Third-party providers navigate supply chain technology trends
Authored by Brian Thompson on October 10, 2018
Technology partners with a long-game approach to development and implementation understand that trends come and go, and it can make little sense to heavily invest in trumpeted technological advancements just because they’re “the new thing.” While technological advancement brings with it solutions that can revolutionize how businesses in the supply chain interact, it’s important for all stakeholders to be a little bit skeptical when any company introduces a supposedly game-changing new technology.
3PLs are typically first adopters of new technology, as a huge part of their value proposition to their clients is their ability to utilize advanced technology to solve their supply chain challenges. These logistics providers constantly keep their ears to the ground attending conferences and researching the latest technologies seeking new capabilities. 3PLs can make a single investment in technology and leverage that capability across many shippers.
While 3PLs are typically on the bleeding edge of technical advancements, it’s critical that all supply chain stakeholders do their homework when looking for a technology partner. They should select a provider that has a strong financial footing, a well-reasoned plan for growth and a solid track record of data security. This goes hand-in-hand with selecting a company that has an articulated plan for the future and enough expertise and experience in the supply chain arena to not get caught up on flash-in-the-pan trends.
Technology partners aren’t simply there to help companies adapt to new technologies. Technological advancements in the supply chain have brought increasing amounts of logistics data to industry stakeholders. This has, in turn, led to a jump in advanced analytics to turn that data into actionable information, a skill in which technology providers excel. Shippers are using analytics in conjunction with real-time visibility data to identify bottlenecks within their own processes and providers’ networks. This visibility allows them to estimate when shipments will arrive at the intended destination with greater certainty. The future is very bright in this area due to improving visibility technology, more advanced analytics and integrated collaboration tools.
As a consequence of this heavy analysis, there’s a chance that for some companies, data overload might be on the horizon. Five years ago, big data was just becoming a hot topic, and now, the amount of data available in the supply chain is mind-blowing. As time passes, data will only become more readily available. As that continues to progress, intelligent systems that leverage that data to create tangible business solutions will be in demand.
Rapid advancements in technology are changing the industry for the better, and at SMC³, our goal is to incorporate these new technologies into the supply chain processes of our clients. SMC³ truly is a neutral third party; we work for the good of the entire supply chain, helping supply chain companies separate lasting supply chain advancements from temporary industry disruptors.
SMC³ accomplishes this flexibility and adaptability by building our solutions for fast, painless integrations to TMS systems and other applications. SMC³’s goal is always to help our clients get up and running as quickly as possible, so they can start consuming data via our solutions and begin to optimize the lifecycle of their LTL shipments.
To learn more about the SMC³ Platform, visit the Knowledge Hub to learn how SMC³ tailors its offerings for shippers, carriers, 3PLs, technology providers and other supply chain stakeholders. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to a sales representative about SMC³ products.