Take Control of the Supply Chain With Collaborative Logistics Technology

Employees shipping a box from a warehouse

June 17, 2020


3 minutes

Why does the last mile of the supply chain account for nearly 55% of total shipping costs and waste a disproportionate amount of time? Because it’s difficult for the parties along the supply chain to work together collaboratively.

Consider a scenario familiar to anyone in freight: A truck arrives at a warehouse, but instead of contacting someone inside to receive the shipment, the driver calls the carrier. There’s not a direct link between the two parties who need to meet on the loading dock. As a result, what should be an easy exchange takes much longer than necessary and makes the entire supply chain less efficient.

Imagine how much easier it would be if those same two parties could work with each other instead of including multiple middlemen. And think of how much simpler last mile delivery would be if people could reference a shared platform full of real-time data instead of relying on phone calls, emails, and manual data entry. Solving the last mile delivery problem requires a collaborative approach, and as shipping demands soar during COVID-19, this will be vital for retailers and logistics companies to succeed.

Why Logistics Works Better Together

Collaborative logistics adds something long missing from the last mile of delivery: situational awareness. Traditionally, stakeholders lag behind the supply chain, meaning they know about updates (when a shipment arrives, for instance) after they happen. Situational awareness, on the other hand, happens when every stakeholder receives updates in real time.

Today’s technology facilitates collaborative logistics by making it easy for supply chain partners to share information. This same technology also makes it possible to automate information and eliminate many of the manual inputs and time-consuming processes that last mile logistics currently relies on. Collaboration doesn’t just improve operational visibility and enhance situational awareness — it makes shipments easier to manage for all involved.

a road connects many people

With collaborative logistics, stakeholders along the supply chain can come together to solve the last mile delivery problem. Here are three ways the right technology can work to break down barriers and create a more efficient process:

1. Automate Updates

Why don’t logistics partners collaborate already? Because it’s hard work to record and share data manually. Technology solves that problem by streamlining and automating how partners share information. For example, when a truck arrives at a warehouse, collaborative logistics technology can trigger a push notification instead of requiring a complex phone tree. Logistics collaboration in supply chains becomes much more attractive to users when working together actually makes things easier.

2. Respond Proactively

Logistics tends to be reactive — it addresses issues after they happen. But once supply chain partners have a shared understanding of what’s going on, they can respond proactively. That way, if a driver is held up in traffic or a warehouse isn’t ready to unload, everyone involved knows as early as possible and can plan accordingly. Collaboration makes logistics agile enough to adapt on the fly.

3. Eliminate Silos

Why wouldn’t partners in a process with a common stake in the outcome share data about what’s happening? Data silos are the enemy of collaboration and the source of many systemic supply chain issues. Breaking these silos down with shared data makes it possible for partners to share situational awareness and collaborate on issues together instead of separately.

Coolfire’s platform unlocks the potential of collaborative logistics and helps companies solve the last mile delivery problem once and for all. When you’re ready to get everyone on the same page, let Coolfire create the links.

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