Infrastructure is a big topic these days: big needs, big concepts, big money. And the U.S. government is preparing to spend almost a trillion dollars on the country’s much needed infrastructure improvements — most of which are quite visible. If you commute, you know, because you likely spend your mornings avoiding potholes and crossing bridges in desperate need of repair. Infrastructure is, however, much more than meets the eye.
Arguably more critical than the physical is the digital infrastructure — the foundation of every business. Today, physical infrastructure simply cannot operate, let alone succeed, without functioning digital infrastructure.
Making these infrastructures work together is imperative to building a sound foundation for operations. But, as the saying goes, it is easier said than done.
What is Digital Infrastructure?
So what exactly is digital infrastructure? Digital infrastructure refers to the information technology and operations of an organization. It’s the software, networks and architecture that form the backbone of systems. Digital infrastructure has a vital role in sharing data and enabling business applications to talk to each other.
We probably don’t need to tell you this, but data-intensive organizations, like logistics and shipping companies, are constantly exchanging data. These companies exchange many types of data, across many platforms, among many users. Despite their importance, these logistics applications and their data streams likely do not naturally talk to each other. This is caused by the vast array of file and data types being used to aggregate and communicate updates. Automation between new and legacy systems is no simple task, but is critical to well functioning digital infrastructure.
It comes as no surprise that reinforcing digital infrastructure has created tremendous value. As digital change accelerates, infrastructure software, like Splice, allows organizations to keep pace while using the applications they have in place. Even better, it future-proofs the organization by allowing new systems to be added easily. Leveraging an integration platform reduces time and money spent on implementations and retraining, while increasing the speed to capture productivity gains and new customers — a win win.
So one of the keys to strengthening digital infrastructure is integration, but we all know that custom integrations come at a cost. Custom integration is costly to implement and often just as costly to maintain. It’s not uncommon for logistics companies to feel too paralyzed to adopt new (and maybe better) technologies and business processes because of the expected strain on internal resources.
Splice easily integrates logistics systems, quickly connecting with pre-configured integrations, to help logistics and shipping companies save on time and IT resources. Splice’s logistics workflow integrations and supply chain data standardization provide the catalyst of competitive advantage to logistics operations.
The Benefits of Strong Digital Infrastructure
Good digital infrastructure is liberating because it enables your organization to connect easier with partners, improve customer experience, and remove technical complexity. Simply put, it saves money, and who doesn’t want that?
While digital infrastructure provides the interoperability that drives benefits across your organization and supply chain, good digital infrastructure delivers value without disrupting operations. Curious what other benefits a strong digital infrastructure provides? Let's discuss them a bit deeper.
Removing Data Silos
Essential to efficient digital infrastructure is data integration and automation. By nature, logistics companies are moving, quite literally, between systems and partners throughout the entire supply chain. These ecosystems of partners can’t operationally thrive without a simple, efficient exchange of data — in real time.
As a modern middleware, Splice eliminates data gaps, removes silos, connects legacy systems with current applications, and pulls all logistics data through a single point of integration to automate data workflows. Interconnectedness becomes standard and supply chain agility becomes expected. How? Splice achieves this by acting as a universal translator that speaks all languages of logistics.
By removing data silos, you’re also removing data errors. This saves on resources and ensures scalability of operations. Most importantly, it strengthens your digital infrastructure.
Data Transparency for Logistics Risk Management
So, how confident are you in the data you receive? Our guess is your answer depends. It depends on the system or application you’re receiving from, and depends on their coinciding workflow processes. Are we right? Bad news: this makes for an unstable digital infrastructure. Good news: operations don’t have to operate this way.
With the right digital infrastructure, your logistics company can accept, adapt, and respond intelligently to keep supply chains efficient. Of course, with the wrong infrastructure in place, you’ll lack data transparency and spend time and resources reacting to unforeseen changes… but you already knew that.
Data transparency is critical when it comes to mitigating risk. The inability to access accurate past, present, and future data points all leads to excessive time and resources being wasted on accumulating the necessary data.
Splice offers secure and reliable data aggregation. For logistics companies this means easy access to all data without the strain on internal resources, and the creation of consistent and transparent processes. With the ability to integrate everything from home-base applications and supply chain software to API connections and EDI exchanges, Splice can mitigate supply chain risks through data transparency among ocean carriers, terminals, railroads, logistics providers, and more.
Supply Chain Visibility
Asset tracking affects supply chains from manufacturing and inventory management to terminals and distribution companies, and the benefits are endless: improved planning processes, event prediction, reduction of losses, enhanced operations, reduced bottlenecks — do we need to go on?
Unfortunately, supply chain visibility is a not-so-simple case of interdependencies. You can’t have it without data transparency, and you can’t have data transparency without removing data silos. So how do you get all three? You guessed it: with a strong digital infrastructure.
Splice is a translator that can enable seamless communication between systems and empower logistics teams to make decisions confidently. We connect systems, including location data, to increase visibility throughout the supply chain and create a common operating picture for all. More visibility, more reliability, a more resilient digital infrastructure.
Cost Management and Control
Now that your data is flowing smoothly through systems and you have greater visibility into your supply chain, it’s time to reap the rewards. You can say goodbye to unnecessary fees, because with accurate and timely data, you’ll save on — and potentially avoid — supply chain and transportation costs.
What’s more, you will:
Be able to easily scale your operations up and down without incurring costs associated with integrations
See increased productivity of people as well as assets in transit
Reduce redundant systems and services and increase efficiencies
Open new markets by collaborating better with partners
Gain new analysis with better data to drive decision-making
Splice empowers logistics and shipping companies to manage unnecessary equipment and inventory costs, detention and demurrage fees, and technology and resources. Read how.
Pitfalls of Poor Digital Infrastructure
We’ve established the benefits of a strong digital infrastructure, but maybe you’re still not convinced. If you think you can continue without digitization, think again. Competitors are transforming and digitizing every day, and organizations that simply maintain older technologies will not only see less than favorable results in their bottomline, they’ll also find it harder and harder to pass data as others adapt.
Digital Infrastructure Maintenance
Splice enhances, not replaces, your existing applications to maximize current IT investments, while automating workflows through a cloud-based environment. Splice is digital infrastructure maintenance for logistics and shipping companies.
Integrate new and legacy systems
Improve data timeliness and accuracy
Save time and resources
Reinforce your digital infrastructure
Ready to accelerate the digitization of your supply chains? Contact us.