Connecting the Supply Chain One TMS at a Time
Preparing for a more collaborative, modular environment is the first step to enabling the supply chain of the future.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive, March 5, 2021
Dan Clark, Trimble Transportation
The world is moving at an unbelievable pace, and nowhere is that more apparent than in technology. As available technologies expand and become more advanced, the line between the physical and virtual worlds gets more narrow. The physical side of technological advancements includes computers, mobile devices and sensors, while the virtual side is the software running on those physical devices.
Within the supply chain, various stakeholders run a wide variety of software solutions. These technologies manage operations, keep track of assets, plan shipments, complete transactions, identify new business opportunities, communicate with employees, monitor compliance and handle maintenance needs. Each of these solutions, which may be provided by different technology providers, represents a “node” that collects data.
While back-office shipper, broker, third-party logistics (3PL) and carrier staff have long used computers to manage operations within a transportation management system (TMS) or warehouse management system (WMS), the U.S. electronic logging device (ELD) mandate and upcoming Canadian ELD mandate have rapidly accelerated the use of physical technology in each truck that’s on the road in the form of in-cab e-logging devices. The newfound ubiquity of technology within the trucking sector has unlocked huge potential for the industry to create a network of nodes that communicate with each other.
By connecting all of those nodes together as a single network rather than individual fragments, new opportunities for collaboration can be found within the supply chain – opportunities that simultaneously improve uptime, create efficiencies and reduce costs.