COVID-19 Midwest

FourKites Adds Features To Simplify Supply Chain Communication

FourKites logo Supply Chain visibility platform

FourKites, a real-time supply chain visibility platform based in Chicago, has added new collaborative features to facilitate and simplify communication across the end-to-end supply chain, while also reducing human contact to decrease the risk of virus transmission to front-line workers. The company says the enhancements all but eliminate physical paperwork, unnecessary email traffic, phone calls and other extraneous communications that complicate supply chains, unnecessarily delay shipments and payments, and decrease the chance of COVID-19 infection.

The new features extend the benefits of real-time visibility data to various frontline workers—customer representatives, dispatchers, drivers, retail workers and warehouse managers—who previously lacked digital access to crucial information to facilitate their work. The new features also help ensure social distancing, minimizing human contact on the supply chain front line during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID-19 presents a great many challenges to the supply chain and to frontline workers in particular,” said FourKites CEO and co-founder Mathew Elenjickal. “FourKites serves as the single source of truth for our customers’ end-to-end supply chain data. Our latest platform enhancements take information-sharing to the next level, enabling frontline logistics workers to collaborate more effectively and safely than ever before.”

New features from FourKites include:

  • Paperless document processing: FourKites’ Advanced Mobile Package now includes electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) and electronic bill of lading (eBOL) documentation so that transportation workers can process all applicable paperwork on their smartphones from start to finish. Drivers will no longer have to manage physical paperwork, eliminating a major contributor to potential COVID-19 spread. In addition, electronic management of transportation documentation is more secure, sustainable and facilitates faster payment processing for carriers and drivers.
  • Notifications: Real-time alerts enable everyone from shippers to warehouse workers and retailers to be notified and access FourKites data to track loads and collaborate on optimizing on-time deliveries and related workflows.
  • Messaging: FourKites’ enhanced instant messaging feature centralizes communications that had previously been sent via third-party messaging, email and phone. Workers in track-and-trace and dispatch, drivers and warehouse personnel can view important information that affects shipments and deliveries in a single place. This democratizes information in ways other services cannot match, dramatically reducing oversight and error, and eliminating long and distracting communication chains. Users can share documents, photographs and notes for any given load, while forming online workgroups and controlling access as needed.
  • Direct store delivery: Direct store delivery tracking enables FourKites users to track last-mile shipments from local warehouses to retail outlets, giving retail workers immediate visibility into shipment ETA via their mobile devices.
  • Merchandiser solution: With the new Merchandiser functionality in the FourKites Mobile App, merchandisers gain much-needed visibility into when their shipments are due to arrive across their territory. FourKites provides real-time tracking and notifications in one convenient mobile application so that merchandisers can optimize receiving and restocking shelves throughout their stores.

“With FourKites’ Direct Store Delivery and Merchandiser solutions, we now have visibility into the last mile of our supply chain—from our warehouses to our retailers—instead of relying on a printed route plan that does not update as delivery sequences change,” said Brett Frankenberg, SVP of product supply planning and bottle sales at Coke Consolidated. “FourKites is creating visibility of the physical via digital, and facilitating better frontline decisions. This enables our merchandisers to service their stores with confidence, knowing the product in question has been delivered or is expected to be delivered based on real-time information. This reduces unproductive phone calls, texts and overall uncertainty.”

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