Digital Supply Chain Solutions
According to a recent report by MHI and Deloitte, 80% of supply chain leaders surveyed said that the Pandemic had accelerated their company’s digital transformation. Businesses everywhere are still dealing with the effects of global lockdowns, and supply chain bottlenecks and disruptions are quickly becoming the new normal. Decision makers looking to stay competitive, or simply solvent, are realizing that embracing technological trends in the industry is the best way forward.
Here at Zero Down, we’ve touched on this necessity before. But, acknowledging the need for a digital transformation is just the first step. What does a ‘digital transformation’ actually mean, and more importantly, where do you start?
We hope that this Supply Chain Solutions Guide can be your first step in the process. This guide will explain exactly what we mean by digital transformation, as well as lay out ten supply chain solutions powered by the latest logistics technology that can help your company generate more profits, help more customers, and successfully navigate these difficult times.
Digital Transformation Defined
These days, digital technology touches every part of the logistics landscape. But how individual companies choose to use that technology varies wildly. By digital transformation, we mean the concerted effort of a business to harness the latest technological tools and incorporate them into their current processes, in order to improve visibility and efficiency. Automating processes through digital assets allows leaders to focus on predictive analyses, and adjust quickly to changing market factors. If the Pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that supply chain disruptions can come in many forms, and the ability to adapt is key. Manual processes slowly communicating across disparate information silos cannot keep up.
For that reason, even before the Pandemic, Zero Down launched our own proprietary advanced logistics platform: FreightOptics. FreightOptics harnesses the latest technological innovations, including cloud-based software, API connections, and mobile access, in order to give our clients the most sophisticated view possible of their unique shipping profile.
Top Ten Supply Chain Solutions
In the following sections, we highlight the specific supply chain solutions that FreightOptics powers, to show exactly how our best-in-class platform can help your company be better.
This is where it all begins. Any digital transformation starts with visibility, as you can’t manage what you can’t see. FreightOptics has the ability to connect directly to multiple carriers’ websites, and then pull together all of that disparate invoice data into one centralized, comprehensive viewing portal. Our platform offers exportable dashboards with drill-down technology, customizable reports, and a detailed invoice search option, letting you easily find exactly what you’re looking for. One login lets you access all your data, whenever you need it, from anywhere with an internet connection.
Once you have visibility to every link in your supply chain, the next step is using that data to find savings opportunities. Our system automatically combs through each monthly invoice, line by line, across all modes, down to the penny. We analyze rates, discounts, weights/dims, services, etc. No stone is left unturned, until we’re absolutely sure there are no profits leaking out of your supply chain.
It’s one thing to catch rate errors after they happen, but a Supply Chain Optimization project is where companies can really start to see the benefits of a digital transformation. Using our industry-leading platform, we’re able to automate carrier contract negotiations, and ensure your company is getting the most market competitive rates, right from the start.
As well as optimized shipping agreements, our technology allows businesses to perform Network Analyses, to determine the best locations for distribution centers and warehouses, based on their specific shipping profile. Supply chain optimizations are extremely powerful, as efficiently delivering goods to customers, at the best rates, is the best way to thrive in today’s e-commerce driven world.
Once your supply chain is optimized, you’ll need to actually run it. That’s where our best-in-class TMS comes in. You can easily get quotes, book pickups, print labels/BOL’s, and track shipments, across multiple carriers, all from one easy to use portal. And if you don’t have the time or resources to handle that yourself, our Managed Services team can run it for you.
Filing claims not only secures refunds, but it’s also a great way to maintain the working relationship between your business, your customers, and your carriers. Besides putting money back in your pocket, filing claims works to repair the trust that the carriers will deliver on their promises, and that helps you keep yours.
However, actually filing the claims, and then keeping up with them across multiple carrier portals is rather difficult. This is where having the right partner equipped with the latest technology tools can pay off, and simplify the entire process.
Another advantage that our advanced logistics platform, FreightOptics, can provide is consolidated bill pay. The best way to adapt to ever-changing supply chain bottlenecks is to use a stable of freight carriers. Unfortunately, paying that many different carriers separately can be rather complicated. Our system makes it easy though, by connecting directly with the carriers to gather open invoices, audit them for accuracy, and then consolidate them together into one bill, so you can easily handle payment.
Along that same line, our system can automate your general ledger coding, accurately assigning invoices to different departments based on your own individual business rules. One of the understated cost saving benefits of a digital transformation is reallocating resources who were previously stuck performing tedious and wasteful manual tasks. Let your team get back to what they do best, and let our technology handle the rest.
Are you shipping air? More importantly, are you being charged for it? Our system lets us perform an in-depth packaging analysis, examining your items’ weight, dims, and accessorial charges, to figure out if there are profits leaking out of each container.
Many shippers don’t know this, but you actually have options when it comes to purchasing insurance for your packages, more than just the carrier you choose to ship with. Our system allows shippers to utilize third-party rates that provide the same coverage as the carriers for less. The insurance options we provide also allow for broader coverage zones domestically, and more flexibility on international shipments.
Speaking of international shipments, our system also makes it easy to identify and submit duty drawback requests. These are opportunities for refunds when inappropriate duties were charged by customs, and for major international shippers, they can add up to more than you might think.
Your Transformation Starts Here
As more and more leaders join the Digital Revolution, the companies that are holding onto outdated business models and manual processes will continue to fall further behind. Don’t let your company be one of them. These are just some of the supply chain solutions available to businesses harnessing the latest logistics technology, but there are many more. No matter who you are or what you ship, we have solutions for you. Reach out to us today to find out how we can help. Zero Down and FreightOptics have the expertise and tools you need to rise above the competition, and to be the company you want to become.