Why Visibility Is Core to Logistics: Takeaways from Gartner’s Latest Visibility Report

  Gartner Report Summary

As B2B and B2C customers ask for more real-time tracking information about their orders with the rise of the Delivery Economy, shippers and logistics service providers (LSPs) are quickly implementing real-time visibility technology. To review the current market and help shippers and LSPs navigate the visibility technology landscape, Gartner recently published a report, Smart Insights for the Real-Time Transportation Visibility and Monitoring Solution Market.

The report dives into why supply chain leaders are looking to real-time visibility to help solve today’s challenges—such as meeting customer requirements and improving internal efficiencies—and what they should keep in mind when they implement this technology. Here are a few key takeaways from the report.

Visibility Is a Must for All Shippers and LSPs

Adoption of visibility technology has increased, and it has become critical for organizations to implement transportation visibility as part of their core technology strategy. Gartner found that visibility is one of the top three funded supply chain initiatives in 2019 with 46% of supply chain leaders indicating that it is an investment priority.

  Gartner Report Top 3 Funded Initiative resized

Source: Gartner’s Smart Insights for the Real-Time Transportation Visibility and Monitoring Solution Market

To meet the evolving expectations of customers, real-time visibility has become a requirement. And it’s not only for large companies or specific industries. The report highlights how organizations of all sizes, geographies, and industries will need to adopt visibility and advanced analytics.

While real-time visibility is essential for the future of the supply chain, it’s not easy to implement visibility across your entire supply chain overnight. To guide organizations through the visibility journey, Gartner has created a maturity model that outlines various stages as to how supply chains can incorporate visibility over time.

They recommend taking a strategic approach, starting with the transportation mode that would offer the most value to your organization. After you have gotten everything up and running, start expanding your visibility coverage and capabilities.

Carrier Compliance Needs to Be Addressed

As you start to incorporate real-time visibility, Gartner recommends prioritizing carrier compliance. Because of the large and segmented carrier market, it’s difficult to gain access to tracking information for all of your carriers, across all modes, and throughout all geographies. Carrier compliance is a major challenge to successfully implementing visibility. Without all of your carriers providing tracking information, you won’t have complete visibility into your shipments.

Finding a visibility provider with a large carrier network, as well as a way to automate the carrier onboarding process, will allow you to overcome carrier compliance roadblocks. With an extensive network and the industry’s only onboarding application, the Network Management Center™, project44 eases carrier compliance concerns, allowing you to get up and running quickly while also setting you up for long term success.

Data Quality Is Key

In addition to challenges with carrier compliance, organizations should prioritize the accuracy and cleanliness of data. Gartner examines how poor data quality can impact the accuracy of predictive analytics, such as estimated times of arrival (ETAs). Without accurate data, you won’t be able to run analytics, make informed decisions, or obtain impactful results.

While access to a large network across modes and geographies provides more coverage, it’s also important to ensure the data is collected in real-time. If it’s not collected frequently, you won’t have insight into the latest information. Gartner discusses how EDI data, which has been widely used in the past, offers insight into milestones but doesn’t allow for the real-time updates that are needed in today’s transportation process.

Leveraging a solution that prioritizes direct API connections or integrations with ELD/​telematics devices will ensure you have real-time data. In addition to collecting high-fidelity data, project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform™ cleanses and normalizes data, providing the insights needed to make informed decisions and garner the real value of visibility.

Visibility Can Work Wonders for Collaboration

By offering insight that impacts the entire supply chain, advanced visibility has become central to transportation, warehouse, yard, and fleet management. 

  Gartner Report Visibility at the Core resized

Source: Gartner’s Smart Insights for the Real-Time Transportation Visibility and Monitoring Solution Market

Organizations are continuing to expand their scope of visibility to gain a more complete view into their process. While shippers started using advanced visibility to gain insight into outbound shipments and provide customers with the accurate and real-time information they’re looking for, they’re now gaining visibility into inbound shipments, allowing them to optimize labor and resources. 

With quality data throughout the entire process, organizations and their partners can streamline operations. To gain this type of value, data sharing and collaboration are critical. With a deeper level of collaboration, advanced visibility provides the opportunity for all parties to obtain information in real-time.

Gartner emphasizes how real-time visibility platforms connect everyone involved while also providing each stakeholder with their own benefits. By increasing communication, the entire ecosystem—shippers, LSPs, carriers, and end customers—can see the short- and long-term results that are needed to future-proof supply chains.