Discrete Manufacturing

5 steps to transform your transportation management

04/14/2023 | 5 min

Within the specialised area of discrete manufacturing, companies face many challenges to keep their supply chains in sync with the world.

From balancing supply and demand to managing the interdependencies between different partners in the network, these companies strive for a state of tranquillity and stability amidst a chaotic and volatile landscape.

In this blog, we will explore the role of integrated transportation management (ITM) in helping to bring discrete manufacturing companies up to date with a more sustainable world by implementing a true supply chain platform.

1) The balancing act

Discrete manufacturing companies must balance many conflicting forces to keep their supply chains running smoothly. For example, they must balance make-to-order and make-to-stock production, optimise long and short lead times, and find the right mix between domestic and intercontinental production and sourcing among many suppliers. These challenges are further complicated by the need to balance the use of multimodal transportation, storage and inventory management and insourcing and outsourcing logistics.

To achieve this balance, companies need to work seamlessly with all parties in their supply chain network, from tier 1 and 2 suppliers to logistics service providers, customs clearance locations, ports, production facilities, trade channels, and customers.

2) The people's game

While software solutions play a vital role in achieving supply chain synchronisation, it is still a people's game. Companies need to guide the change process, not only within their own organisations but also within their entire supply chain network. This requires collaboration, information exchange, and a willingness to improve and grow together.

To achieve this level of collaboration, companies need to seek assurance from software vendors that their solutions comply with their requirements. Software vendors need to deliver not only software but also the service required to achieve this level of collaboration, information exchange, and growth.

3) Integrated transportation management

Integrated transportation management (ITM) plays a crucial role in bringing discrete manufacturing companies in sync with the world. ITM helps companies balance demand and supply, optimise production and transportation processes, and manage interdependencies between different partners in the network.

To achieve this level of synchronisation, companies need to consolidate and optimise loads over multiple transportation legs and modalities. They must also maintain full control over invoicing, surcharging, and costs in their supply chain and have complete visibility over their data and reporting to manage their supply chain operationally, tactically and strategically.

4) Agile IT and the impact of expansion

Discrete manufacturing companies are constantly changing, either through global expansion or via mergers and acquisitions to strengthen their position. These changes have a significant impact on their systems and processes, making it challenging to keep everything in sync. Many companies have multiple brands and versions of software products in place, leading to inefficiencies and errors.

To achieve a real-time view of their end-to-end supply chain, companies need to implement Transportation Platform solutions that provide a centralised, unified view based on real-time data in their operations aligned with a holistic and agile IT approach.

5) Deploying a transportation platform

Take the example of a manufacturer of electric cars: this company has made sustainability a central pillar of its business model. They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint by using renewable energy sources in their factories, and they have set ambitious goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across their supply chain.

At the same time, the company must balance the demands of its customers, who expect high-quality, reliable vehicles that are delivered quickly and efficiently. To achieve this balance, the company uses a make-to-order production model, allowing them to quickly respond to changes in demand and minimise inventory costs. The company also relies on a network of suppliers and logistics partners to ensure that they can efficiently source and transport the raw materials and components needed for production.

To be on top of their game, they prioritise the development of their own manufacturing and logistics capabilities by insourcing these functions rather than relying solely on outsourcing to third-party providers. This allows the company to maintain greater control over its operations and ensure compliance with regulations governing the production and sale of electric vehicles in different countries.

Transporeon: A true supply chain platform

In today's world, it's not just about balancing profits and costs, but also reducing the carbon footprint and meeting customer demands. For discrete manufacturing companies, this means constantly harmonising contradicting forces to create balance across various areas. From supply and demand to production methods, transportation, logistics, compliance, and stakeholder management, the challenges are endless. But with a powerful software platform, you can bring transportation and production in sync over all these areas, reducing lead times, optimising logistics, improving compliance, and ensuring smooth planning and execution. It's time to balance the scales and take your business to the next level.

Transport Operations

Automate and manage multi-leg and multimode transport execution across FTL, LTL, groupage and ocean, all in one platform. Transport Operations simplifies global freight transportation by offering shippers a self-service routing guide with cascading ranks to fully automate the assignment process.

Get in touch to learn more about Transport Operations:

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