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Everything you need to know about freight data standardization

However, to many, the need for freight data standardization itself isn’t clear — or even the meaning of it. So let’s dive into those topics before discussing how to tackle the two problems with implementing a “standard” for it.

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Freight data standardization is key for growth. Image: Pixabay
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Freight data standardization is something everyone has been talking about for quite a long time now, but really, not much impact has been made.

The challenge, really, is not the fact that organizations are unable to move the needle in the right direction or that there is a lack of support from regulators and international industry associations.

The problem is two-fold. Standardizing freight data will cost everyone some money, that’s the first problem, and obviously, is something that is immediately going to cause negative responses among all stakeholders.

The second problem, once the cost barrier has been breached, is the need to collaborate to create a “standard” to adhere to in the first place. There’s responsibility in this space, but there’s also a kind of challenge that will face anyone who undertakes to overcome this obstacle.

However, to many, the need for freight data standardization itself isn’t clear — or even the meaning of it. So let’s dive into those topics before discussing how to tackle the two problems with implementing a “standard” for it.

What is freight data standardization?

Essentially, it’s the sharing of data in a usable format across the supply chain, from the time the goods are sold to the time they actually reach the customer — irrespective of who is moving it to the air or sea port, which airline or shipping line is carrying it, and who will collect and transport it to the buyer.

It’s important to understand that the format must be “usable”. It’s not like different companies aren’t willing to share data at the moment, but the way they’re storing it in the first place makes sharing it quite pointless.

Take company A, B, and C for example. Company A may store the number of goods being sent as 100, but that number might represent the number of palettes.

For company B, the number might be one because they only store information about the units being shipped — and all of the 100 palettes are therefore one unit.

For company C, the number might again be 10, as they’ll need 10 carts to move those 100 palettes and that’s how they count the units in their business.

Now, when the three share data, they won’t be able to make much sense of it because their data isn’t standardized.

If you’re in the freight forwarding business or working for a shipping line, freight data standardization is bound to mean less to you than it will to someone who works for an exporter or a multi-national corporation.

In other words, as an executive’s relationship with cargo becomes more complex and distant, the need for freight data standardization becomes clear.

Overcoming the challenges to data standardization

As discussed previously, data standardization has two challenges. The first is the cost, and the second is the need for someone to take up the leadership position.

At this point, although any comments are purely speculative, thoughts have been influenced by the ideas shared by speakers and leaders at various forums over the years.

Essentially, there’s one school of thought that says government organizations in every country should bear the cost of helping “standardize” the data in this industry — but it’s not because governments, by default, should bear all costs. It’s because they stand to gain the most.

Needs further explanation? Well, when freight data is standardized, it’s easy for the government to run and harmonize its various excise, customs, and other tax-generating units. As a result, costs of collection are reduced and income is increased (optimized).

Hence, the government ultimately is the single largest winner of this standardization process — which is why they should pay.

Now, which organization should take up the challenge of implementing data standardization? Well, that’s the easy question to answer: The government.

Why? Well, whether it is the GST in India or the GDPR in the EU, the body that implemented such large changes in the way businesses operated was a unit of the government. It’s their forte, and hence, they should drive it.

Now, does this mean organizations are powerless? Well, not at all. Organizations can work with software vendors to improve their readiness for data standardization, and if possible, can work with close partners along the value chain to implement something that helps them in the meanwhile.

In the long term, once the government rolls something out, organizations that are already using some sort of standardization will find it easier to move than those that aren’t working on any such initiatives.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

SCG Logistics connects enterprise data & apps with SnapLogic

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SCG Logistics connects enterprise data & apps with SnapLogic. Image: Pexels
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SnapLogic, provider of the #1 Intelligent Integration Platform, announced that SCG Logistics has standardized on SnapLogic’s leading cloud integration platform to support its process automation, data analytics, and digital transformation initiatives. SCG Logistics, Thailand’s leading provider of distribution and transportation management services, has deployed SnapLogic to integrate core operational and analytics systems and automate business-critical processes across the enterprise, enabling the company to provide exceptional services to its customers around the world.

SCG Logistics leverages its efficient management system, extensive business network, best-in-class transportation and warehouse services, and state-of-the-art technology to provide unparalleled service to its customers. The company employs an order management system (OMS) to track and manage sales, orders, inventory, and fulfillment across multiple channels, making it easy to do business with customers via chatbots and other capabilities. The company also integrates internal SCG systems with external client systems, allowing information and process flow to be visualized across the complete value chain which drives competitiveness. In addition, the company relies on advanced analytics and data-driven insights to optimize the supply chain and improve operational efficiency.

SnapLogic is the glue that connects SCG Logistics’ many operational systems and analytics platforms. With SnapLogic as the foundation, seamless business processes and data-driven decisions enable the company to drive innovation, improve service delivery, and enhance the customer experience.

SnapLogic’s Intelligent Integration Platform uses AI-powered workflows to automate all stages of IT integration projects – design, development, deployment, and maintenance – whether on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. The platform’s easy-to-use, self-service interface enables both expert and citizen integrators to manage all application integration, data integration, API management, B2B integration, and data engineering projects on a single, scalable platform. With SnapLogic, organizations can connect all of their enterprise systems quickly and easily to automate business processes, accelerate analytics, and drive transformation.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Oracle launched oracle cloud SCM to empower supply chain industry 

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Oracle launched oracle cloud SCM to empower supply chain industry. Image: Oracle
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To help organizations build resilient and agile supply chains that drive innovation and growth, Oracle today announced the latest updates to Oracle Fusion Cloud Supply Chain & Manufacturing (Oracle Cloud SCM). The updates help customers increase collaboration across supply networks, proactively manage supply chain assets, and implement long-term supply chain planning.

“The last 12 months have stretched supply chains to the limit as organizations wrestle with the disruptions of COVID-19, shifting global trade agreements, rapidly changing customer expectations, and numerous other unforeseen circumstances,” said Rick Jewell, senior vice president, Oracle Applications development. “With the new capabilities within Oracle Cloud SCM, we are helping our customers navigate this complexity and build more adaptable businesses that can respond to today’s challenges and whatever comes next.”

With Oracle Cloud SCM, organizations can identify new opportunities, rethink processes, and plan and execute across the entire business. The latest features and capabilities within Oracle Cloud SCM include:

  • Oracle Logistics Digital Assistant: Provides on-the-go access to real-time supply chain information through a conversational interface that responds quickly, improves user satisfaction, and increases business efficiencies. In addition, users can now easily access order status and shipment tracking remotely without having to navigate through the Oracle Transportation Management (OTM) application or understand complicated data mappings. As a result, a supply chain manager can be informed of all in-transit orders and receive timely updates on shipments from anywhere, on any mobile device.
  • Oracle AI Planning Advisor: Uses artificial intelligence capabilities embedded within Supply Chain Planning to display recommendations that optimize new product introduction (NPI) and enable customers to respond to current and anticipated production disruptions.
  • Field Service Preventative Maintenance: Helps organizations improve the customer experience through new preventative service flows and break-fix and installation capabilities that are delivered via Service Logistics Cloud for Field Service.
  • Multi-Tier Supply Chain Collaboration: Delivers improved visibility into upstream supply to increase overall supply chain responsiveness. Oracle Supply Chain Collaboration can now synchronize upstream supply information such as on-hand balances, purchase order details, and work order details from multiple tiers of external organizations. The data is then automatically shared with Oracle Supply Planning Cloud.
  • Planning for Project-Driven Supply Chain: Optimizes supply planning for project-specific material requirements and execution of purchase orders, transfer orders, and work orders—all with project and task references. By matching demand and supply based on flexible rules, customers are able to group projects and plan at the group level when supplies can be combined across many projects.
  • New Channel Revenue Management Capabilities: Streamline and optimize trade programs by enabling organizations to create, resolve, and settle claims for deductions and overpayments. In addition, the new capabilities simplify the export of supplier programs and claims.
  • Cross-Product Procurement Enhancements: Simplify integration with external systems to help customers integrate and extend procurement processes via new and modified REST APIs. In addition, Oracle Procurement Cloud features new deep links that provide easy navigation directly to application pages without using the menu structure. These links can be leveraged in a variety of ways, including in business intelligence reports, notifications, and third-party application pages.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Warehouse management: Can you afford downtime?

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Warehouse management: Can you afford downtime? Image: Unsplash
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We aren’t talking about personal downtime here. We are talking about those times where you have hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of products stored. If these products melted, grew mold, or were otherwise damaged – that responsibility falls to you to cover. Your warehouse plays a pivotal and essential role in the supply chain, and if you aren’t ensuring you have taken every precaution possible, you might just find yourself losing out in the long run.

Of course, the first thing that you have is insurance. This will keep you covered for most eventualities. But the real dark horse when it comes to your back-up plan will be your CI Group generator. 

Planning and Preparation

No one wants to think about the disaster moment of the power going out. But there is a relief in knowing you have an industrial generator that can help you handle the situation with ease. The chances of a total power failure from natural disasters or a human-made issue aren’t as small as you might thing. The proactive step to take is to have a back-up generator and knowing how to use it long in advance of anything happening.

Power Outages

It has been reported that blackouts and power outages have been increasing since 2003. In simple terms, this means you are more likely to experience a power outage than ever before. 

Snow, ice, storm hurricanes have caused most of these outages, and other severe weather issues are some of the critical causes of power outages and general power issues. These disturbances will knock the power out to your warehouse. What comes next? The waiting game. How long before you will be back up and running? How long before you are at risk of stock issues?

Basic Generator Tips

You will have to make sure that you choose a generator that is large enough to keep your critical systems running. It is a good idea to work with a provider and let them know what you need so that you can be sure you have a generator that will suit your needs. 

Fuel is going to be a crucial part of the whole operation, and if you hadn’t already thought about now is undoubtedly the time. And in the case of a flood, have you ensured that your generator is built to keep running or at least protected.

Before you call any companies, find out all of your energy usage numbers and the equipment that would be the minimum that you need to have running. This will give them a clear understanding of your power needs. 

The very bottom line is that all businesses are going to be heavily reliant on gas and electricity to keep themselves up and running. These things are even more essential if you have extensive storage facilities that supply pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and food businesses.

And it is impossible to say that your business won’t suffer from a blackout or a power outage, so getting a generator is part of a plan that can keep your business running even in the face of disaster. 

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