Logistics data. All companies that ship products have it, but not all companies can effectively use it and act on it timely. Why?

The volume of carriers, technology providers, and partners that shippers and 3PLs integrate with to effectively deliver products has exponentially increased in recent years due to the complex and ever-changing logistics landscape. If the last few years in supply chain and logistics has taught us anything, it’s the need for speed and control. To pivot quickly, you need clear visibility into performance to understand the right moves to make and when to make them. Whether that be diverting package volume to a new carrier, leveraging new delivery services to respond to customer demand, or rolling out omnichannel fulfillment to reduce time in transit, these strategies need to be driven by data to ensure success.

Leveraging logistics data for operational improvements is challenging without the right tools, integrations, and partners, so let’s dive into the top challenges shippers and 3PLs face when turning their logistics data into actionable strategy, and how you can overcome them.

Siloed Logistics Data

There are 26 letters in the alphabet. Logistics uses them all.

ERP, OMS, WMS, TMS, the list goes on. And so does your data. Between internal business systems and external technology among carriers and partners, the sheer volume of logistics data can be overwhelming when trying to make sense of it. However, when creating a methodology for aggregating, integrating, and cleansing your data into a single point of truth, clear visibility and insights become reality.

To control costs, maintain and improve customer satisfaction, you need clear visibility into performance across your logistics operation through a central source of truth - a supply chain data control tower. A control tower aggregates data from your business systems and carriers so you can quickly identify priorities, critical areas of focus, and opportunities for optimization.

Third-Party Control

There is no lack of logistics visibility providers, consultants, freight auditors, and business intelligence platforms in today’s market. There is, however, a lack of control that shippers and 3PLs experience with many of them.

To act on logistics data and pivot exactly when you need to, control over your own data is a requirement.

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

You signed with a new regional carrier, but your freight audit provider said they don’t have that carrier integrated, so now it will cost you extra.

Your BI tech platform needs carrier data to be ingested in a specific format, so your transportation team is doing a ton of manual work.

You needed a new business rule created, but your parcel spend management partner manages all the business rules on their side, so you’re stalled on launching your new carrier.

Remember, it’s your data, your carrier relationships, and your strategy. You should be in control.

By leveraging a logistics optimization platform that seamlessly integrates with carriers and business systems and can ingest any volume of data in any format, the control to make mission-critical moves is in your hands. As it should be.

Lack of Trust

Trust in decision-making isn’t where it should be in supply chain and logistics. One key contributor is tech and data vendors over-promising and under-delivering. Have you heard lately, “artificial intelligence and machine learning will solve your data problems!” Will it?

Trust in logistics data is so poor that shippers and 3PLs are reverting to Excel. Excel is good for many things. Analyzing logistics data for optimization strategies is not one of them.

Unfortunately, trading poor logistics technology for manual analysis leads to a delay in optimization goals — lose/lose.

An intelligent, self-serve logistics optimization platform not only helps you understand the right moves to make, but enables you to act on them quickly. Dynamic performance reports, infinite business rules, and prescriptive alerts allow you to make quick changes and see the effect of those changes in real time, leading to trust in decision-making, faster time to value, and ultimately achieving your optimization goals.

Turn Your Logistics Data Into Actionable Strategy

Now more than ever is the need for speed and control. That’s why the time to value in leveraging logistics data is so critical.

I often say, “He who has data and uses it timely will gain a competitive advantage.”

If you’re not, someone else is.

Nate Endicott is the SVP of Growth at Enveyo, the leading provider of logistics data management, visibility, and shipping optimization software, helping 3PLs and shippers of all sizes move their logistics forward through data-driven technology. Since 2001, Nate has been helping shippers and 3PLs automate, reduce costs, get better results, and outperform goals by leveraging data-driven logistics solutions.