As supply chains grow larger and customer fulfillment expectations grow more stringent, enterprises need comprehensive solutions for supply chain clarity, consistency and cost-effectiveness. Transportation management systems help companies better control supply chain sprawl by eliminating excess costs while ramping up service quality. The IBM Sterling Transportation Management System is a software platform dedicated to enhancing key supply chain processes through the optimization of transportation logistics, planning and spending. Organizations can leverage this solution to build a better shipping network and make smarter operational decisions.
Supply chain management can get particularly thorny when shipping is involved. The sea is immortalized in novels and songs for a reason, and although airplanes and high-speed ground transport have somewhat reduced the presence of actual ships in the shipping process, they're still vital to far-flung supply chains. Oil tankers and container vessels are still responsible for shipping 90 percent of all products around the world, as CNBC pointed out. There are a few wrenches that they throw into logistics concerns, primarily due to their relative slowness and encounters with risks that have little affect on other links in the chain.
Effective supply chain management strategies must be able to contend with any incident or development that crops up. For many companies, this winter's weather has given the robustness of their supply chains a run for their money. The so-called polar vortex, with its record low temperatures and massive snowfalls left few parts of the U.S. unscathed. In addition to prolonged cold snaps making generally chilly locales like Chicago and Detroit even colder, ice caused huge problems on several occasions in southern states like Georgia and South Carolina.