Supply chain leaders have become increasingly aware of the importance of innovation surrounding data collection and utilization in recent years. Despite impressive technological advances, however, the majority of data produced by the logistics industry remains unstructured.
At the highest level, unstructured data is any information that must be rekeyed when passed between organizations, meaning that it cannot be utilized immediately upon receipt. Every time data has to be copied or rekeyed, the process slows down the supply chain and increases the risk of introducing errors.
“When you look at our industry, 80-90% of the data is still unstructured. If you break that up [across departments], operations is pretty much all unstructured,” DDC FPO CIO Richard Greening said.
Bills of lading are one of the most prevalent examples of unstructured data in the transportation industry.
DDC has introduced a number of solutions that improve the way the industry handles bills of lading. Most recently, the company utilized machine learning to create an innovative Auto-Extraction and Structuring solution. The tool is designed to structure the raw data from submitted bills of lading, then transmit the structured data directly to the user’s system of choice — all within a matter of seconds.
“What Auto-Extraction does is remove the keying work for our agents or your billing teams,” Greening said. “We can embed [the solution] into the carrier’s processes really quickly and get results fast.”
This new tool can be integrated with DDC’s existing suite of solutions, including DDC Sync, to create a seamless experience for users. This means a driver can submit a photo of a bill of lading via DDC Sync and — through the combined effort of DDC’s offerings — users can receive structured data regarding that shipment immediately after it is completed.
The addition of Auto-Extraction and Structuring capabilities has propelled DDC one step closer to its goal of becoming an end-to-end digital provider to its clients.
Optimized performance is the most direct advantage of utilizing DDC’s suite of solutions thanks to the significant impact quick access to clean data has on a company’s decision-making process. The benefits do not stop at making faster (and better) business decisions, though.
By simplifying the way bills of lading are processed, DDC has created a pathway for users to increase their profitability by reducing overhead costs and gain a tangible competitive advantage in the market by strengthening their digital footprints.