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This recent Wall Street Journal report highlighted the need for real-time supply chain visibility, as a growing number of retailers demand that their suppliers hit more stringent delivery windows and pay steeper fines for early and late arrivals. The changes come as retailers try to reduce stockouts to better compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon.

In the past, there was greater tolerance for some delivery window variance related to shippers’ loads running into bad traffic, inclement weather, or technical malfunctions. Now, the prevalence of GPS tracking devices within supply chains allows companies to monitor and adjust their routes in real-time, rather than having to make decisions based on outdated information.

The Journal story highlights Kraft Heinz’s recent decision to partner with FourKites to gain real-time freight tracking, temperature monitoring and predictive analytics across its supply chain. By using FourKites’ software to not only track the locations of its shipments across modes, but also predict the delivery times of those shipments, Kraft Heinz is taking steps to maximize its on-time delivery rates and customer satisfaction, across the board.

Another FourKites customer, Smithfield Foods, was profiled in the Wall Street Journal after increasing its on-time delivery performance from 87% to 94% after adopting FourKites to track loads across its supply chain.

The bottom line for many companies is that better delivery performance leads to greater customer satisfaction — and greater customer satisfaction often leads to more business in the future. Companies that move to adopt greater visibility over their supply chains stand to benefit from streamlining their operations and improving customer satisfaction.

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