The average supply chain looks and operates similarly from company to company. There will be some differences depending on what the product is, but for the most part, companies follow similar guidelines to get a product to the end user. When every company operates the same way, it can be difficult to determine who does a better job. Every company wants to stand out. Every company wants to improve their operations. Staying average and never making changes isn’t the way to grow your company. Changing the way things have always been done can be intimidating in the short run, but in the long run, it’s beneficial to the company as a whole. The best way to elevate your supply chain operations is to invest in asset tracking technology. By reading this blog, you’ll come to understand why.
Increase Your ROI by Investing in AirFinder Everywhere
- Loss Prevention. Reduce the amount of loss that occurs during the supply chain process
- Location Coverage. AirFinder Everywhere uses a combination of GPS, Cellular, and WiFi to determine location everywhere
- Security Alerts. Know when a delay in shipment has occurred so the problem
can be addressed immediately.
What Supply Chain Operations Look Like Without Asset Tracking Technology
Your basic supply chain operations don’t have much visibility for fleet managers. Trucks are required to have telematics systems that provide some information about the operations to fleet managers. Telematics systems provide truck location information while the truck is powered on. They also provide data surrounding fuel consumption and other driver behavior. Since telematics only provides information on the truck when it’s on, the data collected from the system is incomplete. The system won’t track anything that goes on while the truck is powered off. It also lacked any insights into the status of your trailers. You don’t have visibility of the trailer or what’s on the trailer. Mistakes often go unnoticed for long periods of time due to this lack of visibility most companies have.
Manual Data Entry
The entire world is slowly making the switch from manual to automation. If you haven’t participated in this switch, you’re quickly falling behind. Tracking assets through various stages of the supply chain relies on human intervention, making it susceptible to inaccuracies. Without automation, you have to manually collect and input data points. This data can be unreliable. Could there have been an error made in the collection of the data? What about an error in the imputation of data? Decisions being made based on this data may not be the best decision to make for the company. Discrepancies in this area have too large of a negative impact to risk by continuing manual efforts. Since these efforts are so time consuming, companies are spending time on efforts that could be better spent if they used automation.
Increased Security Risks
Theft is a common occurrence in logistics operations. It’s also a costly circumstance managers have to deal with. With all the moving pieces in supply chain operations, it can be difficult to identify when and if theft occurs. Both trailers and the goods they are carrying are common targets of theft. With a lack of visibility, you lack the resources to address this unfortunate situation. You have no way of knowing when the theft occurred or where the stolen assets ended up. This prolongs the recovery process. You even run the risk of never recovering the stolen assets. This loss leads to delayed processes, financial loss, and hurts your relationships with customers.
With limited visibility comes limited transparency. Without visibility, fleet managers have no information to share with customers. Customers’ expectations are increasing. They expect full transparency of their orders from the companies they order from. Customers find transparency so important that they have left one company for another due to the lack of transparency being provided to them. If you don’t have visibility of their order, neither will they. In the case of delays or disruptions, companies are unable to proactively communicate with customers, leading to further dissatisfaction. If this problem goes unaddressed, unhappy customers will lead to a damaged company reputation.
Ineffective Resource Allocation
Without visibility, companies lack information surrounding the usage of their assets. For example, many trailers go underutilized without the fleet manager’s knowledge. This typically leads to purchases being made when they don’t need to be, because managers are making purchasing decisions based on complaints of asset shortages from employees instead of based on data. Underutilizing assets also means some assets are being overutilized. This ultimately affects the asset lifecycle. Overutilized assets will have a shortened lifespan. Underutilized assets also run the risk of a shortened lifespan, as they typically won’t be up to date on maintenance requirements.
Difficulty in Tracing Shipments
In the case of product recalls or quality issues, identifying affected batches or lots can be a challenging task. This difficulty is particularly pronounced when goods pass through multiple touchpoints and facilities. This can lead to delays in addressing the problem and potentially harm a company's reputation. Without accurate tracking, companies may face difficulties in providing concrete proof of delivery, potentially resulting in disputes and financial loss. The absence of this vital technology hampers operational efficiency and leaves companies vulnerable to costly errors and disruptions.
What Supply Chain Operations Look Like With Asset Tracking Technology
As repeatedly demonstrated above, a lack of visibility leads to many other issues. So naturally, gaining complete visibility would solve those problems as well. With asset tracking software, fleet managers gain a clear view of their assets, from warehouses to transportation and through delivery. An asset tracking system can be integrated with your existing telematics system to expand asset visibility. Instead of just truck visibility, you can gain visibility of your trailers and the cargo on those trailers. This visibility allows you to make decisions based on location data and so much more. This technology is a cornerstone in modern supply chain management, ensuring that companies stay competitive in today's fast-paced global market.
Automated Data Entry
You see this simply in everyday life with the increasing number of features phones have. Automation saves you time and effort. Automation in the logistics space operates similarly with added benefits. An asset tracker automatically collects data about your asset including their location history and usage. Since the data is being collected by the asset tracking system, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the data is accurate. You’ll receive reliable data insights so you can make informed decisions to improve operational efficiency.
With the visibility of your assets everywhere they go, theft becomes less of a concern. This isn’t to say that you should ignore taking precautions to prevent theft, it means you have a safety guard in place in the case of theft. If you carefully choose an asset tracking solution with geofencing capabilities, you’re able to respond to theft as soon as it takes place. When an asset crosses the virtual boundary you establish, you will get notified immediately so you can take action. Additionally, the asset tracking device on the stolen asset will continually share its location with you so you can recover it quickly. This heightened level of security not only protects valuable assets but also bolsters trust among partners and customers. With asset tracking technology, companies can fortify the integrity and security of their supply chain, mitigating the substantial risks and losses associated with theft. It is an indispensable tool in safeguarding the flow of goods from point of origin to final destination.
With visibility comes transparency. Now that you have visibility through asset tracking, you can provide full transparency with your customers. If a delay occurs during the supply chain, you’ll be aware of the delay so you can communicate the delay with the customer. Even more, you’ll be able to easily identify the cause of the delay. When you know the cause, you can take action to address the issue (as long as it’s within your control). Transparency also helps to prove legal compliance. If you’re transporting assets that must meet certain requirements, you have documentation to prove your compliance. As mentioned above, customers value transparency. When you’re able to provide that information to them, they’ll be likely to return and even tell their friends about the positive experience.
Effective Resource Allocation
Understanding your asset utilization is key to efficiently using your assets. If you don’t know how often each asset is being used, you can’t properly determine if you need to purchase more. Oftentimes, companies assume they need more than what they have because they don’t realize they aren’t efficiently using what they have. This leads to unneeded spending. Additionally, learning your operational efficiency allows you to identify areas that could be operating more efficiently than they are. If you track all your trailers, you may discover that some of your trailers are going unused for months at a time. Think about how many more deliveries you could have made if those trailers were being used.
Ease in Tracing Shipments
Tracing shipments becomes much easier when using an asset tracking platform. The tags on the asset will provide you with real time location information when you need it. If you need to trace a shipment, it’s a simple process. You simply look up the location on the UI. That’s it! Then you can send the proper parties to retrieve the shipment. This information helps you to address problems quickly and with ease. In cases of product recalls or quality concerns, pinpointing affected batches is swift and efficient. This swift response ensures timely action, safeguarding customer satisfaction and operational integrity. The convenience and efficiency brought by asset tracking technology streamline operations, reducing time and resources spent on manual tracing efforts. It ultimately empowers companies to provide reliable, transparent service to customers, reinforcing trust and bolstering the reputation of the supply chain.
Which Asset Tracking Solution Is Best?
Link Labs provides an asset tracking solution called AirFinder Everywhere. This solution tracks your assets anywhere they go in real time. This simple solution provides companies with complete visibility of their logistics operations. Because of this visibility, companies can take their operations to the next level. They can identify areas of inefficiency and take steps to improve it. Additionally, they can be notified of issues in real time so they can address the problems quickly. When taking these proactive measures, companies will equip themselves with the tools they need to stand out from their competitors.
Will You Elevate Your Operations With Asset Tracking?
When companies invest in asset tracking technology, they are no longer the average company that performs day to day supply chain operations. They become an industry leader. Customers will flock to companies who are keeping up with the times and taking strides to improve their operations. To learn more about asset tracking technology and the impact it will have on your supply chain operations, book a demo with our team of experts.