The Importance of Visibility in the Automotive Supply Chain

4 min to read

The automotive industry has been experiencing changes and challenges never before seen: manufacturing interruptions and plant closures, semiconductor chip shortages, a shift towards electric vehicles, new regulations and a decline in overall consumer spending despite a rise in online sales—all while employees of automotive manufacturers, dealerships and auctions had to deal with how COVID, remote work, financial uncertainty and other issues have, and still are, affecting their careers and businesses. 

Everyone involved in automotive manufacturing, remarketing, consignment, or fleet management is looking for new ways to improve efficiency in their supply chains. To rebound from lost sales, find ways to source used cars and manage inventory, auto dealerships are laser-focused on their pipelines. They want to know exactly where their vehicles are and when they’re going to arrive in order to anticipate revenue while managing customer expectations. Every vehicle move is critical to the business. 

The supply chain is an essential component of business success in any industry, yet only 6% of companies report full visibility, according to research by Zippia. In this blog, you’ll learn why end-to-end visibility in auto logistics is so important and three practical strategies for achieving it.  

Key advantages of visibility in supply chain

Knowing exactly where your units are helps you make more informed decisions and work more efficiently. With greater order visibility into the automotive supply chain, you can:

Mitigate risk: When you work on assumptions regarding auto movements, unforeseen obstacles can hit your supply chain hard and throw your operation off course. With transparency in auto movements, you can see where potential disruptions may occur and plan accordingly, often dodging issues before they arise. 

Improve flexibility and resiliency: With order visibility you know where your vehicles are and have the opportunity to make the appropriate changes to remain productive and communicate any updates to customers or vendors. This increased flexibility helps prepare you for market shifts and positions your business for success in the future. 

Increase customer satisfaction: Full order visibility into your auto supply chain can help you pivot to meet changing market demands. With real-time data, you’ll have all the information you need to update customers and vendors and better manage their expectations. If you’ve pre-sold some of your inventory you’ll know when those units will arrive at the dealership and can keep customers updated and happy.

Increase revenue: Armed with accurate data and supply chain intelligence, you don’t have to wait and see what your competition is going to do, you can act. When you move fast, you’re able to seize revenue-boosting opportunities. 

Having better visibility into your automotive movements leads to a more efficient workflow, increased productivity and improved forecasting.

How to achieve end-to-end supply chain visibility

While you may have some visibility into your auto movements, is it enough? Would your operation benefit from broader and deeper transparency? Below are a few practical strategies for achieving end-to-end supply chain visibility. 

Hire and empower employees: 

Ask yourself, can everyone who needs access to certain dashboards or systems see what they need? Sometimes the technology is in place, but the knowledge on how to use it isn’t. End-to-end supply chain visibility requires specialization. Do your employees know what’s expected of them in each stage of your supply chain? If you have new technology or processes, make sure you have people with the right skills in place to use your system to its fullest potential. 

 Leverage an automotive logistics expert:

An automotive logistics partner with the right technology can be the key to recalibrating your supply chain and achieving the levels of visibility you need to be successful today and to grow your business tomorrow. 

Are you using different tools throughout the day and lacking a comprehensive view? Do you have the data needed to respond if something does go wrong? When your systems are siloed and information is disconnected, seeing a comprehensive view of your supply chain is impossible. A disjointed view can lead to poor inventory management, inaccurate ETAs, penalties, and angry vendors and end customers. 

Montway offers logistics services that can integrate with all of your systems, creating a clear, centralized view of your auto transport activities. Dealerships, manufacturers, auctions, fleet management companies and financial lenders utilize our proprietary technology and robust platforms to improve their efficiency and reduce operational costs. 

Trust the process: 

You’ve built the workflow, invested in the technology, standardized the data and empowered your employees—now it’s time to work the process and have the process work for you. Use your employees to add context to reports, leverage your 3PL partner for industry insights to help you make the most informed decisions possible. When you have a clear and broad view of your supply chain, you can execute solutions and new strategies more quickly and successfully. 

The need for end-to-end visibility in the automotive supply chain is not a new concept, but one capturing greater attention since the pandemic started. With the right technology and tools in place, dealerships and companies in automotive manufacturing or remarketing can achieve a clearer picture of their operations. They’ll also be able to identify ways to eliminate unnecessary costs while taking advantage of new revenue-generating opportunities. 

The Montway advantage

With 15 years of experience and collaboration with dealerships, auctions, rental car companies, manufacturers, fleet managers, corporate relocation companies and financial institutions, Montway Auto Transport understands how important visibility is in the supply chain. We have been tech-driven since day one and have results-oriented solutions that can positively impact your business. Contact us today at 888-998-4161 or visit Montway.com/logistics to learn more.