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With all that 2020 has brought us (hurricanes, capacity shortages, protests and of course, global pandemics), my personal silver lining is that it has also brought us the second annual FourKites Golden Kite Awards.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with our Golden Kite Awards, we officially launched our award program during our Visibility 2019 User Conference. We did so with two goals in mind. The first was to recognize and honor our most innovative customers, and the second was to share best practices and drive visibility initiatives forward across the FourKites network. In just over one year, the program has already proven to be a roaring success.

This year, we received triple the number of Golden Kite submissions that we received for Visibility 2019. They came in from customers of all sizes, industries and milestones in their visibility journey. There were so many amazing stories that poured in about everyday heroes at some of the world’s most well-known brands; choosing just a handful of them to receive awards was probably the hardest part of the entire process. We can’t wait to see what great stories will come in for next year, which is why we’ve decided to open up the submission process for the 2021 Golden Kite Awards even earlier this time around.

Success Comes in all Forms

As real-time visibility technology is still such a new tool within many sectors of the global supply chain, it’s important to realize that no two companies will approach their visibility journey in quite the same way. Similarly, the value that each company gains from visibility technology – and the problems they use it to solve – are infinitely varied.  Still, most companies  follow a similar process as they scale up their visibility investment and build data-driven practices into different areas of their business. Here, we tend to split that process into three major stages, which we refer to as Crawl, Walk and Run.

A key aspect of the Golden Kite Awards is that they’re designed around the idea that there’s room for innovation at all levels of the FourKites maturity cycle. Whether you are years into your visibility deployment or just starting out, we believe that your example can stand to inform and inspire leaders in other companies, regions and industries. In fact, some of the most compelling stories that have emerged from the Golden Kites program in the past two years have come from companies that quickly leveraged visibility to transform their businesses right out of the gate.

One customer, for example, earned their Golden Kite within their first year of working with FourKites. C&S Wholesale Grocers, which took home our 2018 Customer Experience Award, wasted no time in putting their new visibility resources to use. Within just three months of deployment with FourKites, they had used our technology to reduce internal check calls for truck locations by a whopping 65 percent. This, in turn, led to a strong increase in customer satisfaction, with 92 percent of participating customers reporting high satisfaction scores and improved experience.

The Sky’s the Limit

If that’s what a company can achieve right out of the gate, what about a company that’s had years to fine-tune their visibility strategy?

Kraft Heinz has been a FourKites customer for over three years, and they’ve achieved so much success with their visibility technology that they’ve been able to use it not only to streamline their own internal operations, but to give back to those in need, as well.

Kraft Heinz pursued an aggressive visibility strategy from the beginning, onboarding the bulk of their carriers and personnel and getting up and running with FourKites within the first 30 days. By late 2017, the company was well on its way to gaining the upper hand with the new on-time in-full (OTIF) requirements, fueled in large part by a relentless push for data-driven performance throughout its supply chains. Having secured such a strong lead in terms of operational excellence, the company was then free to begin looking for new ways to help those less fortunate themselves.

This past September, Kraft Heinz took home the Golden Kite Award for Collaboration & Globalization, not only for leveraging FourKites technology to give their customers total transparency into in-progress shipments, but also for transplanting this same data-driven approach to a nationwide network of food banks the company supports through Feeding America.

For an inside look into the development of Kraft Heinz’ visibility juggernaut, take a look at our recent Employee Spotlight.

The Road Ahead

These are just two of the many companies we work with who have what it takes to be a Golden Kite Winner. Taken together, it speaks to the amazing growth and maturity we’ve seen within the logistics space in recent years – an industry that for so long resisted innovation, and is now achieving goals that were hardly even considered possible a few short years ago.

FourKites customers are no longer dipping their toes into basic questions like “Where’s my truck?” Instead, they’re revolutionizing inventory management, maximizing the last mile and seeing us through a global public health crisis. Golden Kite winners are this in a nutshell: forward-thinking, engaged members of the FourKites community who aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo and leverage data and technology to achieve their goals. As a group, Golden Kites companies lean into new products, champion technology adoption throughout their organizations and play a starring role in the expansion of high-tech solutions within the global transportation industry at large. Most importantly, they take pride in the efforts their teams have made to embrace the frontiers of new solutions.

All of this is why I’m so excited to be expanding the application period for Golden Kite submissions, to ensure that those customers who are accomplishing extraordinary feats – or even just doing their jobs better! – with visibility have the maximum opportunity to tell their stories to the world. With all that in mind, I have just one question for you:

Will I see a Golden Kite trophy on your desk in 2021?

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