Successfully managing a supply chain comes down to answering the 3 biggest questions

  • Where’s our stuff right now?
  • Who has ownership of it?
  • What condition is it in?

Over the past three months, the U.S. Government, private companies, and entire industries have seen considerable disruptions in our supply chains. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our ability to keep shelves stocked, and production up and running. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event that will have repercussions that will extend far longer. It’s also an opportunity.

These supply chain disruptions are an opportunity for managers and logisticians to make investments to avoid future problems. Many separate approaches to preventing future disruptions have been suggested. Retail industries are looking into diversifying their supply chainsThe U.S. government has proposed incentivizing homefront manufacturing, and there’s been an increased look at innovations like 3-D printing.

The Push for Increased Asset Visibility

Asset Visibility software allows companies to find location and the condition of their assets in real time.

Asset Visibility software allows companies to find location and the condition of their assets in real time.

One of the innovations that companies started investing in long before the pandemic is the expansion of asset visibility and shipment tracking through software solutions. Over the past few years, companies and the U.S. Government have been investing heavily in technologies to streamline their supply chains and increase asset visibility end-to-end. We’re learning that these investments are indeed paying off two months into the shutdown and the nation’s pandemic response.

With the advancement of sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices, and fleet management solutions, companies can increase their visibility by tracking assets across an entire supply chain. We can now drill down to a single shipment or parcel and receive data on that asset in real-time.

Current asset visibility technology uses sensors to track the location of trucks and freight. Whether that shipment is on the road, in the warehouse, or waiting for pick-up, logistics managers can get the location in real-time.

It’s easy to understand how that information is leveraged to make better decisions. Companies investing in technology are using it now to avoid the disruptions that other supply chains are experiencing during the pandemic.  Asset management solutions take location data, combine it with AI and machine learning to predict shipment arrival times. Tracking solutions alert managers when tracked shipments are delayed, rerouted, or when a delivery has arrived. Managers then take corrective actions on assets to mitigate costs.

More Data = Better Decisions

Expanded Asset visibility is allowing companies to make better decisions within their supply chains.

Expanded Asset visibility is allowing companies to make better decisions within their supply chains.

As the pandemic has played out, there have been dramatic spikes in demand and various supply chain disruptions. When this happens, it becomes even more critical to understand not only where the product is but also what condition it’s in.

IoT connected sensors offer a more comprehensive range of data points on assets’ condition. Asset temperature, exposure to moisture, shocks, vibrations, and vehicle operation are just a few data points that managers now have at their finger-tips in real-time. Understanding what condition your assets are in can also inform critical supply chain decisions during times of disruptions.

Tactical Edge’s latest technology, Total Visibility Anywhere (TVA) is a SaaS platform that allows companies to track the location and condition of a shipment or vehicle across the globe in real-time. Tactical Edge developed TVA in coordination with the United States Department of Defense. DoD utilizes TVA’s technology to track shipments for the U.S. Military and provides data on those shipments to logisticians in the field.

Tactical Edge’s solution is unique because it’s modular and works with current holistic asset management systems. Businesses looking to add “in-transit asset visibility” can do so without costly infrastructure investment, expensive hardware, or route maintenance costs. It’s a smart, cost-effective solution.

Right Now, Data Makes All The Difference

Businesses that invested in technology, similar to TVA, are reporting that they’re faring much better during the pandemic. For these firms, leveraging asset-tracking data in decision making makes answering those three major logistic questions more manageable.

Companies equipped with more asset information can reduce waste in the simplest terms. Employees can find what they need when they need it. When employees aren’t looking for assets, there’s a reduction in emails, phone calls, and a spike in productivity.

Asset visibility also allows companies to improve the ir on-time performance, maintain accurate inventories, and improve planning. With more data, a company’s logistics becomes faster and more reliable. These improvements raise customer satisfaction and make businesses more profitable in the short and long run.

To set up a demonstration of Tactical Edge’s ITV Software, including Total Visibility Anywhere, please contact:
Steve Palmer, Dir. East Coast Operation
Phone: (302) 242 -7778