Jon Monroe, President, Jon Monroe Consulting
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Jon Monroe, President, Jon Monroe Consulting

There is no shortage of LinkedIn posts and articles predicting the challenges that importers face as we enter 2024. Though many could be listed here, there is one that rises above the others and that is the certainty of uncertainty. We can expect continued disruptions to occur through 2024. Of all the challenges and disruptive uncertainty that has been listed by the media and consulting groups, etc., there is one possible solution that can put a company on track to effectively manage their supply chain through troubled times: digitization.

Digitization, if done properly, can provide a company with a collaborative platform allowing each stakeholder to perform their respective tasks more efficiently and timely. A single source of truth, or in other terms, a single database hosted in the cloud with integrations to stakeholders, can provide an end-to-end platform with which to effectively manage your supply chain. 
The collaborative nature of a cloud-based solution provides the user with real time transparency to factories, orders, vessel schedules and deliveries. It creates a foundation for certainty in uncertain times.

This is possible and doable with today’s technology despite the disparity of systems and the lack of standards in the container shipping industry. And it can be done at an item level. But success at achieving a single source of truth will take effort and commitment. It will take ownership at all levels of a company. A collaborative cloud-based platform will allow a company to map their network in such a way as to know at any given time where their product is being made, shipped from and shipped out. Alerts can advise a manager when things go wrong. This concept is not new. The question is why companies are not yet embracing it. Are you ready for disruptions in 2024?