supply chain management

Supply chain velocity is the speed at which a supply chain moves from start to finish, from placing an order through production, distribution and consumption of goods. Supply chain velocity directly impacts a supply chain's efficiency.

Supply chain planning involves making plans to ensure that the right things get to the right place at the right time, ensuring a successful and efficient supply chain that meets demand. It includes identifying suppliers, planning production, fulfillment and distribution and finding the optimal balance between supply and demand.

The middle mile is part of the supply chain focused on moving products from the manufacturing facility to the warehouse, distribution center or retail facility. It typically falls between the first mile and the last mile.

A consignee is the person or business designated to receive a shipment. Responsibilities of a consignee may include performing freight inspections, signing for the delivery, coordinating unloading and more.

The power of artificial intelligence is advancing at a rapid pace, and the technology is transforming industries, including the supply chain. With its ability to process vast amounts of data, identify and learn from patterns, and improve decision-making, AI, along with machine learning, optimizes processes, increases efficiency and mitigates risk.

Six Practical Ways AI Is Improving Supply Chain Processes

Many critical tasks in the supply chain rely on redundant, labor-intensive processes, but technology is changing that. Here are six practical ways AI and ML are changing the supply chain.

1. Route Optimization

AI and ML can analyze historical data, traffic patterns and external factors — such as traffic, weather, and shipper or receiver delivery constraints — to optimize route planning and scheduling. More efficient routing can reduce fuel consumption, improve delivery times and cut costs.

2. Demand Forecasting

One of the key challenges in supply chain management is predicting demand accurately. AI utilizes algorithms and machine learning models to analyze historical data, market trends and external factors to provide more accurate demand forecasts. The results enable businesses to optimize inventory levels, reduce overstock or stockouts, and accurately predict transportation needs.

3. Information Sharing

Data is critical in the supply chain, and stakeholders rely on each other for essential information. AI can collect and digitize information from disparate sources, such as bills of lading, contracts and emails. Digitizing and centralizing information speeds the flow of data, reduces the risk of human error and improves decision-making.

4. Yard Automation

Yard checks, which provide detailed information on which equipment is in the yard and where it is located, have historically been a time-consuming manual process that is only as current as the last update. However, advanced trailer sensors can eliminate the need for someone to conduct manual yard checks and provide real-time information on equipment. Additionally, information can be shared with drivers so they can find the right trailer quickly to avoid wasting precious hours of service.

5. Warehouse Automation

In the warehouse, AI can improve picking, packing and sorting tasks, significantly reducing labor costs and improving order fulfillment accuracy. Smart cameras and sensors can identify and locate items on shelves and guide employees or robots to pick orders more efficiently. AI algorithms can also optimize picker routing, reducing travel time.

6. Streamlined Freight Bill Audit and Payment

AI can automatically extract relevant information from freight bills, such as shipping details and rates, reducing manual data entry and minimizing errors. It can also validate the data against predefined rules to identify discrepancies and ensure accuracy. AI-powered analytics can provide real-time visibility into freight and payment processes.

The Role of Humans

While AI is improving supply chain processes, Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions at Penske Logistics, said the seamless movement of goods will still rely on the work of humans to oversee the technology, combine its findings with their expertise and make critical decisions.

“The merger of human and machine is going to do great things for the business community,” he said. “Machine learning and artificial intelligence will help you think faster and see your different options faster. Then you apply the human expertise and experience to take full advantage of the information and make it useful.

To learn more about how to transform your supply chain, contact us.

The supply chain continues to deal with ongoing disruptions, which have become increasingly numerous, larger in scale and more simultaneous. While technology plays a critical role in keeping products moving, 3PLs and shippers can’t overlook the value of getting back to basics and focusing on core supply chain principles that have proven successful time and time again.

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Penske Logistics is requesting insights from supply chain professionals to participate in the 2023 Third-Party Logistics Study. The survey is now live and will close on June 29. Please click here to begin.

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Supply chain management involves overseeing the planning, integration and management of all production activities from a supplier to the customer within a supply chain. It also involves strategy development, optimization, sourcing products, meeting demands and more.

What Is a Supply Chain?

A supply chain encompasses all operations utilized to get a product from production to distribution, from raw materials to finished product and delivery to the end-user. Effective supply chains can create a competitive advantage and, as they become more complex, they must become more efficient, reliable and flexible. Visibility and efficient network designs are two ways to optimize a supply chain.

A circular supply chain is a supply chain framework where products are designed to be reused or recycled, creating a continuous loop, or circle. Circular supply chains are still the exception rather than the rule as there are challenges involving how to introduce circularity into conventional supply chains that are designed to move product forward into markets in a linear fashion. Creative logistics solutions are one way to overcome these challenges. As an example, some companies are exploring the use of e-commerce returns services as convenient channels for collecting end-of-life products.

What Is Capacity?

In logistics, capacity is the amount of physical space, assets or personnel available to carry, store or deliver goods. Examples include warehouse capacity, shipping capacity or truck capacity. Capacity is considered a highly critical part of supply chain management and can impact shipping costs when capacity is tightened.

The past year was filled with disruption, but the lessons learned throughout 2020 will continue to drive supply chain optimization and investments as companies work to mitigate risk and avoid delays.

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The past year was filled with disruption, but the lessons learned throughout 2020 will continue to drive supply chain optimization and investments as companies work to mitigate risk and avoid delays.

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Penske Logistics is taking part in a Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) webinar, 2021: The Road Ahead, on January 27. Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions, will join a panel of experts that examines challenges facing 2021 supply chains and discuss current industry trends.

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Penske Logistics is taking part in a Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) webinar, 2021: The Road Ahead, on January 27. Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions, will join a panel of experts that examines challenges facing 2021 supply chains and discuss current industry trends.

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Penske Logistics was named Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Supplier of the Year in the Logistics Services Suppliers category during the virtual 2020 North America Annual Supplier Conference and Awards program held on October 23.

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Penske Logistics is supporting CSCMP EDGE 2020 Live! as a Global Sponsor. The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' annual conference is going virtual this year from September 20-23, with Penske Logistics president Marc Althen and senior vice president of sales and solutions Andy Moses participating as speakers.

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Penske Logistics today announced they have won a pair of Quest for Quality Awards from Logistics Management Magazine. Both honors came in the Third-Party Logistics category: Transportation Management Solutions and the Value Added Warehousing and Distributions Solutions. In the latter honor, Penske recorded the highest score in customer service/value added services.

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In the logistics industry, a request for proposal (RFP) is designed to help shippers find the best 3PL providers to meet their needs. The goal of an RFP is to ensure a prosperous partnership and good working relationship for both parties, and finding the right fit starts with a comprehensive and detailed RFP process.

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End-to-End Supply Chain Management Solutions

Penske's supply chain professionals are committed to meeting the most complex requirements of our customers. Whatever your business, whatever you're building, packing and sending – we make sure you’ve got top-notch transportation and distribution in place to capitalize on your potential so you Never Stop Moving™.

We bring industry knowledge, advanced systems and technical prowess to design and implement the most advanced supply chain solutions in use today.

Supply Chain Solutions Customized for You

Penske will insert the right logistics expertise you need to thrive. Our leadership teams work with customers to ensure responsiveness and flexibility – whatever level of support your priorities require, we have the tactical and strategic skill sets to deliver both site specific and corporate level solutions. Whether entering an emerging market or maximizing existing assets, our supply chain planning solutions help meet your business goals.