Real time visibility platform

Real-time Visibility Platform - Relevance, Features & Benefits

Unlocking the Potential of Real-time Visibility Platform in Navigating Complex Delivery Operations

By Komal Puri | February 22, 2024

Real-time Visibility Platform: An Overview

With complexities around supply chains changing due to a variety of global factors, the need for real-time visibility is more pronounced than ever before. A real-time visibility platform provides an as-is view of the current status of assets across the entire span of the supply chain. This enables stakeholders - supply chain managers - get an overall understanding of the current state of things, provides enterprises a way to track and trace assets/goods and establish a degree of control over the supply chain.

This visibility is critical to ensure transparency, accountability and safety of goods. A lack of visibility puts not just millions of dollars at stake but also dents trust and credibility.

Poised to reach $3,300M USD by 2028, the market size for Real-time Visibility platforms has never been this pronounced. It is growing at a staggering rate of approximately 25% year on year, according to market research data, which leads to several questions on why there is such an unprecedented need for real-time visibility.

Top 3 Reasons to Use Real-time Visibility Platforms

While there could be many reasons for business to consider leveraging platforms that provide them real-time visibility of their supply chains, the top 3 reasons are:

  1. Eliminating guesswork

  2. Avoiding penalties

  3. SLA adherence

With predictability becoming a top priority for supply chain managers, real-time visibility platforms enable this with built-in capabilities to calculate ETAs and foresee disruptions before they can hamper the smooth flow of operations. Nobody likes guesswork especially after an unexpected event disrupting regular flow of activities. The top reason for chaos is lack of adequate visibility and guesswork makes it even worse by often not addressing the crux of the issue.

The price that businesses need to pay for damages or late deliveries is high. With more OTIF regulations and penalties, it adds another layer of stress for fulfillment teams. With real-time visibility, teams can stay on top of their operations and maneuver through uncertainties with proactive interventions. This puts them in a better position to avoid penalties that might otherwise be inevitable.

SLA adherence is critical not just for avoiding OTIF penalties but also delivering a good customer experience. It also ensures that operational costs are not exceeded. With real-time visibility, businesses can ensure that operations are aligned to plans made and SLAs that have been committed.

Real-time Visibility Software: Key Features

Some of the key features to look for while selecting a real-time visibility tool are:

A. Live Data Updates

Since real-time is key for instant action and proactive exception management, getting access to live data is supremely important. The key elements of this are:

1. Real-time Monitoring

The ability to get instant visibility across modes on a single interface ensures timely execution of movement of goods. It is essential to be sure of safety and timely arrival at the destination. This helps in making sure that the fleet is efficient and enabled to execute transportation activities without hassles.

2. Instant Data Refresh

While movement happens across different regions and terrains, there are chances of losing connectivity. However, considering the high stakes involved, having mechanisms such as SIM triangulation in addition to GPS connectivity, ensures continuous flow of location tracking data becomes important. This facilitates data that is accurate, updated and refreshed to reflect the live status.

B. Customisable Dashboards

Monitoring and measuring the right metrics is a key part of real-time visibility. This drives not just operational improvements but also helps shape long-term strategic business decisions.

1. User-friendly Interface

To slice and dice data with different views, selecting different options - performance by routes, vehicle types, carriers etc. to name a few, the interface needs to allow it. The software also needs to allow customizing the dashboard with different views based on the stakeholder. This includes the ability to quickly set up both Ops level and C-level data and visualizations.

2. Drag-and-drop Capabilities

There are several ways to achieve customizations. However, if the interface allows drag and drop customizations, it accelerates the ability to make changes to dashboards. With this, it becomes possible to derive deep insights faster and can transform efficiencies and performance.

C. Multi-channel Integration

Considering the complex nature of supply chains, there are several systems in place to facilitate seamless execution of activities. By integrating those with real-time visibility platforms, businesses can leverage the combined power of these systems to derive desirable business outcomes.

1. Integration with Various Data Sources

The systems that constitute a supply chain can range from - Order Management Systems, Delivery Management Systems, Warehouse Management Systems, CRM tools, collaboration tools, billing systems, BI tools. A seamless integration with these systems will lead to effective usage of data across these sources leading to meaningful analysis and outcomes.

2. Seamless Connectivity

While integrations are important on one side, uninterrupted connectivity across them in real-time is crucial to timely execution of activities. A lag can quickly turn things for the worse and lead to challenges such as additional time needed to restore data integrity and regular flow of operations.

Benefits of a Real-time Visibility Platform

A good real-time visibility platform offers the following benefits:

Improved SLA adherence

Managers can ensure a smooth flow of transportation operations with real-time visibility. This is key to ensuring that SLAs are met. This adds a great degree of predictability to the process.

Proactive disruption mitigation

Real-time visibility enables businesses to take a proactive approach to exception management by allowing timely interventions at the earliest signs of deviation. This is important to control damages, SLA breaches and ETA misses. This helps a great deal in avoiding penalties and other fees.

Increased efficiency

By monitoring performance of carriers in real-time, it is possible to implement steps that can boost their efficiency. A lot of it can be achieved by simply ensuring that there are no loopholes or leaks in their functioning. Their capacities are better managed and timely execution ensures effective usage of available resources. This is extremely beneficial in improving the overall efficiency of the supply chain.

Better collaboration

These platforms have in-built capabilities to facilitate seamless communication across stakeholders. This helps reduce ambiguities and missteps. This fosters better collaboration which leads to a more hassle-free approach to executing operations.

Better carrier & customer relationships

As transparency and SLA adherence improves, businesses can forge better carrier and customer relationships. This can lead to other benefits such as better rates from carriers and boosted long-term ties with customers.

Benefits of Using FarEye for Real-time Visibility

A. Over-the-road Visibility

This comprises two key elements.

1. Real-time tracking of vehicles and trucks

FarEye is capable of providing uninterrupted and accurate visibility into movement of vehicles and trucks. This visibility is the crux of all the control managers need to ensure timely execution of deliveries.

2. Route optimisation

While planning movement, it also is capable of generating optimized routes which vehicles can follow. These route factor real-time conditions and ensure there are minimal disruptions along the way.

B. Last-mile Visibility

FarEye specializes in the last-mile and these are some strengths that can reinforce real-time visibility.

1. Local Delivery Tracking

With an extensive network of over 50+ last-mile carriers, FarEye provides seamless delivery tracking. This is crucial to meeting overall SLAs and also giving status updates to the end consumer until the last minute.

2. Proof of Delivery Management

FarEye facilitates digital documentation which is also crucial for timely billing, invoicing and settlement. This ensures documentation of timely completion of deliveries and also serves as a tool to sort discrepancies.

C. Parcel Visibility

While last-mile visibility was spoken about in the above section, parcel visibility is covered in this section. FarEye is integrated with 250+ courier, express and parcel networks that enables:

1. Package Tracking

It is possible to track unique packages which are identifiable and this is important to ensure safety of the shipment. This also is helpful to cater to specific customers who need timely updates on their specific shipments alone.

2. Estimated Time of Delivery Calculation

FarEye’s ETA engine and other capabilities such as route planning, enable accurate calculation of estimated delivery times. This further enhances predictability and a positive customer experience.

Why FarEye?

FarEye is easy to set up, has a proven track record of providing visibility to 100s of customers and has been a key enabler of efficiency for many supply chains of different sizes and complexity levels. Here are some marquee capabilities that enable that:

End-to-end Connected Multi-modal Visibility

FarEye has tight integrations with several global networks and systems to provide multi-modal visibility. This transcends surface transport and also includes ocean visibility. This is critical to overall real-time visibility as oceans are a key mode of operation of the supply chain. 

Accurate Predictive ETAs

FarEye’s algorithms powered by machine-learning have perfected ETA calculation. This enables setting the right expectations to customers and other stakeholders. This accuracy builds transparency and trust

Faster Carrier Onboarding

FarEye facilitates fast onboarding of carriers. With a simple Self-service onboarding platform, it has on boarded 700+ multimodal carriers and 10,000+ long-haul carriers that is testimony to its ease of onboarding and integration capabilities.

Komal puri

Komal Puri is a seasoned professional in the logistics and supply chain industry. As the Senior Director of Marketing and a subject matter expert at FarEye, she has been instrumental in shaping the industry narrative for the past decade. Her expertise and insights have earned her numerous awards and recognition. Komal’s writings reflect her deep understanding of the industry, offering valuable insights and thought leadership.

Komal Puri
Sr. Director of Marketing | FarEye