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Sep 18, 2023

5 critical tools & features to look for when selecting new supply chain visibility software

Supply chain visibility is becoming increasingly essential for success—but which tools and features are the most important to consider when searching for a solution? Read on to discover more.

If you work in supply chain and logistics, you know that visibility is essential for understanding shipping performance, maintaining cohesive communication, and optimizing all workflows—end-to-end. To find the best solution for your business, it’s important to know the right questions to ask. Read on to discover five essential questions you should ask when evaluating visibility platforms and the key factors to be on the lookout for when opting for a new way to organize your supply chain. 

1. Accurate, Reliable Delivery Prediction

Accurate delivery predictions are an increasingly-important part of many supply chains - helping frame manufacturing timelines, plan market launches, and schedule customer deliveries. As shipments travel through the multi-step shipping process, tracking often gets hard to manage.

Our customers regularly tell us that the biggest issues they face occur not on the water, but rather during transfers between modes of transport. Shipping teams often find it difficult - or impossible—to provide accurate delivery predictions to other business teams, making it hard to challenging to make concrete, dependable business decisions

Based on our experience, the best way to manage these constantly moving parts is to rely on software that provides predictive data across the entire shipment. Accessing comprehensive, data-driven insights can help you book with confidence, track specific milestones along the way, and keep customers happy with timely deliveries.

Shippabo customers typically find that our predictive intelligence system, Foree™,  goes a long way to help them accurately predict the performance of their supply chain , from initial shipment to final container return. Shippabo’s clear, comprehensive views and Health Score also help customers plan for potential roadblocks—even across complex intermodal transitions.

2. Customizable Dashboards 

At Shippabo, we recognize that your supply chain and logistics priorities, as well as the metrics you require, can vary significantly depending on your business's nature.

Manufacturing companies may emphasize detailed shipping performance metrics across various modes of transportation, while retailers may prioritize overall shipment costs. There are few industry solutions that truly address these diverse needs, and deliver a customizable perspective that helps logistics teams on a daily basis. 

To help give our customers access to the data insights they need, the Shippabo platform includes a highly-customizable dashboard designed to help stakeholders consistently view and track the details crucial to their role. Instead of one fixed view, anyone on the team can modify their dashboard to reflect the exact metrics important to them—and have access to the most important information at a quick glance.

The dashboard can be adjusted to compare different date ranges, view various shipping conditions, and set important milestone alerts. Ultimately, a customizable dashboard helps elevate the efficiency of your supply chain by providing each stakeholder with the data they need to do their job effectively and supercharge your business towards success.

3. Universal SKU-level visibility

Within your supply chain, it's essential that every team member possess detailed and transparent data regarding container and SKU locations, particularly when handling numerous shipments. While many visibility solutions provide advanced container tracking (a crucial aspect), they often lack insights at the SKU or product level details that help shipping teams respond quickly to time-critical business questions.

SKU-level tracking is a critical feature to facilitate effective communication with key commercial partners, such as manufacturing and sales teams. To enhance visibility at all stages of your supply chain, the Shippabo platform enables quick updates regarding time changes, reroutes, and more, fostering improved, streamlined communication across your entire network.

From a business perspective, having a unified view on containers and specific SKUs can help organizations reduce lead times, boost manufacturer performance with key insights, and limit the uncertainty of material flow.

Our customers have found that they spend less time “connecting the dots” when they use the Shippabo platform product tracking. With this, customers can view total shipment costs, access important details about product shipping risks, and keep a close eye on every item—even across multiple shipments.

Another key advantage of active product/SKU insights is the ability to give sales teams a head start on promoting and selling your products (yes—even before they hit the shelves!). 

4. Seamless communication & collaboration tools

When discussing collaboration, we often think of communication with factories as they represent the first, and sometimes most complex business component of the supply chain. However, true collaboration encompasses a suite of downstream teams including sourcing, packaging, truckers, and agents—all of whom have a vital role to play in on-time delivery.

In an era of increasing globalization, especially working with international shipping teams, it’s imperative to eliminate communication and information barriers across groups. From the factory floor to the final destination, ongoing communication and collaboration are pivotal at every stage, and are necessary for creating a successful plan of action for all stakeholders. 

At Shippabo, we believe that genuine partner integration happens when all members of a team have access to 24/7 messaging capabilities, timely notifications, and updates.

To further elevate communication and integration, we offer both on and off-platform messaging, tools for document inclusion, crystal-clear shipment notifications to minimize confusion, and a robust reporting system that provides an automated update to all stakeholders of each shipment. 

5. Straightforward onboarding & integration

Onboarding for a new logistics platform can be overwhelming for a logistics team. New interfaces, new data requirements, and new points of integration can sum up to a dizzying array of new processes, procedures, and methods that require months to learn.

To help make the onboarding process as easy as possible, Shippabo provides walkthroughs, training sessions, customizations, ongoing support, feedback channels, and progress tracking for each customer. These elements together help customers “Fast-track” the transition to the Shippabo Platform, as our team works hand-in-hand with you to boost efficiency and ramp productivity for logistics operations.

At Shippabo, we provide our customers with the same platform and suite of tools that we use ourselves to manage our freight forwarding. To help you get started, our onboarding includes two comprehensive training sessions and follow-up Q&A, ensuring teams can transition in with minimum effort and disruption. Our training doesn't just teach the digital replication of an existing paper workflow, but instead helps customers digitally develop their dashboard layout and overall configuration to help achieve their goals quickly and easily.

Our User Education team takes the time to help you organize information, leverage the visibility and management tools in an effective way and communicate clearly with the right stakeholders. Our customers constantly relate that our extensive front-end support angle has helped supply chains save a tremendous amount of time, effort, and capital.

Set up for success: Take your supply chain to the next level

With quickly-rising expectations of shipping speed and efficiency, A It’s become more important than ever to integrate a Shipping and Visibility solution that offers the  powerful data insights, intuitive tools, customizable features, and constant end-to-end support that help generate measurable efficiencies and savings for your business. 

Are you interested in visibility software solutions for your business? Or do you have additional questions about supply chain management software in general? Reach out to our expert team to learn more about how our visibility platform can help you simplify your supply chain.

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