Focused on developing smarter, faster, and more agile supply chains that display resilience in the face of adversity, more companies are turning to their logistics partners for help future-proofing those critical networks. As this reprioritization happens both in response to COVID-19 and with the goal of avoiding future disruptions, organizations also need robust technology platforms to ensure fast, efficient fulfillment and delivery of essential products.
As a partner that has a broad portfolio and decades of experience helping organizations achieve their logistics goals, Ryder combines the best of both worlds with its RyderShare™ digital platform for real-time supply chain transparency and collaboration. By digitizing the supply chain, and then using the digitization to drive speed, continuous improvement, and enhanced customer service, RyderShare™ eliminates the silos that exist in today’s supply chains.
“Everyone operates in silos, has their own technology, and orchestrates their own individual link in the supply chains,” says Kendra Phillips, CTO and VP of new products at Ryder. “Our goal is to break those silos down and bring everyone together so they can see the same data and interact over that data. It’s about creating a transparent supply chain.”
DATA IS THE NEW OIL
Made up of a supplier, manufacturer, shipper, distribution point, and end consumer, the typical supply chain is highly fragmented and siloed. With RyderShare™, each of those crucial links has a single source of truth to work from and collaborate on. This, in turn, enhances supply chain visibility, enables good communication, and allows companies to manage exceptions quickly.
Rather than acting on information that may or may not match the data that another supply chain partner is using, for instance, companies can work from the same playbook. “Everyone can see when something’s wrong and then collaborate on issue management,” said Phillips. “And because RyderShare™ keeps everyone aware of what’s happening in real-time, it also supports good decision-making and keeps all parties well informed.”
As a technology platform, RyderShare™ gives organizations access to data that they’ve never had access to. It also gives them a robust solution that distills large volumes of data—both internal and external—into actionable items that supply chain managers can use for good decision-making. For instance, RyderShare™ users have been able to reduce the number of trucks on the road, minimize labor turnover, reduce inventory, and optimize their physical space.
“The platform’s data provides a unified experience, without having to consult multiple different tools or solutions to get to the answers that you need,” says Jason Judd, group director of analytics and innovation at Ryder Supply Chain Solutions. “It connects the current and historical data with future trend predictions to drive optimal decisions.”
With data science as a core operational strategy, RyderShare™ mines data and transforms it into insights that companies wouldn’t be able to access individually. And while data science isn’t a new term, it’s now becoming a focal point for companies that want to minimize supply chain risk, avoid disruption, and meet their customers’ constantly-evolving expectations.
“At Ryder, we have depth of industry knowledge—both in logistics and technically,” says Judd, “plus the artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and advanced tools needed to build out a complex model that pulls in internal and external data that companies rely on to refine their operations.”
KEEPING EVERYONE IN THE LOOP
With robust notification capabilities, RyderShare™ helps companies quickly identify and then notify customers/shippers about potential problems with their shipments. This leads to tangible improvements in customer service and customer satisfaction. Other key “wins” that companies experience when using RyderShare™ include cost savings, a 50% efficiency gain in customer service departments (made possible by fewer calls from customers who are looking for their orders), 35% efficiency improvements in labor management at the freight receiving site (thanks to more precise arrival information), and overall lifts in customer satisfaction.
“The platform is also helping companies be nimbler,” says Phillips, pointing to the Do it Best hardware cooperative as one company that used RyderShare™ to manage a double-digit increase in sales when COVID-19 emerged. “Do it Best effectively shifted its supply chain to be able to manage the higher volume. All network partners knew what to expect, they communicated with one another, and knew how to handle the surge.”
Phillips sees RyderShare™ expanding to become a complete, end-to-end supply chain solution that also incorporates a warehousing solution. “Companies will be able to follow the life of an order from the moment it’s created all the way through to final delivery,” says Phillips. “Once that happens, we’ll have a completely different product from anything else on the market. No one else is doing this on the market today.”
Providing a Differentiated Customer Experience
Looking ahead, Phillips sees blockchain, autonomous vehicles, and other emerging technologies becoming a more vital part of the end-to-end supply chain. With the RyderShare™ platform in place, companies will be well positioned to leverage these new opportunities while also continually improving their logistics and transportation networks.
“There’s a lot happening right now, with the continued digitization of the supply chain being the essential underpinning for all of these changes,” says Phillips, who also sees more companies looking at their supply chains as revenue generators versus cost centers. “They’re taking all supply chain data and using it to provide a differentiated customer experience. I think we’ll see more of that in the future, and that’s pretty exciting.”
This article first appeared in Forbes and was re-printed with permission.