Shifting capacity, increased shipper demands, and unpredictable disruptions make informed decision-making a top priority for logistics professionals. For shippers trying to optimize the supply chain, efficiency is the number one priority, and analytics drives results.

71% of shippers said real-time analytics from 3PLs help them better understand shipping alternatives.

The challenge? Data accuracy. An estimated 80% of relevant data is unstructured.

But, in transportation, there are many sources of structured data to provide business intelligence. Costs, demand forecasts, bar code systems, claims data, RFIDs, mobile sources, surveys, and delivery performance are a few places for a shipper to collect data.

The data driving these business decisions refers to the practice of collecting and analyzing innumerable figures from a wide-ranging set of sources. 3PLs use transportation management systems (TMS) to contain costs, increase service and identify opportunities. Light load details, safety reports, vendor compliance assessments, and cost summaries are a few of the many reports generated by a 3PL’s software. Analyzing these reports enables shippers to optimize freight moves, develop best practices for supply chain priorities, note inefficiencies, and improve forecasts. Data collected through a TMS has limitless potential, it has the chance to enhance business and provide clear insights to all aspects of your business.

Click here: Beginner’s Guide to PLS PRO, Proprietary TMS Software

98% of 3PLs said that improved, data-driven decision-making is essential to the future success of supply chain activities and processes. 93% of shippers agreed.

Think about it like this: if a company examines relevant, structured data and learn that specific delivery locations are not profitable, it can create a strategy to serve popular locations more frequently, like introducing a new distribution center to the area or increasing the transportation schedule to the closest DC. The company can also reevaluate its need of DCs in the less-profitable locations or have shipments and deliveries to that area less often.

3PLs and shippers expect use of big data to be a core competency of their supply chain. Tracking data isn’t enough to make a monetary and service-level difference in transportation. Practically applying analyzed data will provide businesses with stronger efficiency and management.

Continue reading: 3 Ways Cost Analyses Help Your Business

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