This is turning out to be an active week for noteworthy supply chain technology announcements. In a pronouncement for changing the rules for supply chain wide in-transit visibility, E2open has announced what is termed Visibility for All™, an ability to remove the existing market monetary barriers for real-time global in-transit shipment visibility across all transit modes. That reportedly includes the ability to locate an unlimited number of shipments with estimated time-of-arrival (ETA), across modes, geographies and interim handoffs.
According to the announcement, all existing E2open customers can add this capability to their current subscription for no additional cost. This effort is characterized as not only removing a significant barrier by making real-time visibility of in-transit shipment data, but also helping companies to take an important step towards added supply chain digital transformation. The argument put forth is that customers actually own this data, which they do. They just cannot get access to such data in an end-to-end context.
The goal of this effort is to remove market barriers to the wider use of harnessing real-time in-transit data to improve global logistics and customer delivery performance. In the announcement, Executive Vice President of Product Strategy, Pawan Joshi, indicates that tracking of shipments provides the foundational data required to power advanced applications to help customers understand the impact of arrival time delays. Stated is that such capability should be a component of regular supply chain operations and decision-making, not a siloed overlaid application.
Once implemented, in-transit visibility and estimated time of arrival can be leveraged by E2open’s other supply chain planning or fulfillment execution applications for relevant resource, capacity and other needed decisions.
Supply Chain Matters Initial Perspective
Today’s announcement is certainly noteworthy from a broader market technology perspective in that for other B2B supply chain business network platforms, gaining similar functionality comes with added cost. That stated, it remains to be seen how different competitors respond to this announcement. End-to-end supply chain wide visibility can add more seat license or information access revenues for providers.
As E2open CEO Michael Farlekas states in the announcement, the stated effort is to somewhat challenge the market status quo as well as the economics of more widespread platform adoption. As with a good many of technology provider announcements, clarity comes from the finer details of specifics.
To that end, we have scheduled additional briefing time to gain such specifics. We will therefore defer our full perspectives until after our briefing.
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