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Supply Chain Technology: Making the Dream a Reality

Editorial

Darren Matthews, CargoWise Business Development Analyst, EMEA believes the Cloud will revolutionise supply chain technology; however the question arises whether companies have the creativity to let it develop to its full potential.

Supply chain visibility can be frustrating for clients when all they have is a fractured view of the order status of their goods. 

As the global marketplace has grown, so too has the complexity, and increased risks, of the supply chain. The challenge for the industry today is to manage and mitigate those risks by creating more resilient supply chains and having readily available access to monitor all parts of the process. If companies throughout the supply chain have visibility of every link in the chain, then organisational performance will improve. 

However, the true potential of supply chain visibility is yet to be fully grasped. While increasing the amount of data along all stages of the supply chain does indeed aid businesses, having it all in one place is the real Holy Grail. 

Technological limitations involved in trying to connect large numbers of distinct trading partners have so far restricted the scope of supply chain visibility. Cloud technology, however, brings a fresh new perspective on the potential of supply chain management

While the cloud is already deeply integrated into day-to-day lives in many ways, this capability has only recently begun to make its way into the fundamentals of supply chain management. 

Despite efforts to build platforms that would enable visibility, reliance on one-to-many data exchange remains a key struggle for countless businesses. A shipper or manufacturer may need to connect to tens, if not hundreds, of trading partners, each using different platforms and technologies. In turn, these parties may need to communicate with their freight forwarder, transport provider, customs broker and warehouse. This is where the challenge lies: many trading partners are small businesses that lack the tools to be connected, creating blind spots in the supply chain.

A central hub, system, platform or database is the ideal solution, capable of retaining and exchanging this data while offering a portal for all trading parties to monitor and maintain their supply chain through standard connectors, simple status updates and global visibility from one place. 

This capability is still in its infancy but there are a small number providers that have their fingers on the pulse of this burgeoning field. Today, more and more tools are being developed to improve supply chain performance and to noticeably drive real and meaningful value across the enterprise, turning supply chain visibility into a reality.

CargoWise is a global leader in logistics technology solutions that improve visibility, efficiency, quality of service and profitability. 

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