Managing customer supply chains in a digital world

New technology offerings that promise to solve a myriad of supply chain issues are hitting the market almost daily. An influx of options – combined with a pandemic-fueled push to become more tech-savvy – has made it harder than ever for companies to know which solutions are worth adopting. Additionally, rapid adoption can make it more difficult for businesses to ensure that they are taking full advantage of each tool’s potential.

In the midst of an unprecedented economic resurgence and the resulting capacity shortage, it is crucial for companies across the supply chain to use every tool in their arsenal. In addition to healthy consumer spending, there has been a surge in the general public’s willingness to shop online, leading to a monumental boom in e-commerce. This trend has had and will continue to have a ripple effect throughout the industry, driving everything from congested ports to the redistribution of drivers.

“The social adoption of online shopping is sure to change the landscape,” said Rob Roberson, director of logistics at Nucor. “The demand for package drivers and LTL will come from the full pool of trucks.”

Truck drivers are already scarce, even before considering the effects of a sustained boom in e-commerce. Drivers are retiring in record numbers and there aren’t enough young drivers entering space to replace them. At the same time, the federal government’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is sidelining a significant number of drivers. All of these factors combined are contributing to continued pressure from drivers, increasing pressure on capacity, and making the market even more difficult for everyone to navigate. Without the right tools, it is difficult to overcome these challenges.

IntelliTrans is an industrial TMS control tower, offering performance and visibility for rail, road and river transport. As an expert in supply chain management and technology for bulk manufacturers and suppliers, the company strives to provide its customers with 100% supply chain visibility and to become a partner and advisor in their end-to-end supply chain management process. This includes helping customers ensure they are embracing the right technologies and using them in the best possible way for their unique business models.

“The TMS partnership has been monumental. We ship over 1.2 million trucks a year, ”said Roberson. “We have been customers of IntelliTrans for about 12 years. The differentiating proposition for us was the holistic visibility and ease of tendering.

It is important to have a technology partner who makes it easy to secure and track capacity no matter what is happening in the market. At a time when inefficiencies could leave a business with no transportation options, however, it is critical.

“When we started researching a TMS to support our roadmap, it was clear that IntelliTrans was the most resourceful and thoughtful in terms of providing an operational advantage to their customers,” said Lee Leifsen, Manager of Transportation Analysis at Clearwater Paper Corp. “It’s very much designed to support operations coordinators, but it also helps transportation analysis teams develop and execute strategies to help them manage their relationships with carriers.”

Ultimately, companies that resist technological innovation or refuse to audit their current systems at this stage risk more than just favorable rates; they may risk jeopardizing the viability of their business. The right partner can not only help businesses get out of a stressed market in one piece, but also help them thrive in the process.


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