“With IoT taking over every aspect of transportation management systems, supply chain managers need to keep a close watch on what this emerging concept means to their customers, suppliers and stakeholders“– Kevin Hill
With the commencement of 2017, shippers and supply chain professionals are likely to come under the pressure of adapting to a host of challenges and emerging trends. Not to forget, the stress of catering to changing customer demands while keeping the costs low in an uncertain market.
Keeping these factors as a priority, here are 6 more reasons to be concerned about if you wish to stay competitive in coming times:
1. Ensuring Compliance with Consistently Changing Regulations
The regulations released on the 1st of July, 2016 require that every shipping company should validate the gross weight of all the cargo items and consignments before they are loaded. The best way to avoid any violation of the SOLAS treaty is to employ certified and calibrated truck scales. Truck scales are highly accurate and ensure compliance and safety while preventing overloading fines and errors.
2. The Ongoing Need to Expand Capacity
Expanding capacity should be the top priority of every shipper in 2017.It is important to ensure adequate capacity to handle the future needs of freight given the possibility of capacity becoming tight. Shippers and supply chain managers would need to focus on creating an agile supply chain that can evolve in response to frequent market changes while maintaining efficient and effective operations. It is crucial that shippers ensure instant access to trucks and avoid disruptions in transportation. This would call for logistics optimization by:
- Consolidating consignments every time it is possible to do so
- Increasing the utilization of trucks
- Expanding the carrier base for timely and efficient deliveries
- Employing carrier-friendly practices to boost the productivity of truck drivers
- Using dedicated fleets to add extra capacity to the network
3. Dealing with A Severe Shortage of Truck Drivers
The current shortage of truck drivers is estimated to be around 50,000 and this gap is only expected to increase in the near future due to stringent regulations and aging drivers. The supply chain industry will continue to struggle as a large portion of drivers proceed towards their retirement in the coming years. Supply chain managers would need to focus on recruiting reliable and experienced truck drivers and retaining them. In order to achieve the needed capacity they would also need to expand the mode mix while working in close collaboration with trusted carrier partners.
4. Reducing Costs to Stay Competitive
Improving supply chain management is not going to be adequate for those who want to stay successful beyond 2017. Supply chain managers and shipping companies would need to identify ways and means to improve visibility into supply chain operations. This visibility would facilitate managers to cut costs and improve efficiency. However, those who are already making the most of low-hanging fruits may find it difficult to cut costs any further. If you are looking to optimize your supply chain expenses by rebalancing time against cost, you should consider leveraging third party logistics.
5. Leveraging Nex-Gen Technology for Improving Supply Chain Management
In order to ensure that supply chain operations run smoothly and efficiently, it is important to establish and execute a standard delivery regimen with predetermined appointments and tighter delivery windows. Suppliers who fail to meet these requirements should be penalized especially if they are responsible for time-sensitive projects. Today’s advanced technology offers real-time visibility into everything – from traffic and weather conditions to mission-critical KPI’s and shipment status. With end-to-end visibility into the entire supply chain process, it is possible to prevent delays and discrepancies while ensuring business continuity at all times.
6. Keeping Pace with Emerging Industry Trends to Increase Supply Chain Performance
With IoT taking over every aspect of transportation management systems, supply chain managers need to keep a close watch on what this emerging concept means to their customers, suppliers and stakeholders. The best way to make the most of the industrial Internet of Things is to affiliate with forward-thinking companies that have a pulse on progressive logistics technology.
This would also entail the use of autonomous vehicles, accurate truck scales, computerized chain management, GPS devices and wireless supply chain technology that facilitates on-the-fly monitoring of operations. Incorporating technology is the easiest way to improve efficiency, reduce errors, bring down your operational expenses, save time, simplify processes and ensure greater customer satisfaction.
Author Bio: Kevin Hill heads up the marketing efforts and provides technical expertise to the sales and service teams at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, California. He enjoys everything mechanical and electronic, computers, the internet and spending time with family.