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Tyler Nickel FourKites headshotTyler NickelProduct Marketing Manager, FourKites

How harnessing accurate ETAs, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can give you the upper hand in the way you handle your operations

The challenges of today’s logistics environment have awakened a deeper appreciation of the value of precision in supply chains. The trillions of items in constant motion across our globe compose the commercial sea our entire society seems to drift upon. Any disturbance in its balance, its ebb and flow, sets in motion deep-cutting consequences, including price inflation and item scarcity.

The reality of supply and demand imbalances may be new for many of us, but if you’re a manufacturer working in a tight production window the disastrous impact of supply chain mismanagement is an ever-present thought.

The cost of a plant shutdown, especially in the automotive industry, is an incredible burden for a company. During the pandemic, Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess, revealed that plant shutdowns cost the company around $2.2 billion (€2 billion) per week. The delicate balancing act of speed-to-market and process-driven manufacturing demands confidence in a supply chain.

Why Surface-Level Visibility Isn’t Enough

Data without context is hard to act on. For many companies, tracking technology investments have provided insights into the location of their freight across the supply chain. But when your business operation’s viability relies so heavily on its predictability, one-dimensional data points offer an unsettling degree of uncertainty.

In a just-in-time, lean-inventory environment, the arrival of key components are often timed to the minute. As key SKUs are tracked across the supply chain, a simple coordinate isn’t enough information to make an informed decision on a plant shut down, mitigation plan or escalation strategy.

“The stakes have never been higher for supply chains to optimize planning and production to the exact minute,” explains FourKites’ Todd Simms, VP of Industry Strategy for discrete manufacturing. “For innovative shippers, Dynamic ETAs fuel the decision making between premium rates on expedites or other means of ordering, keeping production lines in motion and ensuring the lowest landed cost. This balancing act is a continual effort that modern businesses must pursue to achieve the desired optimal performance within their supply chain.”

Using Dynamic Yard to Find Certainty in Uncertainty

If the world ran with certainty, supply chain intelligence platforms like FourKites wouldn’t be so mission-critical. But as production lines become more intertwined with the precision of the inbound supply chain network, every dollar invested in data confidence can result in a higher-performing manufacturing plant.

So how do you ensure your business is making the best of Dynamic ETAs? Having an integrated supply chain intelligence platform allows you to directly link data feeds to the applications that would benefit most from a specific type of intel. In the use case of a shipper who uses ETAs to manage their appointments, a fully-integrated platform will independently monitor the truck number associated with each appointment to proactively alert teams to any misaligned ETAs. Such alerts reduce the human capital burden of continually tracking each shipment while infusing hyper-critical decisions with advanced data.


If your organization needs to operate more confidently, FourKites is here to help. From a personalized solution design that supports you from blueprint to budget, our teams have the expertise to help you operate efficiently. Find out more by contacting us at hello@fourkites.com

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