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Measuring ROI & Making the Business Case for Real-Time Visibility: 4 Key Takeaways

May 30, 2023

February 5, 2024

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Most supply chain professionals agree that real-time visibility is table stakes to achieving a competitive advantage, particularly when moving fresh fruits and vegetables. However, while real-time visibility isn’t cheap—the cost of not having it is potentially even more excessive. This leaves logistics and transportation managers stuck in a quandary: How much real-time visibility do I need, how do I build the case to justify the expenditure, and how can I quantify the return on investment (ROI)?

Tive and FreightWaves recently hosted a webinar, Measuring and Making the Business Case for Real-Time Visibility, which brought together industry leaders to discuss the crucial role of real-time visibility in the logistics sector. They addressed real-time visibility’s impact on Return on Investment (ROI) and the overall business case for implementing these solutions. The esteemed panel included Krenar Komoni, Founder and CEO of Tive; Adam Robinson, Founder and CEO of The Robinson Agency; and Syed Aman, Co-founder and CEO of Hwy Haul.

The panel took a deep dive into how critical real-time visibility is when it comes to supply chain processes, and how it shapes customer service. This article summarizes the conversation, and provides four key takeaways.

Watch the Webinar On Demand

A Closer Look at Real-Time Visibility and Its Impact

The panelists emphasized that a lack of visibility can lead to significant inefficiencies, disruptions, and delays in supply chain operations. Moreover, it can result in poor decision making due to the absence of real-time data—leading to customer dissatisfaction, financial losses, and a slide in competitive advantage.

To gain an advantage in this space, “you really need to understand where your shipments are—and what’s happening with your shipments throughout the globe,” Komoni said. “Without that visibility, you really can’t measure what’s happening. And if you can’t measure, you can’t improve. You cannot be better than your competitors.”

Conversely, real-time visibility can enable proactive control over supply chain processes, resulting in optimized operations, reduced waste, and timely decision making. These improvements often lead to substantial cost savings, enhanced customer satisfaction, and, consequently, an attractive ROI. Furthermore, the panelists pointed out that real-time visibility can serve as a differentiator for companies, offering added value to their customers—thereby leading to increased sales and improved customer retention.

Real-Time Visibility’s Impact on ROI

The discussion further delved into how ROI from real-time visibility is quantified. This calculation involves comparing the costs of implementing visibility tools and solutions to the savings and benefits achieved. These benefits may include:

  • Reductions in wasted time and resources
  • Savings from avoided disruptions or losses
  • Gains from increased efficiency and customer satisfaction

Additionally, potential increased revenue from improved service delivery and customer retention plays a significant role in this equation.

Full visibility on your shipments provides for better customer conversations, focused on critical key performance indicators that prove supply chain is a team sport—with all stakeholders dedicated to ensuring customer satisfaction. It takes technology and service providers “working together and understanding the wants, needs, and problems customers face,” Robinson said.

Real-World Examples of ROI in Action

The panelists shared vivid examples of ROI achieved with real-time visibility in action. Instances were recounted where real-time visibility helped identify issues with shipments, enabling proactive action to prevent losses or delays. For instance, they provided examples where visibility led to significant cost savings—such as avoiding the shutdown of a car wash due to a missing part, or by preventing the loss of a million-dollar shipment of electronics equipment. They also highlighted that achieving ROI with visibility often involves continuous monitoring and proactive management of the supply chain, leveraging real-time data to optimize operations and deliver exceptional service to customers.

Key Takeaways: Understanding the Impact of Real-Time Visibility

  1. The Cost of No Visibility: Lack of visibility can lead to operational inefficiencies, disruptions, delays, and poor decision making—resulting in customer dissatisfaction and potential financial losses. “We are not going to make our customers look good and, therefore, their customers will not look good. And then delays, fines, detentions … everything kicks in,” Aman said.
  2. ROI Generation Through Real-Time Visibility: Real-time visibility can result in substantial cost savings, increased efficiency, and enhanced customer satisfaction—thereby generating an attractive ROI.
  3. Quantifying the ROI of Real-Time Visibility: This can be quantified by comparing the costs of implementing visibility tools and solutions to the savings and benefits gained.
  4. Achieving ROI with Visibility in Action: Real-time visibility enables continuous monitoring and proactive management of the supply chain, helping to identify issues, prevent losses or delays, optimize operations, and deliver exceptional service to customers.

Learn More About How Real-Time Visibility Creates a Competitive Advantage

This article shared some of the ways real-time visibility plays a pivotal role in modern supply chain management—providing significant benefits that can translate into an attractive ROI. As technology evolves, implementing effective visibility solutions will be key to staying competitive in the logistics sector. To learn more, watch the webinar on demand.

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