Time to Hang Up the Phone – Business Collaboration is Moving to the Cloud!
Technology is changing the way we do business every day. Traditionally, companies with freight to ship have collaborated with their external partners over the phone, booking appointments, asking for shipment statuses and updating order information. With the rise of email, these companies have begun to manage their logistics operations over the internet with greater frequency. In America, “an average office worker receives 121 emails a day and sends around 40 business emails daily.” (Templafy) That number is likely far higher for those folks scheduling and booking freight.
Email is still a complicated method to manage freight operations, however, given that it’s up to each individual to organize their own inboxes and ensure all emails are acted upon. If a company’s orders never change, promise dates are always 100% accurate, the warehouse or distribution center runs like a finely oiled machine and email and phone communication seems to be enough, there would be no need to improve collaboration with the suppliers and carriers. In reality, most companies are struggling to achieve visibility and control over their supply chains to effectively manage their cost of goods and consistently meet the expectations of customers. For this reason, collaboration portals are becoming more widely used to facilitate communication and collaboration between internal departments, suppliers and carriers.
A collaboration portal is a cloud-based platform where internal and external users can communicate a variety of information in an easy-to-use and convenient manner. These portals enable procurement and logistics departments to work together with their suppliers (vendors) and carriers to dynamically plan and execute their logistics operations collaboratively, maximizing communication between all parties. Instead of trying to maintain a cluttered inbox or disjointed spreadsheet, all information is stored within the portal.
How do collaboration portals help companies communicate with suppliers?
Collaboration portals allow users to communicate with their suppliers on a common platform. This reduces the risk of manual errors and oversights, as well as increases time savings. Procurement and logistics departments can release orders out to their suppliers, and receive back promise dates, statuses on order changes or short shipments and confirmations on POs approved for shipment. Collaboration portals also provide a way for suppliers to easily access shipping documents produced by the customer including parcel labels and BOLs. All of these interactions are documented in the portal and can be referenced to troubleshoot incorrect deliveries and other issues as they arise.
How do collaboration portals help companies communicate with carriers?
Collaboration portals enable carriers to view and update the information which the main user and suppliers are accessing. In the portal, carriers can confirm delivery dates on inbound shipments as well as make changes to shipment schedules. This allows buyers and logistics professionals to always have visibility to the delivery status of their orders. And by implementing a dock scheduling portal in tandem with a collaboration portal, companies can give carriers the ability to schedule appointments directly at their docks. This level of collaboration ensures that the highest level of visibility is always being achieved.
By collaborating in the cloud with external partners, companies can experience an increase in inbound shipping efficiency, gain complete visibility to shipments and shipment schedules, and help their partners plan more effectively.
Learn more about Kuebix’s modular Collaboration Portals here!