5 ways to build supply chain resilience

Nov 16, 2021
Supply Chain

Table of content:

The world has become aware of the fragility of global supply chains in recent months. Ripple effects have been occurring due to port congestion and workforce shortages. This has caused disruption that has proved inconvenient for customers when supplies run short and costly for companies who lose sales and incur penalties.

Therefore, risk management plans have become key to examining, recognizing, and alleviating perils as much as possible to avoid such scenarios. The severity of those instances can be lessened by building resilience to anticipate the root cause of such issues in the supply chain.

This article looks at risk factors that need to be addressed for a fluid digital supply chain to become a reality, and implement appropriate risk management solutions.

Risk factor #1: Concentration

Suppliers find it challenging to handle their costs and scale up or down with the shifts in demand, since so many job duties are specialized and require thorough training during hiring. Supply chains are also becoming longer and increasingly layered, at which point their complexity pushes companies to seek suppliers based further afield.

The increasing number of transportation modes coupled with the integration of systems can add a degree of perplexity to the idea of end-to-end visibility, let alone the thought of digitalizing a supply chain. But it does not always have to be like this.

Production managers are asking supply chain designers to develop more efficient ways of carrying out day-to-day supply chain execution to help ease this mounting financial pressure. By carrying out a root cause analysis using data captured from visibility solutions to identify issues in the current process, more effective solutions can be designed and implemented.

Risk factor #2: Supplier interconnectivity

Interconnectivity covers all aspects related to the tiers of channel, supplier, logistics, and global trade ecosystem partners who make decisions and orchestrate global supply chains across industries.

Organizations should work jointly with their tiered suppliers to build more transparency and address any concerns. Efficiently implementing a collaboration structure across planning, transparency of inventory levels, capacity, and flexibility can help generate visibility into potential issues, improving the organization’s resilience for the unavoidable risks that can become a problem in the future.

These challenges compound the need to build higher degrees of flexibility and agility. Interconnecting networks make it faster and easier for clients to realize the benefits of a connected digital supply chain, enabling them to improve customer loyalty and increase productivity consistently.

Risk factor #3: Supply-chain depth

Assembly line downtime can cost manufacturers and suppliers responsible for transporting their product, meaning they face hefty fines if they fail to meet delivery deadlines.

ETAs help suppliers and carriers better manage their synchronization to satisfy strict manufacturing requirements. There is a demand for greater accuracy than the routing APIs used for navigation, as forecasts for arrival times are off by a considerable number of hours. These unfinished calculations fail to consider many variables specific to the road transport sector, such as driver breaks, historical dwell times, and vehicle-specific average speeds, amongst many others.

This level of inaccuracy is problematic for manufacturers. Leading to a rise in the use of real-time transportation visibility (RTTV) platforms, which automatically warn users if a shipment is likely to miss its planned time of arrival, allowing corrective action to be taken.

Greater ETA accuracy is advantageous, as it can also help manufacturers and suppliers to avoid paying significantly high fees or fines each year. The more precise level of ETA prediction also equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties saved by suppliers and carriers.

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Risk factor #4: Dependency

With more transportation modes and partners involved, the number of systems to integrate to gain visibility can be daunting. A lack of visibility creates operational disorganization, especially at delivery sites. Most communication between shippers and carriers is done over email, phone, and fax, which makes it hard to check completed shipments for transport teams.

The consequence of this is more time spent trying to track deliveries than examining and optimizing their operations. The lack of knowledge related to delays or early arrivals leads to inefficiently managed loading docks, which creates long wait times while a vehicle waits for a dock slot or a late arrival is forced to wait for an opening in the schedule.

By using a real-time visibility platform, it is possible to know the exact time of arrival of deliveries, which lets you efficiently manage exceptions, helping you dynamically designate resources to alleviate any problems. Thus simplifying the exchange of information with your production line by giving them complete clarity of the real-time status and predicted ETA of incoming deliveries.

It is also easy to integrate with legacy systems via a unique API with a platform such as Shippeo, which connects to all data sources (shipper TMS, ERP or WMS, as well as carrier telematics and ocean tracking networks) to aggregate real-time information and instantly surface it in the platform of your choice.

Risk factor #5: Visibility

In its most ubiquitous understanding, visibility is access to data – either requested (synchronously) or through a notification (asynchronously) - related to delivering on any commitment, and is a key aspect of supply chain management. Without visibility, it is not possible to make swift, sharp conclusions with confidence, because the data is not there to make an informed decision. It becomes difficult to act on decisions to keep pace with competitors and avoid disruption.

Without the data to tell you what is going on, keeping up with the competition or responding to disruptions is hindered. And you cannot study what would improve or further optimize processes, which all play a role in producing better products and services, pleasing customers, and making higher profits.

Organizations may consider phasing in various degrees of visibility depending on their unique business context and needs. Teams should consult internally to examine how they would benefit from an RTTV platform. Benefits could include increased customer satisfaction levels, cost reductions and boosted productivity for teams. It can allow for improved performance, to the extent to which shipments are delivered to their destination, according to both the quantity and schedule specified on the order. Plus, increased transportation capacity thanks to efficient processes.

When carriers and other stakeholders are made aware of the benefits, they are more likely to implement a visibility solution. Because without carriers connected and high tracking rates, visibility doesn't exist. Shippeo's platform relies on a road transportation network of more than 140,000 unique carrier partners as well as an ocean visibility partner network to obtain real-time data for shipments around the globe. Using an advanced machine learning algorithm that processes this data and computes highly accurate predictive ETAs to let shippers, logistics service providers, carriers, and their end customers know precisely when to expect their deliveries and if there are delays expected, affected shipments can be expedited or other actions are taken.


Shippeo's robust supply chain visibility platform gives companies instant access to predictive and real-time information for deliveries. Our proprietary ETA algorithm enables you to quickly and accurately predict problems, helping efficiently manage exceptions to mitigate their impact.

From supply chain management to valuable insights on operations, our solution gives businesses a clear overview of their freight operations and monitor both upstream and downstream flows across all modes of transportation.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you to achieve real-time visibility and supply chain automation.

5 ways to build supply chain resilience
5 ways to build supply chain resilience
5 ways to build supply chain resilience

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