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Why You Should Care About In-Transit Visibility with Tablet PC: Part I

What’s all the buzz about in-transit visibility? ITV, as it’s commonly known, is something you’ve long wished for – the ability to track your entire logistics stream, to know exactly where your inventory, vehicles and personnel are at any time, at any point along the supply chain.

rail train transportation visibility rugged tablet pcInventory management is often a productivity bottleneck, with inherent delays and blind spots that can be costly. Savvy business managers are now replacing legacy systems – both equipment and processes – with new automated technologies that provide much greater speed, efficiency and accuracy.

ITV is one innovation that can significantly benefit any type of enterprise that moves goods. Finally, something that puts you in control. You get real-time data you can use to track shipments and respond immediately if you need to redirect items or drivers. Rugged tablet computers puts solutions right into the hands of logistics personnel in the warehouse, on the road or back in the office.

Of course every company is different. So what can in-transit visibility do for you? Read on, and ask yourself if your operation could use some improvement in any of these areas:

Asset management.

In-transit visibility enhances location awareness. You can optimize routes and add or change assignments on the fly. You get navigation assistance that eliminates driver time-wasters such as looking for an address or asking directions.

You can capture engine readings and an array of other vehicle-related data to ensure regular maintenance stays on schedule. You’ll receive alerts for trouble codes or other potential problems.

Personnel management.

Because you can monitor hours of service, you’re assured drivers are meeting regulatory rules and you can make the most efficient use of their time. You can choose the best driver for each job based on qualifications and availability.

You have instant two-way voice and data communication with all your people, via their rugged tablet PC.

Automatically capturing time card details eliminates time spent on paperwork and the potential for deliberate or inadvertent mis-reporting. And the ability to monitor driver behaviors such as PTO, hard braking, lengthy idle times, speeding or driving outside their proscribed route pinpoints coaching or retraining opportunities.

Inventory management.

Tracking and traceability throughout your supply chain have become functional essentials, not just for better inventory management but so you can respond immediately in the event of a product recall or other emergency. Quicker, more accurate response causes less disruption.

You’re also poised to react nimbly if you have an unexpected replenishment need, by intercepting and redirecting the required merchandise. That can alleviate customer annoyance and the chance of sales slipping away.

ITV allows you to track individual items, packages, cartons, pallets, containers or truckloads. Using bar code or RFID readers you can scan shipments on and off the truck or at interim checkpoints.

Risk management.

You can virtually eliminate stock overages or shortages.

GPS and mapping eliminates aimless driving that increases risk of accidents or driver violations such as speeding. You can verify delivery with electronic signatures, digital photos, etc., reducing damage or missing item claims and time spent researching and addressing problems.

Customer relations.

In-transit visibility provides the control and flexibility necessary to effectively manage your supply chain. But profitability also depends on customer satisfaction. Many enterprises, retailers especially, have to accommodate widely divergent and rapidly changing shopper demands.

They’re adopting insight-driven inventory management processes that augment ITV. While in-transit visibility enables you to know exactly where items are at any given time, insight-driven inventory management enables you to determine exactly where you want to send those items, and when.

We’ll explore that in greater detail in our next article.


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