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The Benefits of an Inbound Web Portal

10/25/2016

“Adding an inbound web portal to our supply chain has given us greater visibility to our shipments and enhanced purchasing due to improved forecasting.” 

-VP of Transportation, Fortune 500 Retailer 

 

Recently, a leader in specialty retail approached Unyson after experiencing difficulty managing their multi-modal transportation network, which included over 500 vendors and 20 carriers. After adding several new brands through acquisitions, they specifically identified the need for better visibility to their entire network as well as to find savings and cut unnecessary costs. After analyzing the retailer’s transportation network, my team proposed an end to end solution. This was founded on the use of an inbound web portal to manage all 500 vendors. This tool provided them with a single visibility platform for the previously decentralized brands to view their transportation and as well as support their analytics. Ultimately it allowed the retailer to identify inefficiencies in their network and cut costs throughout their supply chain.

 

Despite the many years of collective experience that my team brings to the table, bringing 3PL providers, customers, vendors and carriers together to enhance the supply chain is still no simple task. However, convincing those same players to embrace new and advanced processes is worth the effort, as an inbound web portal can help customers, carriers, vendors and warehouse/DCs alike reap numerous benefits throughout the supply chain, particularly when it comes to inbound transportation.

 

An inbound web portal can minimize costs by creating seamless communication between the parties once it is implemented into a customer network, and that’s just the beginning. With an inbound web portal…

 

Customers receive:

  • greater shipment visibility
  • complete understanding of supply chain costs
  • simplified ordering process
  • vendor compliance and enforcement
  • benefit from an intuitive portal when inputting information

 

Carriers receive:

  • Proactive capacity planning (LTL, TL, PTL)
  • Set appointment times

 

Warehouse/DC receive:

  • Accurate BOLs
  • Improved labor forecasting
  • Extending inventory visibility to beyond the four walls of the warehouse

 

Vendors can:

  • Create a “routing request” with minimal data entry
  • Communicate with load planners
  • Access shipment status and carrier assignments
  • Benefit from an intuitive portal when inputting information

 

With any major change, there can be concerns about disruptions to the network and how we handle the communication. We like to discuss these concerns in detail with our customers prior to the launch of the portal and outline our processes to customers and vendors alike to ensure key stakeholders are aware of their responsibilities. We also highly recommend providing in-depth training to vendors and customers prior to go-live to increase familiarity and comfort levels and minimize the possibility of issues arising once the portal is active. My team has a wealth of experience in managing changes of this nature across many different types of supply chains. We would be happy to share this experience and alleviate any concerns.

 

I strongly encourage you to make an inbound web portal an integral part of your advanced supply chain to ensure information is entered accurately and each business unit is viewing the same data. Companies that take a holistic view to their network can quickly become more competitive and even leapfrog their rivals.

 

Thanks for reading, and please share your thoughts and experiences with me at dadams@unyson.com.

 

Solving your supply chain needs!

 

Dave Adams

Project Manager

dadams@unyson.com