project44, the advanced logistics visibility platform, announced two new applications – the Visibility Operations Center (VOC) and the Network Management Center (NMC) – at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. Both applications are part of the company’s push towards automating supply chains and bringing more visibility into operations that have largely been siloed for decades.
“To successfully navigate today’s complex and uncertain operating conditions, supply chain leaders need intuitive and simple digital applications that allow them to rapidly access high-fidelity data and leverage predictive business intelligence,” said Mike Reed, chief strategy officer at project44. “The VOC and NMC are examples of how project44 is enabling our growing customer base to seamlessly connect shipments, people and carriers together to achieve actionable Advanced Visibility that goes beyond just dots on a map.”
Reed stated that project44 found the need to develop VOC after its clients constantly complained about the lack of end-to-end visibility on goods in transit across different modes and locations, preventing them from meeting customer expectations. “This application offers them the accurate global multimodal visibility they need to more efficiently manage resources, improve predictability, strengthen supplier-retailer collaboration and refine lead time,” he said.
The NMC was envisioned to guarantee the success of transportation visibility solutions, as it is critical to seamlessly integrate the visibility parameter within the carrier ecosystem. Reed mentioned that most of the current solutions in the market rely on “cumbersome email surveys and manual phone calls” – a process that can drag on for several weeks.
“At project44 we have built real-time connections to thousands of carriers worldwide, including comprehensive coverage for over 550 ELD [electronic logging devices] and telematics devices. The NMC supplements our already extensive carrier network. By simplifying and speeding carrier onboarding, it provides faster time to value for our customers,” said Reed.
The feedback about both VOC and NMC has been encouraging. Reed pointed to the comments project44 received from a client who services around 9,500 retailers every week, including retail chains like Walmart, Target and Costco, with time-sensitive and high-value freight. The client found VOC to be a great match because it helped gain visibility and relayed real-time information to the retail chains, thus making operations easier to handle.
project44’s customers across Europe have been using NMC for a while, and the company is now rolling out the service in North America. “The European users say they are thrilled with it. We have found that 50 percent of new carriers using the NMC are able to connect into the project44 network and initiate data sharing within hours. In addition, less than 10 days after being invited, 80 percent of carriers signed up to use the NMC,” said Reed.
VOC is a significant addition to project44’s offerings because it provides its customers with an application that stitches together different transportation modes in a single view. “Users can track global shipments or orders continuously without having to toggle between screens, applications or dashboards. It also lets them tie purchase-order, line-item or SKU-level details directly into a tracking experience. With customized tracking experiences, our customers have the visibility they need to better manage inventory and resources,” said Reed.
The VOC is also instrumental in providing customers with predictive analytics based on location data gathered from carriers via APIs, ELDs, telematics or smartphone applications. The data goes a long way in providing customers with accurate arrival, pickup, location, ETA and delivery information, relayed through the VOC.
“Regarding NMC, we are already the leader in carrier onboarding, with more than 25,000 unique carriers having tracked shipments in our system and connections to 92 percent of all ELD/telematics devices,” said Reed. “The NMC takes this advantage to the next level. It’s the only fully automated process available. In addition, it’s the only GDPR-compliant solution out there. We take stewardship of carrier data very seriously, and we make data security, protection and privacy are our highest priority.”