Visibility has been a focal point of logistics companies for decades, but until recently, technology has been unable to retrieve accurate and up-to-date data to provide true shipment visibility – beyond just track and trace. But the transportation and logistics industry is evolving, and without visibility into planning, documentation, and analytics, you’re not getting a full picture of what’s happening with your shipments. Supply chains are growing more complex, technology is changing the way we are able to collect data, and the demands of the modern consumer are reshaping the ways we utilize that data. Everything is changing, and the scope and definitions of visibility have changed to better fit the industry of today.
The Evolution of Visibility
A commonly-heard phrase around the industry is, “If you ask five different people to define visibility you’ll get five different answers.” It’s true, most companies can’t seem to agree on exactly what visibility means, but that’s because different companies have different uses for their visibility data. While most logistics companies agree that visibility has something to do with tracking shipments, the wide range of needs of modern logistics companies and the increased data made possible by modern technology have greatly expanded the definition of visibility. Visibility now goes well beyond just load tracking, and encompasses data from the entire shipment workflow from planning to transit to documentation.
What is Visibility?
Visibility is control over your business thanks to information. Solutions that only focus on tracking don’t provide you with the information you need to mitigate the various issues that occur throughout the shipment workflow. There’s too much other useful data—data that you can and should have access to—that can give you unique insights into the way you supply chain and your company function. Using the dynamic data provided by project44, you can accelerate your ability to grow your business and serve your customers. It puts you in control with accurate information and actionable insights. It also allows you to communicate that data seamlessly across suppliers, carriers, systems, and customers, so that the parts of your supply chain you have less control over are armed with the same high-quality data. This kind of visibility data allows for instant pricing, rates, and booking, and enables things like intelligent routing, automated pickups, proactive tracking, digital documents, and automatic payment reconciliation.
Visibility is the key to this new era of transportation and logistics. As consumer demands change and technology is built to meet those demands, companies who wish to remain competitive must leverage the best technology solutions available to them. Those solutions will be built around visibility that goes beyond tracking to include planning, documentation, and analytics.