.

Single-View Platform – One Version of the Truth

The MPO Multi Party Orchestration platform is connecting One4pl’s extended ecosystem for one version of the truth around all data flows and activities in the full order lifecycle. Whether it’s an inbound or outbound order, One4pl will have full control and visibility to execute that order.

MPO Multi Party Orchestration PlatformSince One4pl’s global supply chain ecosystem spans capabilities around transportation order management, logistics, and last-mile delivery, supply chain visibility and control would need to concurrently combine multi-level order management, multi-tier inventory management, and multi-mode transport management to execute, optimize, and collaborate cohesively across his ecosystem.

“Unlike a point solution approach that’s just about moving a product from point A to point B to C, it’s about where is that inventory? How can I optimally fulfill it? How can I then understand the customer service levels that he has to have, which may need very different modes of transport – and then collectively bringing that all together and having full visibility and analytics to support what he’s trying to do,” says Tom Rhoads, MPO CCO and close collaborator with Mr. Robles on the initiative.

The Ecosystem Is About People

Mr. Robles shares his excitement about the work One4pl and MPO have done so far. “For me, that’s the most important starting point with a new challenge – the team.” At first, One4pl was worried about potential time zone and communication disparities since they are deploying some solutions in Europe while much of their business takes place in Latin America and the U.S. But the deployment process with the Rotterdam team has had a great cadence and delivered fantastic milestones.

“The partnership, at the end of the day, is that people still buy from people – and companies represent beyond just the person,” says Mr. Rhoads. “Our partnership for his needs were global; even though he’s in Peru, Latin America, his operations are global.”

One4PL Case Story Video Interview 2

A strong bond was forged from the start. Mr. Robles involved the European side of bothcompanies across Spain and Amsterdam, bringing the team to the MPO offices in Rotterdam to build cohesiveness and discuss a multi-business release approach. “First the transportation and order management (component) as well as logistics operations, then moving over to a last mile kind of capability. You can roll that out in different ways, but obviously we took advantage of the opportunity with his team and the expansion in Europe to work through quickly to derive solutions there first,” explains Mr. Rhoads. While in Europe, Robles and Rhoads also made sure to connect with the team in Peru on every call and workshop. Though it’s a unique situation to begin implementation in a separate region than the company’s headquarters, Mr. Rhoads sees what One4pl is doing as evolutionary. Therefore, to him and to MPO “it’s a partnership for the long-term journey – it’s not just a partnership around the immediate delivery of a software solution.”

Expanding on that sentiment, Mr. Rhoads believes that “We look at customers very uniquely and differently and I think that’s one of the key reasons why we partnered together. It wasn’t just about a demo or a software point solution. It was about cohesively understanding what he’s trying to do and where he’s trying to go.” Tom and Armando are discussing next steps, through to the last mile. Armando is energized about future possibilities and the opportunity to bring new services to many countries – or engage in multiple services across multiple countries through a multi-capable technology platform. “We are growing (across) 3 countries and 15 cities, moving from 1,000 transactions per day to 5,000. It’s a huge opportunity for us to expand those services to all areas where we are operating – for example, in Europe. Now we don’t have limits. Since we implement one country or one city, we can expand immediately into many countries.”

“It’s really a business partnership; technology is an enablement of that,” says Tom.

 

MPO is a global cloud platform for Multi Party Orchestration enabling shippers and logistics service providers to leverage critical capabilities, such as Supply Chain Visibility, Control Tower, Order Management, and Transportation Management, to intelligently factor complexities across partner capabilities, available capacities, service levels, costs, inventory availabilities, GHG emissions and more to consistently deliver on the best customer service levels at the best costs – no matter the conditions.

Learn more about the MPO Supply Chain Control Tower One4pl leveraged to build their global ecosystem by downloaded the solution guide below, or get in touch by reaching out to [email protected][email protected], or requesting a demo today.

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