Shippers Need Advanced Analytics More Than Ever

Shippers Need Advanced Analytics More Than Ever

In a time of uncertainty, carrier capacity issues, and increasing costs, it’s clear that shippers are now more than ever turning to tools to help them optimize their operations. 

The last few years have seen shippers experience supply chain disruptions, with the COVID-19 crises compounding those issues even further. The shift to eCommerce has been rapid, but we’ve seen an incredible acceleration over the last few months. In fact, it’s been reported that 2020 has seen a growth in eCommerce that is the equivalent of 5 years. 

The cascading effect of this accelerated shift has put immense pressure on carriers and, as a result, shippers themselves. Due to capacity constraints and other factors, the surcharges levied by national carriers have skyrocketed. More troubling for shippers, there does not seem to be an end in sight. Even USPS has announced a significant, unprecedented, peak holiday surcharge. 

Shippers are now fully grasping the tectonic shift that is happening. They realize that the only way to mitigate the effects of these changes is to have full, robust visibility into their supply chains. The best way to gain this visibility is through advanced analytics and robust reporting. 

A recent report released by Gartner (1) has shed light on how businesses are feeling about these issues and how they are looking to alleviate the pressures that result. 

In their research, Gartner provides “in today’s environment, organizations increasingly face major disruptions that significantly impact their supply chain operations. In a recent Gartner survey, 76% of supply chain executives said that compared to three years ago, their company today is facing more frequent disruptions in their supply chain.”

The report outlined several use-cases of Advance Analytics in Transportation. Intelligent Audit is proud to be named in this research. 

Analytics to Reduce Transportation Spend

Of all the issues that have arisen in the wake of COVID-19 for shippers, costs have been one of the most burdensome. As the crises has continued, national carriers have been steadily increasing costs. In some cases, these costs have hit shippers – especially large shippers – in unprecedented ways. 

Shippers absolutely need advanced analytics, and the research clearly proves it. Drilling further, leveraging these kinds of analytics is at the top-of-mind for shippers when it comes to lowering their shipping costs. Data from the 2017 Gartner Digitalizing Supply Chain With Advanced Analytics Survey shows areas of savings with analytics types of technologies. On a 7-point scale, 64% of survey respondents rated transportation cost reduction between 6-7 indicating the level of improvement their organization achieved with predictive or prescriptive analytics in the supply chain. 

Regarding the benefits of transportation spend cost reduction, Gartner states “by running what if scenarios of all possible mixes for carriers and product locations companies can significantly reduce transportation spend. Using AA and to run the analysis companies can determine what is the optimal mix in order to drive costs down and still meet customer expectations.”

Intelligent Audit is focused on the ability for the IA solution to run “What-If” scenarios, creating simulations that compare various carriers and mixes of carriers, as well as location sourcing. 

For these cost savings to occur, especially for shippers with large footprints, companies simply cannot afford to be blind to their networks. 

It’s incredibly important for shippers to now optimize their distribution channels, especially since end-customers have not changed their expectations about delivery. They want same-day, next-day, and two-day shipping at a low cost. 

In this new world we find ourselves in, shippers must gain full visibility into their entire network. They must be able to find opportunities in which they can optimize the utilization of each ship-from location or the feasibility of reconfiguring their footprint for greater efficiency. 

Intelligent Audit’s solution provides critical analysis and data-points to show shippers how they can cut shipping spend, create greater efficiencies, and empower business leaders with impactful data. 

When considering a freight audit and spend management solution, shippers must make sure that they will have access to a solution that meets all the needs of today’s fluid shipping environment. The only solution that covers the entire spectrum of technological innovation married with decades of industry experience and know-how is Intelligent Audit. 

1. Gartner “How to Take Advantage of Advanced Analytics in Transportation” Bart De Muynck, Carly West, 27 August 2020 

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