By Nick Neises, Sales Director
This past week I headed to Chicago to attend this year’s JOC Inland Distribution Conference. The event brought together various leaders within supply chain to help envision what this next year will look like in the industry. One common theme was that data-driven technology is now a must for all organizations seeking to excel. Some other key points from the event included:
Consumers Are Now Expecting Transparency in Every Move Within the Supply Chain
Different from traditional notions of visibility, there is now a trend that consumers have come to expect their suppliers to be more transparent about every aspect of their orders. More than just simply tracking, consumers want to be notified proactively of problems and unexpected delays to their orders without having to go to customer service.
Shippers Are Giving Higher Preference to Environmentally Friendly Carriers
Carriers are beginning to see requests from shippers regarding how they are minimizing and eliminating their carbon footprint, using the information as a variable to determine whether to hire them. On top of these requests, Smart Way—a government program which measures carriers’ sustainability efforts—gives higher preference to carriers with more environmentally friendly practices. This trend seems to show how important it is to partner with technology platforms to optimize supply chain operations, ensuring carriers are eliminating mileage waste to gain new business and retaining existing customers whose priorities are shifting.
Supply Chain Organizations Are Better off with Partners Who Have Visibility
Throughout the conference, industry experts remarked that the market is increasingly volatile due to circumstances surrounding rises in tariff prices, capacity crunches and increasing customer demands. To succeed in this landscape, organizations need end-to-end visibility throughout the supply chain. If their existing partners are still relying on manual processes and lack visibility, companies should search for new partners.
I left this conference hopeful that 2020 will be a year of growth in the economy and freight industry. To learn more about how data-driven technology can drive value for your supply chain organization, check out our guide to data in the supply chain blog series.