We’re excited to announce that we’ve recently brought full-lifecycle automation and unprecedented end-to-end visibility to Full Truckload and Volume LTL shipments through new integrations with MercuryGate. When combined with our existing LTL portfolio within MercuryGate’s TMS, the result is a comprehensive, multimodal offering for users, and a major step towards digitization for companies.
Supply chain visibility has always been somewhat elusive, to the point that even reaching a consensus definition has been a challenge. Most people agree that it’s largely about tracking, and while that’s true, tracking is actually part of a much larger, more in-depth picture. It’s more about control—having control over shipments at every stage, gaining the ability to react to unexpected occurrences, and owning the kind of data that allows you to predict events and plan into the future. That’s why the conversation has shifted away from visibility and towards digitization.
The Road to Digitization
Removing traditional roadblocks to digitization is a process. The first step is implementing a modern technology infrastructure. That’s why we’ve seen a decline in the use of EDI over the last few years, and an increase in people using API connections, which are capable of transferring information in greater detail as it becomes available. Once API integrations are in place on both sides of the communication, the focus shifts towards selecting what areas to report on. This is where multimodal functionality—what we’re currently integrating with MercuryGate—comes into play.
Going Multimodal is Crucial
In order to achieve the level of data and visibility necessary to provide customers with the best experience possible, your solutions must be able to track a shipment from mode to mode. 2017 saw an uptick in companies adopting visibility technology for individual modes, and 2018 is going to see people consolidating those individual solutions into one that is multimodal.
The more interconnected our reporting tools are, the more data we can leverage to provide a better overall experience for customers. Where there would normally be gaps in visibility—like changing from ocean to rail, or rail to truck—a multimodal solution is able to track each step of the process, and provide everyone with real-time, actionable data. These solutions benefit everyone from the shipper down to the end customer.
A company’s level of effective digitization is likely to be a serious metric by which success is measured over the next few years. It is quickly becoming an adapt-or-die situation, and many companies have already started down the road toward digitization. Luckily, with partnerships like project44 and MercuryGate bringing simple integrations and a quick road to digitization, it’s not hard to catch up if you act quickly.