Papers

Using a TMS to Solve the Visibility Challenge

TMS visibility is live and on the market now, and is transforming the way data is gathered and translated. By 3Gtms

November 7, 2018

When you think about visibility and tracking in your daily life, you might remember that $25 item you bought online and how you watched its movement across the country until it arrived at your doorstep.

The term “visibility” in a B2C environment usually means “tracking.”

In the B2B world, visibility is far more complicated. B2B visibility is really start-to-finish order visibility: from order placement, allocation/manufacturing, and warehousing through delivery and payment.

“Visibility” in a B2B environment means systematically interpreting and combining inter-enterprise data from many sources + artificial intelligence and workflow to react. It’s assessing the past, monitoring/reacting in the present and adjusting for the future. But getting visibility into the logistics flow has traditionally been either very expensive or produced limited results because:

  • There are different data sources: ERPs, portals, EDI, WMS, etc.
  • There are different languages: Customers talk in orders and POs, carriers send data in shipments and loads, finance needs invoices and vouchers
  • There are different data relationships: Many orders to a shipment; many POs to an invoice; many carriers on a single route
  • Internal systems (ERP, OMS, WMS, Finance) and external parties (3PLs, carriers, vendors, customers)

These differences have made true TMS visibility extremely difficult and near impossible for any organization – except those with deep pocketbooks who can set up control tower projects that require lots of personnel and massive integration projects.

That’s changed.


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