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Dynamism and flexibility are key to enhancing Asia Pacific supply chains: Transportation management software must be tailored to be effective in different regions

Posted on 6th May 2015 by YmeriHart

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It is not easy to deliver shipments in countries in the Asia Pacific region through one homogenous system, especially a system originally set up for North American or European markets.

“The reality is that the region is so diverse, so big and so much in flux, that it is almost impossible to think in terms of an integrated Asia-Pacific supply chain,” states Jonathan Wright of Accenture in one of the essays in the World Economic Forum’s annual ‘Outlook on the Logistics Supply Chain Industry’.

Not only are market and trading conditions different in each country, patterns throughout the region are changing as the emerging middle classes generate demand which also stimulates greater intra-Asia traffic flows.

Wright suggests that the only way to organise logistics across the region is to set up multiple supply chains that are:

1) tailored to the requirements of specific regions
2) supported by locally-developed capabilities and talent, and
3) agile enough to accommodate the region’s continuous rapid change.

At Pantechnik, our speciality is developing bespoke shipping software systems that thrive on such complexity. For instance, our multi-carrier supply chain software selects the best carrier for each single shipment, depending on the business criteria selected by the shipper and/or end customer.

We check every postcode, calculate the rates for different delivery options, select the best carrier and track the shipment. There is one internal reference and invoice, so the person in the warehouse can see what has happened all on one screen, even when several carriers are involved.

We can even give packing advice (e.g. overboxes or pallets) as we know what is most cost-effective for each carrier, and our system prints off individual labels which carry precisely the information which each carrier and Customs authority needs for that particular shipment.

Wright cites the example of 200,000 lunchboxes being delivered in a four-to-five hour window to workers in Mumbai by “well-trained locals who use an elaborate coding system.”

We admit that even our sophisticated transportation management software system might struggle to match that – but we do work closely with our customers to design a bespoke system, which we continuously develop to meet changing circumstances.

Wright says that the only way to accommodate Asia-Pacific’s vastness and complexity is throw out long-standing supply chain orthodoxies and concentrate less on ‘integration’ and more on ‘dynamism’.

We couldn’t agree more.

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