There’s a lot of jargon used in our industry: PO Management, Consolidator, Origin Cargo Manager (OCM), Item-level Forwarding, Supply Chain Visibility, 3PL, 4PL, LLP... And lots more!
At Expeditors, we have what we call Order Management, and it’s all about connecting your internal data and processes with those of your external supply chain partners. By simply starting with a copy of your purchase order or sales order, we can leverage it as your forwarder to provide strategic insight and value.
Forwarders, carriers and truckers all move your cargo, but they don’t adapt well to a world of “what ifs”. You contract them with service-level agreements and committed volumes, and for the agreed price they move the cargo.
So, say for example you commit 50 containers per year from Shanghai to Rotterdam for a given rate and an agreed transit time. Then you plan that rate and lead time into your inventory plan to fulfill customer orders. But what if the supplier in Shanghai is late by one week in production? What if sales have taken off on that product and you have an urgent need for more product? What if sales don’t meet projections and inventory is starting to build up? What if trade rules change and you need to move sourcing?
What you really need is for logistics to align around the unforeseen changes in your order process, but traditional logistics is inherently reactive. The supplier books, the forwarder arranges, the carriers move, and nobody changes the transportation plan to match the order needs - because none of those partners have the order details. Connecting the order to the forwarder allows your partner to follow along with your needs. With Order Management, Expeditors becomes proactive in delivering on-time and in-full, even if you change targets along the way.
It takes more than a platform or piece of software to make this happen. At Expeditors, our differentiators are our people, process, and technology.
- People – Our origin operators around the world work with shippers in real-time, in local language, and know the local requirements (and local options) to move cargo. We don’t centralize operations for efficiency because we know that shippers need support locally. When we arm them with a copy of your order, they become an extension of your team with “boots on the ground” next to shippers.
- Process – We hire the best and smartest people in the industry who are curious about process. We take the time to understand your internal processes and translate them into procedures and configurations that will meet your goals. We may challenge you to think about a better process based on years of experience with hundreds of other importers and exporters, because the right process is critical.
- Technology – We then automate as much of the process as we can to take variability out of the results. This happens through our cloud-based exception management portal, automating carrier allocation, customizing the right dashboard, or integrating multiple data content providers. We are different from pure technology solutions in that we manage the content and make sure inputs are correct and valuable.
The following are some of the solutions we offer to common supply chain challenges:
- Supplier communication - Order distribution and acknowledgement via cloud-based platform to connect with suppliers around the world, track history, and connect multiple parties
- On-time and in-full supplier shipment – Real time exception controls and historical score-carding and reporting
- Predictable inventory – Holding item and quantity level data and arranging transportation against the need dates in the order
- Financial reporting – In-transit inventory levels at a glance, landed-cost reporting, and spend analysis
- Visibility – Item and order level tracking of in-transit materials
- Analytical Tools – Analyze actual variability in lead time performance, understand order sourcing patterns, score overall supplier performance and trend against the industry, understand internal order change trends, and data to drive engineered projects and supply chain design
- Final Mile controls – Management of inbound container drayage and deliveries prioritized based on most needed items
Let us help you connect the world of your orders to logistics, suppliers, customers, and partners. Let us be your forwarder and share your data, and we become a proactive partner. Expeditors Order Management enables supply chain discipline.