- American Shipper released its first benchmark study on supply chain visibility to find that the drive for visibility is causing many shippers to measure metrics inexpertly.
- The study suggests that shippers should weave visibility data into a single-source platform for easy viewing, use visibility as a means of decision-making for current cargo, and track only crucial milestones.
- Meanwhile, 3PLs should avoid latency in real-time visibility and expand visibility to trade compliance, production, pre-production, and finance. The sooner shippers have a view into their own preparation process, the more beneficial visibility will become.
Benchmark provides useful, if not essential tools for improving metrics and production. As Big Data and integrated software becomes increasingly important for supply chain management (replacing, hopefully, excel sheets) it is essential for executives to know what metrics other shippers are collecting, and how their company's performance compares within its class.
So, what measures should be tracked?
The report outlines three key milestones that are critical to visibility: point of departure, point of arrival, and point of container discharge from terminal. All the rest are moderately useful at best.
That's not to say other data is not important, particularly for more time-or-temperature critical products. For example, cold chains may also benefit from being able to track temperature conditions and receive alerts when something happens. But if visibility is the goal for the sake of risk management, make sure you have those three points of data first.