Transportation Visibility: Do You See What I See?

Categories

Transportation Visibility: Do You See What I See?

August 30, 2022

How to Select a TMS Visibility Platform for Improved Speed, Quality, and Cost

This article first appeared in Logistics Viewpoints, in August 2022. 

To test the thinking and visibility of his students, Socrates held up a white ball in front of his student and asked, “What color is the ball?”

Almost without thinking, the student answered, “The ball is white, teacher.”

Socrates then slowly turned the ball around to reveal the back of the ball, painted black. “Next time, before you answer,” said Socrates, “examine both sides.”

In today’s supply chain business, where customers increasingly expect faster, better, cheaper service, success often turns on gleaning real-time visibility into shipments in transit. Indeed, who couldn’t benefit from improved transportation visibility?

Yet, for many operators, orders are still tracked using lagging carrier information gleaned from phone calls, websites, spreadsheets, emails, and other old-school forms of reporting. Then, when schedules aren’t met, it’s an unpleasant surprise to all involved. Bottlenecks form. Labor stalls. Customer satisfaction suffers. And in some cases, service penalties ensue.

Even if your transportation management system (TMS) is ingesting carrier EDI information directly, the data you receive is often hours after that fact, leaving you to “best-guess” actual delivery times. What is stopping a carrier from “fudging” the information a little to save face? You don’t know what you don’t know. Not the most efficient way to run a logistics business.

Real-Time Transportation Visibility Defined

A real-time transportation visibility platform (RTTVP) is essential to improve visibility and control across your transportation network.

An RTTVP is a software solution that tracks and traces loads in transit regardless of carrier or mode. It collects and stores data from a variety of sources. These sources may include electronic logging devices, telematics networks, mobile devices, RF devices, and GPS information from automatic identification systems for ship locations and NORAD for aircraft positioning. This data is then fed directly into your TMS, providing a real-time, verifiable, 360° view of shipments in process, allowing you to choose more efficient routes, save fuel and time, and provide your customers a better experience overall.

Not All Platforms Are the Same

Of course, the kind of RTTVP you use depends on your desired outcomes. Providers offer an array of capabilities, some of which can add considerable cost to the solution you implement.

Over-equipping or under-equipping wastes time and money. So, here are a few top-level factors to consider before you go all in:

  • Size and Scope: Are you running a smaller, more controllable environment, such as a warehouse or factory? Or a more extensive, more complex, matrixed operation, involving multiple suppliers and third-party manufacturers. Obviously, the latter will require a more sophisticated solution.
  • Shipment vs. Product-Level Tracking: An RTTVP will provide visibility into load-level tracking; if you are tracking product SKUs, you’ll require a control tower solution.
  • Visibility Only or Visibility with Intelligence: The former represents a simpler integration with your TMS, whereas the latter will require full platform access.

Rely on Professional Assistance

The competitive landscape in logistics today is leaning toward tighter operations with greater transparency for all. A well-vetted, right-fitting RTTVP solution can equip you with the insights you need to balance speed, quality, and cost.

Don’t be in the dark when it comes to your shipments in transit. Get on the ball with improved visibility into your transportation operation with an RTTVP solution.

Read Open Sky Group expert Michelle Sodomka’s complete insight via Logistics Viewpoints.

Related Articles

It’s time to elevate.

Discover how Open Sky Group
can help you reach new heights
of supply chain efficiency.

Jeremy Hudson

Vice President of Client Services

Jeremy’s focus is on the products and services clients need to stay competitive. Open Sky Group’s mission is to deliver technology-enabled solutions that allow our customers to achieve more while having the flexibility to adapt to change. Jeremy lives the core values and mission by bringing the best experience possible to our clients. He is an essential member of implementation teams, working alongside clients, and encouraging them to use innovation and best practices instead of customizations for success.

Jason Yantiss

Vice President of Client Services

Jason provides leadership to a variety of teams focused on implementation and integration. With 27+ years of experience holding operational and technical management roles in transportation, billing, and warehousing across a vast array of industry verticals, Jason is adept at driving multiple complex projects, understanding customer needs at all levels of the operation and providing viable solutions. Jason’s resume of 150+ implementation projects include Warehouse, Labor, Transportation, Yard Management and multiple AR/AP Freight Pay and Customer Billing systems. 

Eric McPherson

Vice President of Client Services

Mac works to oversee implementation and integration projects. A former Marine officer and military police officer, he brings over 27 years of supply chain experience, including 11 years at Blue Yonder in both delivery and service sales. Mac is a dedicated, team-oriented professional with a background in business management, professional services, customer service, and supply chain technology. His specialties include sales support, supply chain execution systems, project management, fulfillment operations, distribution operations, and GSA contracts.

Shannon Caflisch

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Shannon is responsible for the strategy and management of all sales, business development, and marketing programs. With over 25 years of sales experience and 15 years focused in the supply chain space, Shannon focuses on building strong relationships with clients and partners and strives to deliver the right software solutions to help conquer supply chain challenges. Shannon believes in learning by listening to understand clients’ goals, struggles, and what is important to their business to build lasting, successful relationships.

Alan Prillaman

Senior Vice President of Client Services

As Senior VP of Client Services, Alan oversees all consulting services and account management at Open Sky Group. Possessing over 30 years of combined industry and consulting experience, Alan leverages his unique background in IT, logistics, quality management systems, manufacturing and distribution operations, and facility and strategic account management to provide clients with creative resolutions to complex challenges. His core philosophy and passion are to deliver tangible value for and establish long-term trusted partnerships with our clients.

Mike Noble

Senior Vice President of Technology

As Senior Vice President of Technology, Mike leads Open Sky Group’s Managed Services, Software Services, Infrastructure Services, and Information Technology teams bringing 35+ years of experience in Supply Chain Execution and Information Technology. Mike and his teams ensure we maintain the highest levels of customer service in a secure and reliable environment, constantly reviewing and evaluating new technologies, their appropriateness and applicability so we can safely and securely transact our own business – and help our clients accomplish the same.

Chad Kramlich

CEO

Joining Open Sky Group in 2015, Chad, served as Chief Revenue Officer for three years prior to his appointment to CEO in 2022. With over 25 years of experience delivering results for high-growth software and consulting organizations, Chad is leveraging his background in building efficient and effective implementation teams, establishing high-impact services operations, achieving revenue growth, and deepening executive-level client relations to help propel Open Sky Group into a very successful future.

Skip to content