WHAT IS SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY?
Armies throughout history have had problems with their supply chains. From Hannibal being cut off by Scipio Africanus to Rommel’s problems west of Tobruk, many commanders have lamented not having better supply management. It is no different from businesses. A company cannot operate without its necessary items, and the supplies have to come from somewhere.
SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY
A key concept to successful supply chain management is supply chain visibility. Such visibility involves keeping track of stuff while it’s on the way from wherever it came from to wherever it’s going. That could be to your business or its warehouses, or it could be to your customers. In the 21st century, last-mile delivery is crucial to customer satisfaction. What is a last-mile delivery? That’s the part of the supply chain where the item goes from the closest hub to the customer’s residence or business. The focus of last-mile delivery is on speed, so supply chain visibility is essential. You can’t speed up the delivery if you don’t know when stuff gets to the hub!
One of the biggest reasons supply chain visibility is a headache is that many companies outsource their delivery operations. They have lost touch with something that they used to do themselves. With premium dispatch delivery software and route optimization software, however, they can see what their delivery operations folks are doing and take steps to improve their performance.
Key Software Systems has 20 years’ experience in developing such programs for both “Mom-and-Pop” businesses and Fortune 500 giants. Using either of the company’s two brands, Xcelerator or Mobiletek, allows you to monitor all aspects of your supply chain, particularly when paired with other software that provides real-time GPS positioning and even speed and tire wear monitoring.
The next big advancement coming down the turnpike, so to speak, is automation. Ever since that self-driving truck delivered that Coors Beer in Colorado, driving 132 miles by itself with no human interaction at all, the handwriting has been on the wall. In the future, you’ll be communicating with an on-board computer to get updates on progress instead of a human driver. You’re going to need powerful, user-friendly software to keep track of everything.
Key Software Systems has always been at the forefront of dispatch management software and other software that helps with supply chain management and visibility. Our prediction is that autonomous vehicles, and possibly solar-powered electric recharging coils in the pavement, will revolutionize the supply chain management industry in new and exciting ways. The Chinese are already building such highways.
When this shift happens, the software will have to keep up. It’s our job to make sure it does. We can already see all GPS-equipped vehicles in a delivery fleet in real-time. We can even see if the drivers are speeding! By combining the vehicle tracking software with item tracking software, we can see the items in transit and can make reasonable estimates on delivery times in the “last mile.”
Where will we be 10 or 15 years from now? We might even be tracking autonomous drones that leave items in rooftop receptacles. As the world of science fiction becomes more and more real, the principles of supply chain visibility remain as important as ever.