With the rise of Amazon, Uber, and home IoT products, consumer expectations for real-time visibility and connectivity have never been higher. These trends are morphing over from the consumer industry to the B2B sector. Consumers’ experiences are now driving their professional expectations, and this is driving modernization across every industry, perhaps none more so than supply chain. Today manufacturers are investing in digital supply chain technologies that enable total visibility, from end to end. With global IoT tracking and big data analytics, 3 PL's will become a valuable resource which can rise to the challenge of today’s heightened consumer expectations, delivering an experience on par with and even surpassing the consumer and B2B expectations.Areas Of Concentration
Transparency & Visibility is one of the biggest areas of recent innovation in the consumer space has been in the level of transparency and visibility available in online and physical shipping. When you order a product on Amazon for example, you get real-time, to-the-minute updates regarding the status of your shipment. You can see exactly where your package is as it travels to you, and Amazon will proactively send alerts if a package is delivered or encounters a problem. Even more impressive, Amazon will send a picture of the package as soon as it is dropped at your doorstep, providing complete visibility into exactly when and where the package is delivered. Today's motor carriers and 3 PL's are working toward such an extensive level of visibility. Today's manufacturing environment simply demands it. According to a recent study on shifting consumer expectations, 69% of surveyed consumers expect “Amazon-like buying experiences” from their vendors, while a survey from UPS found that 97% of respondents felt shipment tracking was either essential (50%) or nice to have (47%). Consumers are no longer willing to sit in the dark, guessing as to where their packages are and when they will arrive. It is reasonable to assume the percentages would apply to the manufacturing sector as well. Perhaps even more so. While it may be unfortunate that your new Iphone missed its delivery date it is little more than an inconvenience. In the manufacturing world missed deliveries cost big money.
A Transparent, Connected Supply Chain
Clearly, B2B businesses are far from immune to consumer trends. So how does all of this translate to the world of supply chain? How are consumer trends and shifting expectations impacting the supply chain space? In one way or another, most of the current trends are reflected in the supply chain. Visibility, real-time support, total connectivity — these are things we are coming to expect in every aspect of our lives, and supply chain is no exception. According to a 2016 PWC report on the future of the logistics industry, “like individual consumers, industrial customers now expect to get shipments faster, more flexibly, and with more transparency.” As standards for efficiency and transparency rise in the consumer world , people are beginning to bring those expectations for efficient, technology-enabled shipping experiences into the professional realm.
Benefits for Manufacturers
The benefits of the digital supply chain for manufacturers are clear. improved visibility enables greater efficiency, smoother operations, and ultimately, cost savings. But perhaps even more important than the internal benefits is the ability to meet and even exceed rising customer expectations. The modern customer demands transparency, continuous support, and real-time connectivity, and with a digital supply chain, the modern manufacturer can deliver. The digital supply chain enables manufacturers to offer a new level of visibility into their customers’ shipments, solving problems before they occur and delivering a superior experience all around.
To keep pace in the race it would be wise to seek the advice and services of those on the forefront of these technologies. 3rd Party Logistics professionals. Land-Link Traffic Services can plan an optimization strategy for your current supply chain operations. Contact us today www.Land-Link.com.