Supply chain digitization increases during COVID pandemic

The Blume Global Team | November 12, 2020

One of Blume Global’s foundational philosophies is to use data to optimize connections among logistics partners and streamline their supply chains. Across 10,000 companies in 133 countries, Blume Global uses data, collected in real time, to create tailored solutions that not only give customers access to unrivaled visibility, but provide exception-motivated actions to keep cargo moving efficiently, on time and at a cost savings.

Blume’s tools were created with the goal of taking $1 trillion of waste out of global supply chains. The global scope of its digital operating platform gives Blume a unique perspective into the challenges and logistics disruptions during the coronavirus pandemic. Blume offers a decision-making system, as opposed to a system that simply supports decisions, that detects logistics opportunities for clients, allowing them to forge a path through disruption. This decision solution is enabled by machine learning, offering either recommendations or automating actions to ensure shipments are routed to meet business needs.

Blume Global CEO Pervinder Johar and Gilles Leyrat, senior vice president of customer and partner services at Cicso Systems, discussed lessons learned during the pandemic at the Gartner Supply Chain Symposium/Xpo Americas. The session’s topic, “How Digital Operating Platforms Enabled Companies to Thrive During Covid-19,” has consumed the industry for much of the past year.

While Leyrat said Cisco has had to “rewire” its supply chain in the past to deal with disruptions like the Icelandic volcano, nothing had approached the level of disruption seen during the pandemic.

“We had to respond quickly to those very much evolving conditions,” said Leyrat, who is a member of Blume Global’s advisory board. The evolving conditions included getting 95 percent of Cisco’s workforce up and running in remote working environments.

“Change is always going on, and I’m expecting that to continue going forward,” he said. “If you think about the way we work today; the way we’re going to work tomorrow is going to be very different.”

Johar has seen varying levels of technology adoption by the industry in the past, but the pandemic created a significant increased demand for supply chain technology. Customers used this technology to connect with their suppliers, keep their supply chains moving, and find much-needed capacity in a transportation industry that was strained across the board.

“One of our customers said, ‘We always took air for granted – if it’s not on this flight, it’ll be on the next flight,’” Johar recalled. In April, a large portion of air cargo capacity exited the market due to the loss of passenger activity. While the market has gotten better since then, heavy users of air freight still need visibility into capacity fluctuations.

“The air capacity is down, and people’s buying behaviors are different,” Johar continued. “There’s a lot more e-commerce, and what they are buying are a lot more goods that fly by air to Asia to the U.S.” Air freight capacity will only become more strained in the coming holiday months.

At Cisco, Leyrat said the pandemic disruption has increased the need for supply chain collaboration. One of the most important collaborators could be a third-party supply chain technology provider.

“This crisis … has accelerated some of the digital transformations that customers started a while ago,” Leyrat said. “If you don’t digitize, you can’t have the flexibility that is required in this changing world.”

 

Blume Visibility lets customers gain visibility via continuously updated ETAs of shipments, orders and items for every move, every mode and every mile. Manage exceptions in real time to take advantage of opportunities, then track and resolve issues based on business priorities.

 

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