The digitalization of the supply chain business network

Digitising the supply chain

Business Logistics concept, Global business connection technology interface global partner connection of Container Cargo freight ship for Logistic Import Export background, internet of things

By Cate Hull
When Martyn Hann and I founded FreightExchange in 2014, we envisioned an online marketplace where carriers could sell their unused cargo space to shippers. We built real-time quoting and tracking into our FreightDesk platform.

Our award winning digital marketplace efficiently manages all aspects of the booking and dispatch process for our network of long-haul transport carriers and shippers.

FreightDesk is part of the growing digitalization of the supply chain business network. Increasingly, businesses are coming to the realisation that having empty capacity across the freight industry as high as 30 percent is an inefficiency they cannot afford.

Ovum Consulting this month released a report on IBM’s Supply Chain Business Network (SCBN) for complex, multi-enterprise (B2B) process automation and integration initiatives.

Big Blue is looking to exploit the capabilities of its flagship cognitive platform, Watson, to improve efficiency and effectiveness of multi-enterprise process automations.

While still in the initial stages, it is quite clear that IBM is leading the way in this space.

Ovum’s report had three key messages from its analysis of IBM’s SCBN:
• Digitalization is driving major changes in enterprises’ B2B integration requirements.
• IBM Supply Chain Business Network optimizes supply chains via actionable insights into B2B transactions and partner relationships.
• IBM has a rich B2B integration managed services proposition.

Ovum said the rapid digitalisation of supply chains has forced business leaders to think of service delivery via digital channels as a must-have capability and not just a competitive differentiator.

Though not on the scale of IBM, that’s what FreightDesk does. We help carriers and shippers become more efficient by matching cargo with available space and our platform can be used to improve supply chain efficiency.

Such technologies, can provide actionable recommendations on how to remove bottlenecks and other barriers to realise a more efficient supply chain, according to report author Saurabh Sharma, principal analyst, Infrastructure Solutions.

So, perhaps on a smaller scale, FreightDesk achieves some of the same results. Our carriers and shippers realise greater efficiencies when we capitalise on available cargo space.

FreightDesk automates the movement of goods. We can connect orders, inventory, warehouses and carriers to move freight seamlessly. With so many moving parts, connectivity is the key.

Our values are based on a simple philosophy – we want everyone to win.

Whether it’s a consumer benefiting from lower hidden costs of freight, a carrier who has full trucks, a shipper who has instant access to reputable carriers at reduced costs, or the greater economy through waste reduction, we work with this key principle every day.

We are not an IBM – but we have found a way to increase the efficiency of the supply chain network.

Cate Hull is the CEO of FreightExchange, a freight logistics firm based in Sydney.