Login



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Not a PLUS+ Subscriber?

Become a PLUS+ Subscriber today and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access
  • 7 Magazine Issues per Year
  • Companion Digital Editions
  • Digital Edition Archives
  • Bonus Email Newsletters

Subscribe Today!

Premium access to exclusive online content, companion digital editions, magazine issues and email newsletters.

Subscribe Now.


Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2009.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $109/year*. Begin yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

* Prices higher for subscriptions outside the USA.

PLUS+ Customer Service Support


Customer service for all PLUS+ subscribers is available Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Eastern time.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)
Mail: PO Box 1496, Framingham MA 01701-1496, USA



You have been logged out of PLUS+


For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Need to access our premium PLUS+ Content?
Upgrade your subscription now.


Our records show that you are currently receiving a free subscription to Supply Chain Management Review magazine, or your subscription has expired. To access our premium content, you need to upgrade your subscription to our PLUS+ status.

To upgrade your subscription account, please contact customer service at:

Email: [email protected] Phone: 1-800-598-6067 (1-508-663-1500 x294 outside USA)

Become a PLUS+ subscriber and you'll get access to all Supply Chain Management Review premium content including:

  • Full Web Access. All feature articles, bonus reports and industry research through scmr.com.

  • 7 Magazine Issues per year of Supply Chain Management Review magazine.

  • Companion Digital Editions. Searchable replicas of each magazine issue. Read them in any web browser. Delivered by email faster than printed issues.

  • Digital Editions Archives. Every article, every chart and every table as it appeared in the magazine for all archive issues back to 2010.

  • Bonus email newsletters. Add convenient weekly and monthly email newsletters to your subscription to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

PLUS+ subscriptions start as low as $129/year*. Start yours now.
That's less than $0.36 per day for access to information that you can use year-round to better manage your entire global supply chain.

This content is available for PLUS+ subscribers.


Already a PLUS+ subscriber?


To begin or upgrade your subscription, Become a PLUS+ subscriber now.

For assistance with your PLUS+ subscription, contact customer service.

Sorry, but your login to PLUS+ has failed.


Please recheck your login information and resubmit below.



For PLUS+ subscription assistance, contact customer service.

Why Digital Transformation Matters in Transportation

Digital Transformation is about innovating processes, connecting the supply chain, launching new and innovative digital products and services and evolving your organization with the goal of transforming the customer engagement experience to drive more business value.

By ·
By ·

Editor’s Note: Bruce Orcutt is Senior Vice President of Product Marketing at ABBYY.

Digital technology is changing many industries and the transportation and logistics industry is no exception. Whether you are a traffic coordinator at a carrier, a shipping clerk for a manufacturer, or an invoice processing analyst at a 3PL – you have experienced the benefits of digital transformation in your personal lives and expect the same type of transactional experience in your professional roles.
 
However, 3PL vendors continue to deal with issues such as manual data entry, driver shortages, proliferation of data from Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, warehouse and on-truck capture devices interfacing into legacy systems, and the rise of emerging geographic markets with antiquated paper-based systems.  Simultaneously, relationships are becoming more transient and volatile as competition heats up. Google’s same day delivery, Amazon’s drone package delivery testing, self-driving trucks, and the inevitable Uber for Trucking with supply chain load sharing are examples of disruptions. The influx of new market entrants are armed with new technologies and unburdened by legacy systems.

In addition to new market entrants, smart trucking applications threaten to level the playing field with driver matching, driverless autonomous or semiautonomous freight trucking, real-time asset maintenance tracking, capacity load sharing and instant payment. Innovation is continuing at a rapid pace.

Customer Experience is your Secret Weapon


Switching costs today are relatively low and dissatisfied customers will simply go elsewhere if they are not delighted with your level of engagement. Improving and empowering the customer experience is now your competitive weapon, and can be achieved by accelerating transactions via self-service tools and providing enhanced process visibility. 

Customer engagement applications are now strategic tools for enhancing experiences. Customer onboarding, trace and tracking, omnichannel invoice validation and processing are all tools that can delight your customers, but need to be tightly integrated into backend systems-of-record to be successful.

Maximize your IT Investments

Your existing business processes are the backbone of your business. You’ve worked hard to support a high volume of digital transactions and likely can support a diverse set of documentation sources through self-service portals which can handle fax, email and various formats such as EDI, ANSI X12, EDIFact, Web Services, spreadsheets, and CSV. The goals of your IT investments were to achieve speed of execution and agility to reduce existing business latencies and inefficiencies. However, there are still remnants of the analog world that don’t quite fit with your new digital strategy.

Documents still drive and support most 3PL business processes. Bills of lading, customs declarations, claims documents, proof of delivery, driver logs, catering and fuel receipts, carrier invoices and expenses all have to get captured in order to commence a process. Even if a relatively small percentage of your logistic data inputs are still paper, it slows the process, increases errors and will require people to execute the mundane and repetitive tasks of manual data entry, scan, track and trace, monitoring shipment schedules, invoicing validation and credit collections.

Improving the Workflow

Your workflows may often start with a physical document that needs to be converted into a digital file so it can be processed, validated and inserted into your business process. Mobile capture is a natural channel for initiating a process. Most customers have the ultimate capture device in the palm of their hands in the form of their smartphones. Customers can be empowered to capture and submit logistics documents in their preferred channel whether that be their smartphone, a self-service web portal, email, fax, scanner to an FTP site or the cloud.

Having a digitized and efficient workflow will also provide customers transparency into the logistics process so they have feedback into how their transactions are progressing and what, if any, additional documentation is required to move the process forward.  Users want to feel like they are in control of the process.

Critical to a dynamic workflow is incorporating intelligent capture that automates the process of classifying document types. Being able to automatically recognize, separate and distinguish between different document types (invoices, contracts, orders, delivery notices, split POs, etc.) is an important step. Once automatically classified, your business process will be able to orchestrate where the document needs to be routed.

Auto-classification of document types into classes and sub-classes delivers a tremendous business value. It reduces the cognitive tasks and burden on workers thereby minimizing operational labor costs, minimizing errors, improving worker satisfaction and accelerating the transaction. 

Yet, customers don’t want to program complex sets of rules to learn how to classify documents.  Instead, your capture engine should be intelligent enough to analyze a corpus of documents with minimal tuning and automatically understand exactly what document classes and data feeds need to be extracted for your custom business process.

Acting on Information

Real-time data can be a competitive game changer for 3PL practitioners. Your customers will benefit by using data from your business processes to give them context to make better decisions about their supply chain to accelerate shipments and minimize costs.  Real-time data helps make logistics management decisions on carrier selection, load optimization, centralized track and trace, and claims management. Management of costs and visibility are important to your customers as well.  Armed with metadata, your customers have granular visibility into shipment and on-time delivery validations, duplicate billings, GL coding for multi-shipment purchase orders, granular detail on surcharges for fuel, residential delivery, “Customer/Address Not Found” surcharges, class of service confirmation and exception handling analysis.

By leveraging the data that carriers and freight forwarders own, 3PL practitioners can offer new revenue streams from digital products and services. Customized real-time business intelligence dashboards of your customers’ logistics supply chain and load optimization algorithms based on real-time data may help reduce supply chain costs and have tremendous business value in carrier negotiations.

Digital Transformation is about innovating processes, connecting the supply chain, launching new and innovative digital products and services and evolving your organization with the goal of transforming the customer engagement experience to drive more business value. Digital transformation in the transportation industry is a competitive weapon to improve your ROI.

 


Subscribe to Supply Chain Management Review Magazine!

Subscribe today. Don't Miss Out!
Get in-depth coverage from industry experts with proven techniques for cutting supply chain costs and case studies in supply chain best practices.
Start Your Subscription Today!

Latest Whitepaper
Third Party Risk: Too Close for Comfort
You’ve got a handle on many of the potential supply chain "disrupters" that can paralyze your business. But the real risk is embedded in areas you may have overlooked.
Download Today!
From the January-February 2018
While supply chain managers have been slow to integrate digitization in the procurement function, the trend may finally be gaining traction, says a new report.
Get Smart (about replenishment)
The Benefits of Blockchain: Fact or Wishful Thinking?
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!


Latest Webcast
Securing IoT data across the connected supply chain
Learn why a holistic approach to IAM is the most effective way to govern access to your systems and information requested by your partners, vendors, customers, and connected devices
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Maersk Line’s “North America Trade Report” Reveals Supply Chain Strengths
For the U.S., gains will come from retail, chemicals, consumer electronics and grains sectors but...
Supply Chain Managers May Need a “Blueprint” for Innovation
There’s both an art and science to how managers drive innovation in supply chains

Prologis Releases Third Annual Logistics Rent Index Reflecting Supply Chain Pressures
Researchers say the report represents “a year of accelerated growth.”
Reverse Logistics Association Examines “Circular Economy”
“The Circular Economy” is the theme addressed by The Reverse Logistics Association’s (RLA) at...