On-Demand Webinar: The Push to Enhance Customer Service & Other Logistics Visibility Trends in 2023

May 18, 2023

April 29, 2024


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Traditionally, visibility has been linked to logistics use cases—how Logistics Service Providers (LSP) can know where their stuff is so they can minimize the cost associated with moving goods from point A to point B. Today, however, visibility is no longer just about minimizing delays; it is becoming increasingly more qualitative in nature as it is linked to customer service—and to other parts of the company, where it derives even more value.

Tive, a world leader in providing real-time tracking and supply chain visibility solutions, recently released a study — The State of Visibility 2023 — that supports the premise of this paradigm shift of how industry professionals are expanding the scope of how they use real-time visibility. The study—conducted in conjunction with Shipping and Freight Resource, Supply Chain Radar, and Charlie Pesti—showed that nearly half (47%) of the more than 260 supply chain professionals who responded said they use visibility more to ensure good customer service than for minimizing delays or associated fees (37%).

The study was also the focus of a recent webinar that is available on demand:

Watch the State of Visibility 2023 Webinar Now

 This article shares some highlights of both the study and the webinar.

Highlights from The State of Visibility 2023 Webinar

The webinar brought together four industry experts with over 80+ years of experience covering supply chain visibility and technology. Moderator Eric Johnson, Senior Technology Editor at the Journal of Commerce, was joined by Nick Savvides, News Editor at The Loadstar; Richie Daigle, Enterprise Account Executive at Tive; and Adam Robinson, CEO and Co-Founder of The Robinson Agency, a full-service content marketing firm focused on clients in the supply chain technology, logistics, and freight transportation space. The following is a sample of the insights they shared.

“Visibility” is a Tired Buzzword

You'll probably get ten different answers if you ask ten people what visibility means to them. When discussing visibility in the supply chain, it’s important to understand how someone uses it in their specific role. For instance, visibility into the product team differs from visibility into freight and transportation. “I like the word ‘awareness’ a lot more than ‘visibility.’  Staring at a blue dot moving across a screen all day is not enough. I need to be aware of what’s going on with my freight. That’s what we’re trying to get to.” Who said this?

The Quest for Control Through Visibility

The panelists agreed that data capture, data fidelity, contextual details, and clarity are all needed to socialize data collaboratively among all stakeholders. Visibility is really a means to one end: control. “Control provides a sense of security, which then allows for more confident, strategic, proactive action to stay on top of exceptions—and not feel the burnout that can come from firefighting and not staying strategic,” Robinson said. “Visibility that can provide quality data of high fidelity that is easy to access either via UI (or an API into a UI), provides clarity of what to do, with context and the ability to alert stakeholders collaboratively.”

Effectiveness Varies by Transportation Mode

Survey respondents said visibility for over-the-road transportation (46%) is much better than ocean (25%), rail (22%), and air (7%) options. “One of the key issues is data security and whether or not to share data,” Savvides said. “How do we share that data? What data do we share? When do we share it? And what happens to that data once we share it?”

Does Visibility Awareness Warrant its Own Tech Stack?

The Internet of Things (IoT) helps solve many data-sharing issues by removing some barriers. For instance, putting a tracking device on a shipment provides stakeholders with location and condition data about that load. Visibility only through ELD/Telematics/data stream is inexpensive. IoT can be more expensive. Matching inexpensive visibility solutions for inexpensive freight and IoT for sensitive and expensive freight can be a good strategy. However, IoT may be a worthwhile solution for all freight when reliable and accurate data is needed for network optimization. Having a strategy about what needs to be accomplished, both tactically and strategically, through visibility is needed to understand which tools are needed and how those tools should be meshed together. “The mindset should be more aligned with how to build a visibility tech stack,” Daigle said. “How to integrate multiple technologies—whether it's data streams, AI, IoT. How do I layer these things together in a single platform to heighten my awareness?” 

The Gap in Tracking/Visibility Usage

The prevailing thought is that visibility is increasingly becoming table stakes for LSPs to serve customers. Yet the survey revealed that about half of respondents track roughly 60% of their shipments. Furthermore, only about 25% of respondents said they currently use real-time trackers. “The reality is not every shipment needs the best visibility, real-time tracking, or the most precise location. It all goes back to relevance and specificity to the desired outcomes,” Robinson said.

Learn More About the State of Logistics & Transportation Visibility 2023

Investing in supply chain visibility technology during a downturn is another hot topic covered during the webinar. Most survey respondents (77%) said they consider real-time visibility and IoT-based solutions to be must-have features—yet only 25% use them. Watch and listen as our panel of experts shares insights on this and more about the State of Visibility 2023.

Download the Report

Watch the Webinar

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