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Flexport launches new order management solution

Feb '21
Pic: Flexport
Pic: Flexport
Flexport has launched the Flexport Order Management (OM), that enables consignees and their suppliers to more effectively plan, collaborate, validate and optimise their supply chains. Flexport offers various technology services in ocean, air, truck and rail freight, drayage and cartage, warehousing, customs and trade advisory, financing, and insurance.

Today’s launch of Flexport OM is a meaningful step forward in Flexport’s technology vision; to create a single platform for trade, a unified experience from product sourcing, to products in transit, to final delivery. Within the Flexport platform, Flexport OM allows for greater collaboration between consignees and suppliers through order-level messaging, automatic reminders and built-in approval flows. SKU and unit cost data associated with a PO is automatically linked with any bookings and shipments on the platform, according to Flexport.

Logistics managers are able to improve the timeliness of bookings, accuracy of shipments, and collaboration with vendors through key Flexport OM features. With Date Management, managers can collaborate directly with suppliers to ensure bookings are made on time (for example, 14 days before cargo-ready-date) with automatic email and in-app alerts, dashboards, and exception management, according to Flexport.

Booking Approval allows to configure rules to determine exactly which bookings should be flagged for review or approval, before a booking is able to ship. PO Reporting helps run reports using key order-level data for more granular supply chain insights. Evaluate specific products and quantities in-transit, supplier performance, compare what was ordered to what shipped, and calculate order-level landed costs, Flexport said.

Flexport OM was developed based on extensive user research and direct client feedback. To ensure consignees’ most pressing needs were met, Flexport co-developed many features alongside its small, selective group of Flexport OM pilot consignee and supplier participants. Real time collaboration at the PO-line level has never been more critical for consignees and their suppliers, who are managing complex supply chains in an unpredictable time in global trade. Adoption of one of Flexport OM’s integrated collaboration tools confirmed this during product testing, where more than 70 per cent of pilot consignees used it to collaborate with their suppliers, according to a media statement by Flexport.

Enhanced collaboration capabilities have translated to robust supplier engagement as well. Over the past six months, pilot suppliers booked POs against 73 per cent of shipments through Flexport OM, enabling consignees to receive PO and SKU-level visibility throughout the shipment lifecycle, Flexport said.

“With this new innovative technology, we are now able to have visibility in our supply chain even before the cargo is booked. Real time conversation with our suppliers overseas, and being able to manage by exception, gives us the power of information to make timely and informed decisions. The best part of this new feature is Flexport built this not only for their customers, but with their customers, taking all feedback into consideration,” Jason Starr, director of operations at Globe Electric, a Flexport OM pilot client said in a press release by the company.

“Flexport OM comes at a time of unprecedented freight volumes and capacity crunches, when a single erroneous PO could put a shipment at risk of missing a key date or incurring additional costs. Orders managed through the Flexport platform grew by 96 per cent year-over-year. Flawless PO discipline only becomes harder as volumes go up. Centralised, rules-based tools like Flexport OM provide greater collaboration and agility during these turbulent times; a core part of our product vision,” Yuko Kamae, Flexport VP of product management said.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (GK)

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February 2021

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