OmniLocation: Why your end-to-end logistics doesn’t have to be invisible

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Real-time, end-to-end visibility. This is the proverbial holy grail of supply chain and logistics operations. For years, it’s been complex and costly to capture and analyze location and condition data from the time a product leaves an overseas plant to the moment it hits the store shelf. For most, it’s been too costly to get that item-level data in real or near real time so critical business decisions can be made on the fly. But the impetus to do so is clear. Operational costs go down, service is improved and business opportunities open up.

Thanks to new, low-cost tracking technology, logistics and transportation companies can find out not only where a shipment is at any given moment, but also what condition it is in and why. For instance, a carrier can find out what happened to the daily fish delivery that arrived at the last stop not so fresh. Did the truck’s refrigeration wane? Did the truck break down? Was there an unexpected traffic event that added several hours to the route? Something else?

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) readers and tags can include embedded sensors that monitor location, temperature, motion, light and pressure to track asset location and condition anywhere in the world in real time. The readers can share data via cellular connectivity and can even act as a relay with other devices to create a mesh network. The tags have multiple functions, work for years on a single coin cell battery and are compatible with any mobile device supporting the BLE standard (which is nearly every smartphone, tablet and PC made since 2012). Both readers and tags can be hardened for durability and include encryption to protect the data, onboard memory storage and other features.

Real-time, end-to-end visibility needs more than tracking devices. The best option is to enlist a cloud-based location analytics service that helps carriers manage their entire operation using real-time track-and-trace technologies to monitor shipments, distribution and estimated time of arrivals (ETAs), so scheduling, workforce management and inventory planning can be more accurate. The service should be able to work around the world, indoors and out (think planes, trains, trucks, depots), and report on delays from the planned schedule, conditions, associations with other shipments that are part of the same order, and so on. It should also include integration to eliminate silos between systems and multichannel alerts to notify people when there’s a problem.

Business intelligence and advanced analytics are the pièce de résistance of an optimal location analytics service. They provide the ability to make sense of all the data so carriers can be proactive and predictive about ways to optimize supply chain and logistics services. With intelligent workflow planning and management, the right resources are available at the right time. And inefficient processes can be identified and fixed as they are happening, like the reason behind the spoiled fish:  Overly enthusiastic chefs at each stop who pull all the fish out of the truck to make their picks.


Daniel Munyan headshot-loresDaniel Munyan is the Global Geomatics & IoT Analytics Product Manager for DXC Analytics. Daniel brings over 30 years’ experience in technology evangelism, applied research, and product engineering. Daniel works with clients to understand their supply chains, transportation systems, mobile resources and asset infrastructures by digitizing the enterprise and physical world. His goal is to enable clients to apply technology resulting in fewer, better business decisions.


Adam-Roark-headshot_loresAdam Roark is Offering General Manager for Freight Logistics and Rail in WW Travel & Transportation. In this role, responsibilities include, development and execution of a Go-To-Market strategy, which also includes a Product strategy. In addition, working with the Regional Industry Coverage Leaders on developing and executing a sales strategy. As the offering GM, this includes the overall financial responsibility for the various solutions within the offering family.

Comments

  1. End-to-end visibility is a must have in order for organizations to effectively communicate, proactively solve problems and provide the level of service expected from both partner organizations and customers.

    Like

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