In less than a week, FourKites will be hosting Visibility 2021, the world’s largest virtual conference for supply chain leaders. More than 1,500 supply chain professionals will be convening live from around the world in two global time zones (9am CDT on Oct 6 and 9am CEST on Oct 7) to continue the work we started more than half a decade ago: pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in today’s supply chain, together. Our theme, “Go Beyond,” couldn’t be more apt.
What a long way we’ve come from the first Visibility conference. In those early days, real-time visibility technology was new — after all, FourKites had just invented it. We had, perhaps, a few dozen customers in attendance. There was a sense of excitement, but I daresay none of us knew exactly what we were in for. There was also a palpable reticence with many about opening up the kimono to share real-time visibility data — not just with internal departments, but with customers, partners and even competitors. Is that information going to be used to levy yet more fines against my company, or to fuel arguments about the root causes of shipping delays? Or can we get some tangible ROI out of this and really shed some light on a seemingly impenetrable supply chain? These concerns were understandable at the time.
Five years later, the answer is clear: Real-time transportation visibility data, predictive analytics and widespread collaboration across the supply chain are redefining what’s possible. And attendees of this year’s Visibility conference are going to hear about these expectation-busting innovations from the “who’s who” of supply chain leaders, including Volvo, Qualcomm Ventures, Zebra, SAP, Ace Hardware, Best Buy, Tyson, Meijer, Bayer, Coca-Cola, Henkel, Dow and so many more. And as always, we will roll up our sleeves with our customers and partners, and we will brainstorm and prioritize the key goals for the coming year’s new innovations and capabilities.
Why? Because if the pandemic has made anything clear, it’s that we must continue to innovate and “go beyond”. Yes, we’ve accomplished a great deal. In the last year, FourKites completed three acquisitions. We expanded our product lines to go beyond in-transit visibility to yard management. We expanded our product lines to include Dynamic Ocean, and new features for booking rate management and documentation collaboration. We added some hundred-plus features in the platform based on the input of this amazing community. We brought visibility to the level of every single order, end-to-end, and we were awarded a patent for our AI-fueled ability to forecast arrival times even in the absence of data.
But we need to do more. The good news is, the pace of innovation is only increasing, as we reap the benefits of a highly connected and collaborative community armed with highly granular, accurate, real-time supply chain data.
At the conference, we’ll also be announcing this year’s extremely deserving recipients of our annual Golden Kite Awards, and celebrate the individuals and companies that leveraged real-time visibility to make things work better during another year of crises and challenges. These are the companies that have really gone beyond, and we’re excited to celebrate their success with our community.
We’ll see you online in a few days! You’ve heard it from me before, but I’ll say it again: Our biggest year is ahead of us. We look forward to creating the future of supply chain visibility, together.