Selecting the Right Real-Time Visibility Provider: A Comprehensive Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right real-time visibility provider is a critical decision for any supply chain stakeholder. With so many options in the market, the decision-making process can be a maze. project44’s comprehensive Advanced Visibility Buyer’s Guide is here to help.

Access the guide to learn critical points to consider, key questions to pose, and potential pitfalls to avoid when evaluating visibility providers. Arm yourself with knowledge that simplifies the selection process and helps you make a strategic, informed choice.

Download the Advanced Visibility Buyer’s Guide here or keep reading for key takeaways.

1. Complete Coverage

Choosing a real-time visibility vendor hinges on their ability to offer complete coverage across various modes of transportation globally. It’s essential to consider coverage depth, ability to stitch modes together, and expertise in emerging markets. A significant criterion is comprehensive visibility, including the last mile and logistics choke points like terminals and yards. A broad global presence is crucial for effective carrier network connectivity and improved data quality. Be wary of vendors with limited visibility, slow network growth, regional employee silos, and inadequate on-ground presence in key areas.

2. Reliable & Secure Data

A visibility provider must offer quality, reliable, and secure data. This includes an API-first approach for real-time and comprehensive data, rigorous security and privacy measures, and carrier compliance assurances. Key components of quality data are accuracy, timeliness, completeness, and high-fidelity. Avoid vendors with outdated tracking methods, manual carrier onboarding, and a lack of data analysis tools.

3. Collaboration

Advanced visibility is essential for fostering collaboration across the entire supply chain ecosystem, improving relationships and efficiency. Solutions with an open network allow data sharing across suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, even those not using the same platform. Look for providers offering extensive data-sharing abilities and confidentiality control. Avoid those with limited shipment sharing abilities or where customer interactions depend solely on the shipper for updates.

4. Actionable Insights

A visibility solution that offers advanced analytics is crucial for transforming global operations. Analytical insights like predictive ETAs, carrier performance insights, and port congestion analytics can help mitigate supply chain disruptions. Look for platforms that provide a comprehensive view of associated SKUs, orders and shipments, aiding inventory management and exception handling. Be wary of providers with limited analytics capabilities or those unable to offer a single, unified view of orders, inventory, and shipments, as they may compromise operational efficiency.

5. Workflow Automation

Workflow automation in the shipment lifecycle is crucial for reducing costs and improving efficiency by digitizing processes like rating, dispatch, and tendering. Digital documents like electronic bill of lading (eBOL) minimize manual errors and lessen the need for in-person interactions. Visibility platforms offer solutions for automating the entire over-the-road shipment lifecycle. Be wary of providers lacking lifecycle tools, the capability to support eBOL, or those limited to one mode.

6. Partnerships & Integrations

In a complex industry, partnerships and integrations are key for a seamless workflow. Successful visibility providers build relationships with tech leaders and carriers, enabling interoperability, reducing implementation time, and delivering high-quality data. Native integrations with Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Yard Management Systems (YMS), and Order Management Systems (OMS) providers are essential to turn visibility data into actionable insights. Beware of providers that lack these connections and native integrations.

Ready to make an informed, strategic decision about your real-time visibility provider? Download project44’s Advanced Visibility Buyer’s Guide and start your journey towards a more efficient, reliable, and collaborative supply chain.

Download project44’s Advanced Visibility Buyer’s Guide.