7 min read

Digitally Transforming Your Supply Chain

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Last month, FreightPOP CRO Justin Dickson and Partnerships Manager Jon Freeman hosted the USA Manufacturing Hour (#USAMfgHour) chat on Twitter, where they answered questions about digitally transforming supply chains. 

The #USAMfgHour chat was created by Dan Bigger and Social Selling B2B's Ruby and takes place every Thursday at 11 AM PST. During this time, the manufacturing community throughout the country engages in lively discussion while promoting and educating each other about various topics relevant to the industry.

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FreightPOP kicked off the hour by posing the question: “Have you ever looked into digitizing your supply chain but were unsure of what that means and how to do it?”

Supply Chain Mapping

Nigel T. Parker (@NigelTParker) offered a pragmatic answer: 

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Nigel hits the nail on the head in pointing out you need a summary view of how your supply chain functions, however, that view does not provide the real-time overview that a digitized system offers.  


Check out what Justin had to say in response in his video answer here:

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Essentially, Justin explains that digitally transforming your organization’s supply chain hinges on four key areas:

  • Implementing technology, such as a Transportation Management System (TMS)  
  • Integrating your technology with your existing processes 
  • Configuring data collection (to understand carrier discrepancies better and evaluate performance)
  • Developing a culture of quality driven by consistency and cohesiveness across your organization

 

Implement An Enterprise Transportation Management System



capacity is tight

Next in the chat, FreightPOP asked: “When freight services and costs are out of control, how can technology help with that?” 

Manufacturing News, Inc. (@MfrsNews) highlighted the salience of this topic by mentioning the current capacity issues affecting shippers right now, with prices rocketing out of control. 

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diversity with real-time visibility

Jon weighed in by discussing why diversification is the key to developing more agile and resilient supply chain dynamics (video answer here): 

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Jon explains that gone are the days when manufacturers and ecommerce brands needed to be limited to a handful of carriers. Today, shippers can quickly shop around for the best shipping rates across innumerable carriers in real-time. This visibility allows businesses to pivot more quickly to benefit from competitive advantages as they arise.  

 

Tracking Freight With the Right Tools

Building off that last topic, FreightPOP’s next question focused on how managers can keep tabs on what's coming and going when they struggle with visibility. 

 

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Co-host Ruby (@SocialSMktg) quickly piped up that she hoped people are not still relying on old-school administrative tools like Microsoft Excel.  

 

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Believe it or not, many highly profitable manufacturers and businesses struggle with digital transformation and are not using automated processes. Even some high-profile companies still have their staff churning away on manual calculations and outdated tools like Excel, which places them at a significant disadvantage.

Greater Visibility with the right tracking

Justin stepped up to explain how companies can develop greater visibility into their domestic and global shipping operations through tracking (video answer here):  

 

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How can you make the most of your transportation management system?

Next, FreightPOP posed the following question on how firms can make the most of their Transportation Management System: 

 

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Jon said that a transportation management system ideally should provide a single "point of truth" (video answer here).

 

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Carrier Price Diversification and Options

To close out the #USAMfgHour, FreightPOP asked: "I'm hit hard on headcount and resources. How can digitization help me expand my workforce?" 

Plastics Plus Tech (@PPT_Bodor) jumped into the conversation to share their perspective on the benefits:  

 

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Justin wrapped up his thoughts by sharing the true value digitalization offers (
video answer here):

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Digitizing Logistics

Want tips on how to make headway into digitally transforming your logistics? Use our free ebook bundle: Integrations & Digitizing Logistics! There are many moving parts to your supply chain. Access free industry tips on integrating and creating better supply chains to manage and scale your freight!  

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