The Interoperability of Logistics Data: TMS, WMS, ERP, OMS & More

The Interoperability of Logistics Data: TMS, WMS, ERP, OMS & More

Collection, tracking, and managing shipping data are essential for business intelligence. However, logistics data becomes complex, especially when separated throughout various departments, businesses, and systems.

This is where interoperability comes in. Shipping data is often disconnected and inconsistent, but interoperability between systems solves this problem. Bringing all relevant logistics data together and making it comparable allows your business to have the most comprehensive view from which to make the best analyses and decisions.

The right tech platform, such as the Intelligent Audit platform powered by their freight audit and payment solution, allows you to integrate various shipping systems to create interoperability. It’s a game changer in gaining full visibility and optimizing your logistics network.

What Is Logistics System Interoperability?

Interoperability means that various computer systems work together and exchange data. In the logistics realm, this can include:

  • A transportation management system (TMS)
  • A warehouse management system (WMS)
  • An order management system (OMS)

These and other systems relevant to logistics are all integrated through a tech platform to gain a comprehensive perspective of all shipping and transportation data. Different parties can better work together through interoperability, a company can thoroughly analyze and optimize its logistics network, and decision-makers have better data and insights.

The Importance of Interoperability for Shippers

Logistics involves an array of businesses working together, including a network of manufacturers, vendors, retailers, shippers, carriers, departments, and more. All parties involved need to work together for the system to function correctly and optimally. There needs to be high-level communication and teamwork. Interoperability smooths the process of logistics data exchange between various parties and systems used, which maximizes coordination between the different parts of the whole.

This industry, in particular, relies on real-time data for interoperability because everything shifts so quickly due to weather changes, geopolitical conflicts, societal and market trends, peak seasons, and other factors. All parties within the system need the same up-to-date information to work with, and interoperability provides that.

Why No Single System Can Provide a Complete View of Logistics Data

Each system used in logistics is helpful for its own purposes, yet one by itself won’t give the full perspective of data you need for logistics optimization. It’s not hard to understand why. So much shipping data, broken down into modes and logistics functions, sits locked in silos among various vendors’ and departments’ systems. No single system contains holistic logistics data to analyze wholly.

Instead, it’s important to bring interoperability between the different systems so you can gain that holistic perspective. An excellent way to achieve this is using application programming interface (API) technology to connect to a system like Intelligent Audit’s platform to gain a big-picture perspective and the desired results.

Downsides of Data Silos

Data silos can limit the usefulness of collected data. These silos contain separate logistics data, as a single department or party manages them in the logistics network. Generally, this data is held within its own system and is incompatible with data sets from other silos. As a result, different departments or parties may find little value in the data or be unable to use it properly, even if they could access it.

Ultimately, these data silos:

  • Limit optimal business operations and processes.
  • Prevent people from accessing all logistics data, interfering with the best decision-making abilities.
  • Keep professionals in different departments and teams from having all the necessary logistics data on customers, supply chains, and other aspects of logistics.
  • Minimize collaboration and contribute to department mentalities that don’t value data sharing.

Each department or party may use a unique system and formatting methods, making an exchange of logistics data incompatible or inconsistent. Ultimately, this leads to data accuracy and quality problems, further impacting analytics and operations.

From a cost and operational perspective, data silos do not create the most efficiency. Instead, they lead to problems like duplicate data platforms and numerous servers, which leads to higher costs. Generally, managing separate systems independently at the departmental level is not as efficient as having a data management team at the organizational level. Not only does this kind of fragmented system lead to inefficiencies and higher costs, but it also tends to create security concerns. Some individuals or departments may not use the most secure methods of storage. This lack of uniform security leaves logistics data vulnerable and also might violate regulations and laws on data.

To leverage advanced analytics, companies need to consider their data sources. They also need to determine the best ways to capture relevant information.

With Data Ingestion, Normalization at Scale… The Power of Logistics Data Is Realized

Data normalization organizes data to make it similar and comparable, which leads to better quality data. In this industry, it can help you improve your data analytics for logistics and then make better decisions. You can also cut down on duplicate data and anomalies that would stand in the way of accuracy and efficiency.

Interoperability through the right tech platform, like Intelligent Audit’s platform, enables your company to normalize logistics data at scale. This process yields  many benefits, including:

  • Increased clarity that allows for optimal decision-making.
  • More efficiency by using cloud-enabled business intelligence tools to replace manual data processes.
  • A better path to goals by providing an improved approach to managing performance and growth.
  • Improved business decisions through higher quality insights.
  • Optimized logistics networks.
  • Optimized transportation spend.
  • Better cost analysis.
  • Business analytics that provides data-backed insights to promote strategic growth.

Unparalleled Business Intelligence and Data Cleansing

Bringing together pertinent data and normalizing it contributes to business intelligence (BI), which helps your business make logistics data-backed decisions and actions. You’ll find ways to improve your operations and processes based on current, accurate, and relevant data. Data cleansing is part of this process, as it removes the logistics data that is incorrect, incomplete, or otherwise compromised, leaving you with accurate, quality data to work with.

This is what your company would gain from Intelligent Audit’s Business Intelligence & Analytics. It provides business intelligence capabilities to gain better insights that help your business and logistics progress. You can access data from any device and any location. You receive fast data reconciliation with actionable data.

You also gain the benefits of machine learning, which include anomaly detection. This feature catches the outliers and other anomalies that may throw off your logistics data or indicate a concern that requires immediate action. Supported by artificial intelligence, machine learning can sort through enormous amounts of data in a way that a human or even a team cannot do to provide anomaly detection.

Intelligent Audit’s proprietary machine learning algorithms notice anything that deviates from the normal patterns and points them out to you. This process allows you to catch outliers and problems faster than you would. When referring to logistics data, it automatically goes through data in your TMS, WMS, OMS, and other systems. Not only can you use this capability to catch errors and problems, but also to streamline your logistics processes. For instance, it can identify the wrong shipping carrier for a given situation, excess or unexpected fees, and human errors in invoices.

Anomaly detection can provide interoperability by going through datasets within your different systems, even if they are not compatible or comparable, and finding the pertinent information that needs addressing. It can provide actionable insights based on the data it is perusing in an unsupervised way. If needed, our experts can offer the next step of explaining the data and insights and recommending the next steps in response.

Gain Meaningful Logistics Information Any Time You Need It

Intelligent Audit’s business intelligence and data analytics for logistics provide your company with the industry-specific data and insights you need whenever you need them. When your company uses numerous logistics systems and has siloed data, gaining the data visibility and insights you need to see trends and make the best decisions becomes complicated. You can rely on our machine learning algorithms to help search through separate information across numerous systems and provide helpful insights.

Siloed, incompatible, and incorrect logistics data can cause problems. But when you have the right data and effective data analytics for logistics, it becomes very helpful for maximizing processes, solving problems, and making growth-based decisions.

Having the right transportation and logistics information whenever you need access to it enables you to:

  • Consider Freight Spend. You can track and evaluate your current spending, finding areas for cost savings that benefit your company while improving customer satisfaction.
  • Keep Track of Carriers. Make carrier accountability a priority by using Carrier Scorecards within the IA portal to track on-time delivery and other performance markers for each carrier.
  • Choose the Best Carriers. For each situation, determine the ideal carrier and mode of transportation for the job, which improves efficient processes and delivery while cutting costs.
  • Track Costs in Real Time. Follow along with transportation costs as they happen, which allows you to know the current situation at all times and quickly shift as needed to unexpected changes in real time.
  • Find Meaningful Data. Discover and fully utilize helpful, actionable logistics data that drives real business decisions.
  • Plan Ahead. Using data analytics for logistics, you can review past and current data and projected outcomes more effectively to determine your future plans.

Use a Platform That Integrates Systems

The many problems and benefits covered in this article sum up the reasons for having a tech platform that integrates with the various systems you are using for logistics. Rather than having disconnected, disjointed systems and departments with separated data, you can create a more cohesive logistics system through an integrated platform like the one Intelligent Audit offers. It allows you to integrate with your TMS, WMS, ERP, OMS, and other logistics systems you may rely on. This way, you gain complete logistics data visibility that you can analyze properly for the best insights and data-backed decisions.

Intelligent Audit’s tech platform helps your company gain top-level transportation audit, recovery, and analytics. Not only do these features help to streamline everyday processes and find ways to save, but they also help companies adapt to uncertain times. Consumer demand is harder to keep up with than ever, as they expect flawless delivery in an instant. When one company cannot meet that demand, in many cases, a competitor will. That’s why it’s so important to be on top of logistics data and able to adapt as situations change quickly.

The current climate brings many other challenges that make logistics difficult. You have to adapt to supply chain concerns, changing carrier rates and fees that are difficult to compare increased e-commerce ordering, and peak seasons, to name a few.

A tech platform that provides complete visibility into logistics data from all systems and departments makes it much easier to adapt to these challenges. Through interoperability, you can gain a complete, holistic view of challenges, trends, anomalies, and areas for improvement. You gain data-backed analytics and insights that help you make the best decisions, now and in the future.

Bringing together meaningful data and analyzing it creates insights that enable you to optimize your logistics network. This way, it can run optimally and with the ability to adapt to situations in real time. In addition, anomaly detection and real-time spend visibility allow you to quickly find wasteful spending and adapt to recover costs or save money.

Make Informed Decisions With Data-Backed Guidance From Intelligent Audit

For your business to be successful, your data needs to be accurate and complete. There cannot be any gaps if you aspire to gain a holistic picture of your logistics network. With the right platform and a little guidance, you can make better use of your logistics data. Regardless of different systems, departments, and parties that manage disconnected data, the right platform brings your data together through interoperability, which gives you better analysis and insights for the best decision-making possible. Learn more from Intelligent Audit.

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