Sce_M07_Digi_V3.pdf 14/6/07 14:44:59
Supply Chain Visibility 27
“tender” or “manifest” loads to the appropri- final delivery to my neighbour. ous and detrimental knock-on impact on
ate carriers and manage the entire shipment If this process had been followed, my customer service. Only with the combina-
execution lifecycle which would include neighbour would have received his new tion of both order visibility and transporta-
tendering, confirmation, “proof-of-delivery”, IT equipment in one delivery, minimizing tion optimization tools can companies
and freight financial processing. the inconvenience to him and minimizing realistically expect to both reduce costs
the cost to the PC company. What is more, and improve customer service.
the logistics department would have also Adapting to meet the challenges of
Achieving Dual Goals optimized the deliveries for all of its other mass customization may only be a true con-
customers at the same time. There would cern for a relatively small number of logistics
Let us return to my neighbour’s recent have been no room for mass confusion and departments at this point in time — and
experience and consider what might have little chance of inefficiency. predominantly companies in the high tech
happened, rather than what did. If the It can be tricky to balance the dual and consumer electronics sectors. Yet,
right hand of inventory management and goals of increasing (or simply maintain- mass confusion in logistics is not unique to
the left hand of logistics had access to the ing) customer service, while also minimiz- mass customization. Haphazard shipments,
same information about the order, it would ing (or proactively reducing) costs. It is, incomplete orders and inefficient routing of
have become immediately apparent that however, not impossible if companies loads are unfortunately commonplace in a
not all of the items required to complete have the crucial combination of both order broad cross-section of companies across
the order would be available at the same visibility and transportation management multiple industries. All companies want to
time. What is more, logistics would have tools. Problems can arise when people reduce costs and improve customer service
perhaps realized that not all of the items try to consolidate loads, but don’t have — and with improved logistics processes,
were available from the same location and the visibility of inbound goods, orders most companies can.
would need to be merged in-transit. Deci- and planned shipments — and vice versa
sions could then have been made about when people have visibility but no means Razat Gaurav is Vice President of the
delaying the delivery of single items, for of planning loads and routes to reflect Global Transportation and Distribution
example, until the complete order was customer requirements. For example, Group at i2 Technologies, a leading
Y available, and plans could also have been someone could make a decision on provider of supply chain solutions.
made to route the different items to an the logistics side that would seemingly firstname.lastname@example.org
appropriate hub for consolidation before minimize costs, but that might have a seri- www.i2.com
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