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 Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc

How Technological Advances Have Increased Supply Chain Visibility
Ronald M. Marotta, Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc.

We have seen incredible changes in our respective businesses within the last few years and most of these changes have been associated with our collective efforts to lower our direct and in-direct costs, drive our organizations to increase global supply chain efficiency, find new lower cost sourcing areas, and take days out of the complex global supply chain. These efforts are all in support of our desire to have quality merchandise produced at great price points to be placed in the right quantity in the correct size, color, and style when our customer wants to make a purchase either at a store or from a website.

Advancing solutions in technology are some of the supporting tools and enablers that allow executives to drive their organizations to a more successful place. As organizations develop these supporting solutions, they drive changes in processes and operations throughout that help them manage more efficient businesses, allowing them to maintain their market competitiveness. We see rapid enhancements in all areas of technology whether it be server technology, networks, software development tools, or the newer, more powerful handheld phone and tablet devices that make our lives more efficient and productive. They have collectively advanced business technology forward at a tremendous rate. Today we see that it is amazingly easy to use data search applications that can be launched from a smartphone, able to quickly cull huge global databases looking for elements of data and reports that previously were only available if you were signed into a mainframe terminal in your office.

In our drive to find the locations that offer us the lowest cost production of goods, we often find our global supply chain growing longer and more complex with many more data touch points. In order for us to manage our more complex global businesses, we need to have in place a set of very reliable visibility tools to keep us advised where all of our products are from the time we open a purchase order to the time the product arrives in the store or point of sale for our consumers. Our ability to know with absolute certainty not only where our products are in the supply chain, but if they are flowing outside our expected level of service and/or if they are within our allowable tolerance of expected estimated landed cost are all critical must-haves in a system today. We also find that we need to know if items are delayed in transit prior to approaching cancel dates or sales events. Rapid and easy access to these very critical key data points clearly helps us to better manage our business and flawlessly execute our deliveries to our customers. This real time knowledge gives us the ability to make decisions that allow us to adjust distribution times, methods of product distribution, delivery locations, and even the quantities by item numbers or SKU's in a very short period of time.

Having the ability to rapidly respond to changing business conditions with highly accurate and real time information allows us to keep a competitive market advantage and ensure, in many cases, that customers are not lost to competitors. Additionally, managing a complex global supply chain by exception management is likely the most efficient manner to execute a business rather than managing the detail of every shipment.

As business professionals, we will all continue to be challenged to produce greater results using fewer resources with a faster turnaround time for a lower cost, no matter what our business model is. We can all feel some sense of security that the advances in technology will be able to help carry us forward and assist us as we strive to deliver results that will satisfy our management, our customers and our society with all the demands that each will place upon us.


Ronald M. Marotta is the Vice President of Yusen Logistics (Americas) Inc., International Division, an NYK Group Company, responsible for the Origin Cargo Management Group and is based in Secaucus, NJ. Ron also serves as the NYK Group's Commercial Council Office Leader and works with all NYK Group Companies in their efforts to collaborate and provide integrated global logistics services to our mutual customers. Ron began his career at NYK almost twenty years ago as the General Manager of OCS of America, Inc. and helped to transform one of the original consolidators in Asia, into a modern consolidator and cargo logistics company.
Over the past 19 years, Yusen Logistics has grown their international business over 1,100% and extended their service reach throughout the globe. Ron can be contacted at (201) 553-3803.

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