As I mentioned in my previous blog, as Business Development Manager at IDS I spend much of my time talking to professionals with some kind of involvement in the logistics sector... and around 75% of those experts are supply chain professionals.
What continues to fascinate (and sometimes frustrate!) me is that, no matter which sector they are in – from manufacturing and chemicals to agriculture and consumer packaged goods – they all face very similar challenges.
Firstly, they are continuously battling to keep costs down, often feeling caught in the middle between their colleagues’ conflicting demands of budgets/profit targets and service level performance.
Secondly, despite the abundance of data, they struggle to gain relevant insights (e.g. who is the best and most cost-effective carrier for the product/volume/route/lead time in question?) quickly enough. This makes it difficult for them to make the right operational decisions to keep everyone happy (see challenge 1 – costs versus performance).
Thirdly, companies are placing a growing importance on sustainability and Supply Chain has a considerable impact – which means the onus is on the supply chain manager to come up with solutions for reducing packaging, waste, the carbon footprint and so on in line with the environmental KPIs.
And last but not least, supply chain managers lack sufficient time to do all of this properly – let alone to get to grips with new technologies such as blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and robotization, all of which have the potential to further improve efficiency.
The good news is, at IDS we support supply chain mangers in tackling all four of these challenges. With our help, you can build a future-proof supply chain revolving around agility, scalability and controllability. Thanks to our standardized processes and advanced IT systems for managed transportation services, combined with our neutrality and thorough knowledge of national and international transport markets, we can quickly and flexibly select the best carrier with the right specialization for each situation. This maximizes your transport synergy to improve your performance level while also reducing your supply chain costs – sometimes by as much as 15 to 20%.
How? Well, our automated simulation tools reveal ‘quick wins’ that can be achieved even with your limited time and resources. This can involve things like the smart consolidation and combination of shipments, streamlining of the invoicing process, systematic processing of disputes and claims, or letting us take care of your carrier management and transport contracting activities.
We can also improve your visibility into all the data, either by setting up an automated connection between you and IDS or by providing you with regular management reports to analyse your order/shipment levels, costs and carrier performance. Either way, you gain more transparency and a sound basis for data-driven decision-making.
On the topic of sustainability, we manage the carrier network and consolidate your shipments to create more full truck loads (FTLs) and better reverse logistics. This not only saves costs, but also reduces CO2 emissions in your supply chain. In fact, our certified CO2 reporting tool, developed in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), enables us to report CO2 data at any required level of detail (e.g. per shipment or per destination).
By helping to tackle the first three challenges, we ease the burden on you – which automatically helps to solve the fourth challenge: time. And wouldn’t that be great?! Extra time on your hands to think about how emerging technologies could help you to further improve your supply chain efficiency in the future.
Contact me to discuss how to take the first step towards keeping everyone happy – including yourself!