Tracking devices are all the rage in terms of taming inefficiency and cost overruns throughout the supply chain because they not only boost the performance of vehicle fleets, but also serve to track what is in the back of the trailer as well. Indeed, modern tracking devices allow for real time control of inventory stock from the time the products are stored on the shelves and aisles of the warehouse to the back of the truck to delivery on the customer’s receiving dock. As a result of the changes being made in the fields of inventory and asset control, tracking devices promise to transform the way the transportation industry does business.
“It Fell Off a Truck…”
At one point in history, the practice was so prevalent that it entered the popular lexicon as, “it fell off a truck” to describe the reason for such low prices on a myriad of products ranging from frozen meat to decorative rugs to the latest in high tech merchandise and more. Indeed, from even the most casual of perusals of mob or gangster movies from the 1950s through the 1990s would suggest that gravity was constantly conspiring with organized crime for decades.
Art does tend to imitate life, however. Inventory loss results in billions of dollars every year when you factor in the entire warehouse–to-end-cap cycle. Based on data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, more than 500 cargo thefts, totaling over $32 billion in industry losses, rocked the industry in 2014.
Added to these disturbing statistics, a National Retail Federation study conducted in 2015 noted a $45 billion loss rate. These statistics make a compelling argument for installing tracking devices throughout every vulnerable aspect of the supply line.
Securing the Supply Chain
When it comes to securing the supply chain, there seems to be no lack of weak links throughout the chain that keeps managers up at night. Three broad areas that managers are particularly worried about is inside the warehouse, on the road, and during the delivery phase.
Warehouse—operations require an organized and efficient method to stay and remain organized, and tracking devices can help facility managers to keep their fingers on the pulse of the entire inventory supply. Moreover, active tracking means that management can quickly locate misplaced pallets and crucial inventory.
In Transit—keeping gravity at bay during the transit process is easy with modern tracking devices. From the moment goods leave the warehouse, alerts are activated throughout the route based on establishing geofences throughout the delivery trip.
The Delivery Dock—represents the final link in the delivery chain, and tracking devices serve as positive proof that a carrier fulfilled its end of the delivery contract. Turning the spigot off inventory loss begins with incremental change throughout the supply chain, but tracking devices are increasingly important core of those efforts.