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Katie MineckDirector, Customer Success, FourKites

Most organizations acknowledge the value of data for improving operations— in fact, many already collect supply chain data — but most haven’t figured out how to harness their data to work for them. Supply chain teams that still rely on manual scheduling and tracking methods may lose valuable opportunities to apply data insights and collaboration tools to strengthen customer relationships and maximize productivity.

With shipment volumes up and customer demand still volatile, the need for supply chain visibility and collaboration across teams is more critical than ever. Accessing real-time data should be at the heart of supply chain operations, enabling proactive exception management and quick decision-making on inbound or outbound freight.

At our recent Supply Chain Leadership Summit, we had the opportunity to sit down with Adrian Santos, corporate director of transportation at Grocery Outlet, to hear how his team uses data from FourKites.

Putting Data to Work

Data overload and inefficiencies can be a problem in supply chain — if stakeholders don’t have the right data or aren’t equipped with the right tools to leverage data properly. Actionable, real-time data is vital at every mile of a shipment’s journey, and shareable data helps keep customers happy.

At Grocery Outlet, the data coming from FourKites is put to work every day. It has become the one source of truth, helping the team evaluate performance across internal functions in their carrier partner ecosystem. Grocery Outlet monitors its inventory volume, on-time deliveries, dwell times and more all through the FourKites platform. Using FourKites Insights, the Grocery Outlet team has been able to make on-the-fly decisions based on real-time data and insights right within the platform.

Prioritizing Inbound Data

Creating a better experience for its downstream customers is the top priority for Grocery Outlet, and recognizing the impact of disruptions early in the supply chain, Santos stressed the importance of inbound data throughout the conversation. Logistics professionals are incredibly reliant on what’s happening with their inbound loads but often don’t get to see precisely where the loads are in route, making it nearly impossible to plan or mitigate issues.

The ability to track freight inbound to its distribution centers is critical to Grocery Outlet, as it impacts when customers can order product. Having visibility on inbound shipments with FourKites predictive ETAs has given the team a more complete view of Grocery Outlet’s inventory in transit and helped the team execute on sales to its valued customers.

Improving customer satisfaction also comes down to how well your processes flow. Are you on top of what’s happening in the yard? Does your team seem overwhelmed? Does product arrive on time? All these potential hurdles are cleared when you have the correct inbound information at your fingertips.

Better Workforce Usage

Santos also shared how workforce usage has been one of the biggest areas of success Grocery Outlet has experienced. Using FourKites allows for quick internal collaboration so employees can quickly adjust to managing inbound freight. Employee time is used better, as they no longer spend time on outdated processes, making phone calls, or having to sit and wait for product to be delivered.

Employee productivity was a key theme discussed at our Summit. Our customer Tyson also mentioned the importance of visibility for workforce efficiencies, as their team has cut out inefficient emails and phone calls, opting to use the FourKites platform to free up workers from time-consuming tasks, and coordinate their logistics operations better than ever before.

“Our store managers use the FourKites app. It helps them manage labor better while giving the transport team more visibility in coordinating the final-mile deliveries.”

If your team can track inbound and outbound traffic better, working together, they will process loads more efficiently. Grocery Outlet has benefited from the positive effects of using a single platform daily, and are eager to expand their use of FourKites throughout their carrier network.

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From Grocery Outlet to Tyson and Topco, supply chain teams use FourKites’ data and insights to monitor and improve performance. One bump in a shipment’s journey can have far reaching ripple effects across the supply chain. That’s why teams must be able to see when there’s a problem and quickly course correct, so a bump doesn’t turn into a sinkhole of lost time and missed opportunities.

You can find the recap of FourKites’ Supply Chain Leadership Summit here, and be sure to check out the Supply Chainiacs podcast to learn more about how you can put stale data to work.

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