American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) continues to deliver on its mission to become a logistics powerhouse.
The retailer’s logistics arm, Quiet Platforms, which Chief Supply Chain Officer Shekar Natarajan has dubbed the “anti-Amazon,” on Thursday announced a partnership with supply chain visibility leader FourKites to help customers track the movement of inventory in real time.
Quiet last month officially launched its flagship Delivery Network, which pools the logistics assets of different service providers like DHL, Pitney Bowes, Veho and more than 40 others to form a shared supply chain network.
By bringing a patchwork of carriers into the same ecosystem, the platform is delivering lower lead times and greater efficiency for its 60-plus small and midsize business customers. Now the end consumers of those retailers — and soon, the retailers themselves — will be able to track shipments throughout the entire network in real time.
“In partnering with providers like FourKites, Quiet Platforms is giving retailers in our network the ability to access complete, real-time supply chain visibility through end-to-end solutions,” said Charles Griffith, chief technology officer of Quiet Platforms. “Traditionally, it has been difficult to get an accurate view of an entire network, let alone that view in real time — which is why we are excited to offer these advanced technology solutions to our customers.”
Quiet will begin tracking shipments within its network in mid-October. That visibility data will become available to end consumers right away, and retailers will be able to access it directly beginning in December.
The sort of real-time visibility FourKites provides has several advantages. For one, it can help resolve last-mile delays and reduce cargo loss with real-time views of the flow of inventory. And retailers can use it to gain insights into which transportation routes are the most efficient.
Watch: What was the goal for FourKites when expanding visibility?
It can also improve the experience of the retailer’s end consumers by giving them accurate information about the status of their orders. That’s a big one because, according to a recent study from last-mile delivery company FarEye, retailers risk losing 85% of their online customers due to poor delivery experiences.
“We are honored that Quiet Platforms chose to partner with FourKites on this revolutionary approach to optimizing the global end-to-end retail supply chain,” said Mathew Elenjickal, founder and CEO of FourKites. “Together we are working to help the world’s leading retailers grow their market share through better customer experiences and improved relationships with their supply chain partners.”
FourKites last month rolled out a major update to its visibility platform, adding the ability to synchronize data between shipments in transit and orders waiting in the warehouse or yard. For warehouse workers, that means easier scheduling of appointment times and better planning of production.
A week later, the visibility platform disclosed the details of a raise secured in late June. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company raised $30 million from undisclosed investors in exchange for equity. It hopes to close the funding round with another $50 million.