How Shippers Can Improve Real-time Transportation Procurement Strategies?

TheCodeWork
10 min readOct 18, 2023

Real-time procurement is the way of the future. In the world of Logistics and Transportation, Shippers are the key players! How? Well, they are the trailblazers when it comes to the movement of goods from Point A to Point B. However, this journey is not without challenges. In today’s evolving landscape, the logistics industry is under increasing pressure to optimize their operations, reduce costs, and enhance efficiency. Now, to achieve these goals, there’s one effective approach to this. Yes, it is by integrating real-time solutions into their transportation procurement strategies.

Real-time solutions provide shippers with instant visibility into their supply chain. This heightened visibility empowers shippers to make informed decisions and respond quickly to changing circumstances. So, let me get started with today’s objective of informing you how shippers can uplevel their real-time transportation procurement strategies.

According to Gartner, 50% of logistics service providers will offer real-time visibility as a standard feature by 2024. Of course! Why wouldn’t they? In the traditional model, procurement processes were time-consuming and lacked the real-time visibility necessary for agile decision-making.

Shippers had to encounter challenges such as limited transparency, difficulties in tracking shipments, and a lack of cost control. But not to worry anymore! TheCodeWork has come to the scene with a commitment to transform the logistics landscape by providing revolutionary tech-oriented solutions.

Now, before we proceed! Note this down; Real-time technology is not only revolutionizing the way shippers manage their operations but it will also upscale your business proficiency. How? you ask. Well, it brings you a bundle of offerings like substantial cost savings, efficiency gains, and improved customer satisfaction. So, as the industry continues to evolve, staying ahead through real-time solutions will be the key to success.

Challenges and Limitations faced by Shippers

The globalization of markets and supply chains has vastly expanded the reach of shippers. However, it has also introduced complexities in managing them as well! Previously, these challenges have been met with conventional procurement methods, but as the logistics landscape continues to evolve- These issues are coming to the forefront with major upgrades!

So, let’s have a look at some of these issues & how they affect the supply chains:

  • Demand for Faster Deliveries:

In an era where Amazon Prime has set the bar for rapid deliveries! Customers across industries are increasingly expecting shorter lead times.

Now over here, let me tell you that shippers must not only meet these demands but also do so efficiently! And to do that, shippers can utilize Real-time transportation procurement technology for dynamic route optimization, & improve their speed of order fulfillment.

  • Volatile Market Conditions:

Market conditions are notoriously unpredictable, and factors like natural disasters, political changes, and economic shifts can disrupt supply chains.

But Real-time solutions provide shippers with the agility to respond to these unexpected challenges swiftly. By tracking shipments and adjusting routes in real time, they can mitigate potential disruptions.

  • Shifting Consumer Expectations:

As e-commerce continues to grow, consumers expect more visibility and control over their orders. Meeting these expectations is challenging without the tools and technologies necessary for real-time transportation procurement.

Subsequently, the logistics industry continues to evolve, and real-time technology opens the path of innovation and adaptation. That’s the reason, TheCodeWork wants to play the catalyst role in order to develop this technology further.

If you are also able to visualize the revolutionary aspects of real-time transportation procurement strategies for your business! Then, it’s time for you to join hands with us!

Contact us today!

The Need for Real-time Solutions in Supply Chain Procurement

Historically, visibility and communication with carriers, suppliers, and other stakeholders in the supply chain have often been slow, and fragmented. Inefficiencies in certain levels have frequently led to misunderstandings, delays in response to changing conditions, & difficulties in coordinating shipments effectively.

On the other hand, real-time solutions offer the potential for instant, seamless procurements. Also, you can leverage collaboration platforms, automated alerts, and real-time messaging to foster their visibility & communication in the supply chain.

Here we present you with a list of pointers that will help you with the task of up-leveling your transportation procurement strategies:

1. Key Components of Upleveling Transportation Procurement Strategies

To truly uplevel their transportation procurement strategies, you must adopt a combination of advanced tools, data-driven decision-making, and collaborative practices. Here are the key components that are crucial in modernizing and optimizing the procurement process.

A. Technology Integration:

  • IoT and Telematics: Shippers can incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) devices and telematics solutions to gain real-time data from vehicles & assets in transit. These devices provide information on location, temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions, helping shippers monitor cargo integrity and improve safety.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: By leveraging AI and machine learning algorithms, shippers can analyze vast amounts of data to make predictive decisions. AI can assist in demand forecasting, route optimization, and predictive maintenance of vehicles, ultimately reducing costs and enhancing efficiency.
  • Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency: Blockchain technology ensures a secure and transparent ledger of transactions. Shippers can use blockchain to track and verify the provenance of goods and streamline the entire process.

B. Data-driven Decision Making:

  • Leveraging Big Data for Insights: Shippers can collect and analyze large datasets from various sources, including weather, traffic, and historical shipment data. By harnessing big data, they can identify trends, patterns, and opportunities for optimization.
  • Predictive Analytics for Demand Forecasting: Predictive analytics models use historical data and real-time inputs to forecast future demand. Shippers can proactively adjust their procurement strategies to meet demand fluctuations, minimize stockouts, and reduce excess inventory.

At times, all of these seem very intimidating to some people and you might not be sure how to proceed with it. However, be it AI, IoT, or any sort of Data solution, TheCodeWork has a very efficient team to guide you in every step.

Book a free consultation call!

Next, let’s explore some of the practical steps involved in implementing real-time transportation procurement strategies.

2. Real-time Transportation Implementing Procurement Strategies

According to MarketsandMarkets, the smart transportation solutions market is projected to reach USD 248.72 billion by 2024. This highlights the increasing adoption of real-time tracking and monitoring solutions in the industry. However, implementing real-time transportation procurement strategies requires careful planning and a step-by-step approach. Shippers need to consider various factors, including technology adoption, training, and change management.

A. Steps to get started

Assess Current Processes:

  • Conduct an in-depth analysis of your existing procurement processes. Identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and areas where real-time improvements can make the most significant impact.
  • Determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. These might include cost reduction, on-time delivery rates, or improved visibility.

Identify Technology and Software Solutions:

  • Research and select the technology and software solutions that align with your procurement goals. This might include real-time tracking systems, IoT sensors, AI-driven analytics platforms, or blockchain solutions.
  • Ensure that the chosen tools can integrate with your existing systems and are scalable to accommodate your business growth.

Just an advice: TheCodeWork helps enterprises with the entire process of identifying your technology and software requirements. Reach out to us!

Training and Change Management:

  • Invest in training programs to familiarize your team with the new technologies and tools. This is crucial to ensure a smooth transition and adoption of real-time procurement processes.
  • Develop change management strategies to help your team adapt to the new way of working. Communicate the benefits of real-time procurement and address any concerns or resistance.

B. Challenges and Considerations

Data Security and Privacy:

  • Real-time procurement involves the constant flow of sensitive data. Implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect your data from potential threats.
  • Ensure that you comply with data protection regulations and privacy laws to safeguard both your company and your customers.

Integration with Legacy Systems:

  • Many shippers have legacy systems in place. Ensuring a seamless integration of real-time tools with these older technologies is essential.
  • Work with technology experts to bridge the gap and optimize data flow.

Scalability and Flexibility:

  • Plan for scalability as your business grows. The real-time solutions you implement should be able to adapt to changing demands and new technology advancements.
  • Be open to flexibility and agility in your procurement strategies, as market conditions and customer preferences can change rapidly.

Insights: According to a study by McKinsey, 33% of customers in North America consider sustainability when making a purchase. Real-time procurement can help shippers optimize routes to reduce environmental impact.

C. Case Studies of Successful Implementation

  • Walmart:
    The retail giant Walmart has invested heavily in real-time transportation procurement. By using advanced logistics technology, they’ve improved their supply chain efficiency, reduced inventory carrying costs, and enhanced on-time delivery performance.
  • Maersk Line:
    One of the world’s largest shipping companies, implemented real-time technology to enhance transparency and traceability in their supply chain. The blockchain-based platform enabled them to reduce administrative costs, minimize disputes, and streamline their procurement process.
  • FedEx:
    They employ IoT and real-time tracking to optimize its global shipping operations. Real-time tracking allows customers to monitor the status of their packages and provides FedEx with valuable data.

So, you see that by following certain protocols and considering the challenges, shippers can gradually streamline into an; Efficient and agile real-time procurement strategy. Also, Shippers who successfully implement these strategies often experience enhanced competitiveness & greater resilience in the face of supply chain disruptions.

3. Measuring Success and Continuous Improvement

Once you’ve implemented real-time transportation procurement strategies, it’s essential to monitor and assess their effectiveness. Measuring success and continually seeking improvement is a critical part of staying competitive in the ever-evolving logistics landscape. Here’s how to do it:

A. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Tracking Success

  • Cost Savings: Calculate the reduction in transportation costs achieved through real-time optimization, such as route efficiency, fuel savings, and reduced labor costs.

Pro-tip: Benchmark these savings against pre-implementation costs.

  • On-time Delivery Rates: Monitor the percentage of shipments that are delivered on time. Real-time tracking and visibility can significantly improve on-time delivery performance.
  • Supply Chain Visibility: Measure the improvement in supply chain visibility, including the ability to detect and respond to disruptions in real time. Reduced disruptions and smoother operations indicate successful implementation.

By the way, Do you know that TheCodeWork has conducted extensive research on — Supply Chain Resilience Through Technology. After this, you might want to give it a check for an enhanced understanding of supply chain management.

B. Feedback Loops for Continuous Improvement

  • Data Analysis: Continuously analyze the data generated by real-time systems. Identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Use AI and machine learning to spot opportunities for cost reduction and efficiency enhancement.

Trivia: According to McKinsey, AI-powered predictive maintenance can reduce maintenance costs by up to 40%.

  • Technology Updates: Keep your technology and software solutions up to date. Ensure that you are using the latest features and enhancements to maximize the benefits of real-time procurement.
  • Benchmarking: Compare your performance to industry benchmarks and best practices. Benchmarking can help you identify areas where you may be falling behind or excelling in comparison to your competitors.

To sum up, you can say that by continuously measuring success through relevant KPIs and actively seeking improvement; shippers can fine-tune their real-time transportation procurement strategies.

4. Insights from Industry Experts

In this Q&A section, we delve into the insights shared during a recent episode on “ Talking Logistics”. This event brought — Bill Driegert, Head of Operations and Cofounder at Uber Freight, to talk about how shippers can uplevel their real-time transportation procurement strategies?

So, let’s have a look at what he said on this very topic:

The discussion began with a question posed by Bill, in which he was asked about the shifts in transportation procurement; which necessitated an enhancement of strategies by shippers.

  • Bill explained that while the core priorities of shippers remain constant — ensuring top-notch service to customers and achieving equitable pricing — the global landscape and technology have undergone substantial transformations.
  • He articulated, “The seismic impact of COVID-19 shocked the system. We’ve emerged from the pandemic era with an unprecedented surge in spot freight, doubling the previous market volume.”

Also, Bill emphasized that shippers must elevate their strategies because they must brace for future disruptions, given the evolving technological landscape.

These changes have significantly influenced the composition of the freight and carrier mix, and shippers must adeptly integrate these shifts.

The Advantages?

Bill explains that in order to manage the extremely unstable freight market during the pandemic, a recent survey revealed that 96% of shippers invested in new transportation procurement technologies and tactics. One major advantage is that they can answer the issue of whether they’re getting fair pricing for each lane and load by having real-time access to the market.

Intriguing right? That’s why I recommend you watch the full episode for all of Bill’s insights and advice on real-time transportation procurement strategies.

Bottom Line

In wrapping up, a world where supply chains are the lifeblood of businesses and customer expectations. Real-time transportation procurement strategies are no longer a luxury but a necessity. Shippers who invest in these strategies are paving the way for a more efficient, agile, and resilient future in the logistics industry.

Keep in mind that in this new age, being adaptable, creative, and innovative is essential. Adopting the aforementioned ideas can help businesses develop a resilient path that leads to a more prosperous future. Also, you can now subscribe to our LinkedIn Newsletter on Supply Chain strategies, to know more. Furthermore, come in touch with us to schedule a free consultation call for any kind of business or technology integration.

You can count on us! Book a free consultation call!

Originally published at https://thecodework.com on October 18, 2023.

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TheCodeWork

TheCodeWork is a team of innovative problem solvers, who look into various aspects of business and build solutions to simplify them with tech.