What the Private Sector Can Teach The Military About In-Transit Visibility
The upcoming Modern Day Marine Expo will showcase some of the latest technical innovations in the processing, communication, and delivery of data. It’s evident that in all branches of the military, there’s been a concerted effort to modernize and develop efficient systems that deliver the right data at the right time.
For logistics, this has never been more true. With innovations in asset tracking software, we are at the point where it’s possible to supply real-time data on assets in-transit from any point on the globe and deliver that data to any device in the world.
The ability to understand and assess our supply chain cannot be understated. We win when our troops can make the most informed decisions. Just how important is our military supply chain? Two great Generals from two very different times said it best.
“The line between disorder and order lies in logistics” – Sun Tzu
“Gentlemen, the officer who doesn’t know his communications and supply as well as his tactics…is totally useless.” – General George S. Patton.
PAST ITV CAPABILITIES
In the past, the Department of Defense’s approach to In-Transit Visibility has been static, at best. The DoD approach has relied on systems that separate and “SILO” supply chain data. These solutions have delivered shipment data in a point-in-time, one-size-fits-all approach.
Unfortunately, this puts the end-user in a precarious position. Leaders must answer a lot of questions about the supply chain data before they can make a tactical decision.
- Is the shipping data obsolete or unreliable?
- Which data is the most relevant, and how does it line up to previous data?
- What action should be taken at this exact moment in time?
Looking to the Private Sector
The DoD and our military would be wise to look to the private sector and study how companies approached ITV within their supply chain.
Currently, private companies are under increased pressure from governments, NGOs, and consumers, to divulge more and more information about their supply chain.
For example, the food industry is facing increased demand for supply-chain-related information about ingredients, food fraud, animal welfare, labor, temperatures in-route, illness, and a host of other data points. This increased scrutiny is coming from both the government agencies regulating the industry and a more educated public that’s interested in what they put into their bodies.
The cost of developing and adding the solutions necessary to supply this data can be high. But, there is much benefit to increasing ITV and closing the black holes in a supply chain. Today, companies are starting to understand that these benefits can exceed the price.
The Benefits of In-Transit Visibility
For private companies, the most apparent benefit is compliance with increasingly stringent regulations. For example, in late 2017, a new federal rule went into effect requiring trucking companies to record their hours of service on electronic-logging devices (ELDs). The mandate has created some controversy.
Government regulators believe ELDs will increase efficiency and safety for the industry and the general population. Many in the trucking industry fought the regulation changes, but now companies are actually embracing the change. Trucking companies are developing systems that provide real-time tracking information that increases profitability.
Another reason to embrace ITV is to gain an advantage in the marketplace. Supply Chain transparency reduces reputational risk and enhances a company’s standing as a trustworthy enterprise. Marketing the ability to deliver full supply chain transparency, as a unique point of differentiation; Companies are now touting their ability to show outwardly.
For example, take Domino’s Pizza’s Pizza Tracking App. Domino’s now provides real-time information regarding the preparation, cooking, and delivery of your pizza, through an app downloaded on your phone. Domino’s proudly advertises this app to their consumers, “Want to Know Exactly What’s Happening with Your Order?”
This transparency into the Domino’s process gives consumers confidence and delivers perceived value. Ultimately, Domino’s is in the business of making people happy. The more information Domino’s provides, the less frustrated and more satisfied their customers will be.
The third benefit of a transparent supply chain is attracting and retaining employees who are keen to work for responsible companies. A new generation of American Workers are not just looking for compensation, but employment that aligns with their core values. Many brands with reputations as responsible companies have high rates of applications and low employee turnover.
Finally, there are critical operational benefits of increasing ITV. Gathering more detailed information on supply chain performance helps companies identify opportunities for improvements and reduce costly waste.
BENEFITS for the MILITARY SUPPLY CHAIN
Similar to the private sector, military supply chain transparency isn’t about where an asset was at any given point in time. Increasing ITV and delivering real-time data is about answering the types of questions that mean the most to the boots on the ground.
When will an asset get to its destination? What condition will it be in? How will it influence the mission? These are the questions that matter the most.
Tactical Edge has been working their military partners, building tracking solutions that provide real-time, in-transit data on assets. And, real-time ITV isn’t just limited to just asset location anymore. Using sensors, historical, and accompanying data, we can provide conditional and predictive information crucial to our decision-makers.
For example, our ITV solution provides alerts when shipments are damaged in transit, when the temperature of the asset is compromised, or when the delivery will be delayed. This vital information allows our troops to plan missions with confidence and take action quickly when the supply chain issue threaten its success.
Are you going to Modern Day Marine? We’d love to chat with you about your modernization and logistic needs and answer any questions you may have about our In-Transit-Visibility Software or our many current government projects.
To set up a demonstration of Tactical Edge’s ITV Software, please contact:
Steve Palmer, Dir. East Coast Operation
Phone: (302) 242 -7778