Narvar, provider of post-purchase experience solutions, is now pulling in real-time shipping data from UPS into a new dashboard product called Monitor to give shippers greater visibility into packages in transit across the supply chain, anticipating and proactively addressing issues.
The Monitor dashboard provides data from carriers, fed through the machine learning engine of Narvar’s platform, handling post-purchase intelligence for 1,100 retailers and brands including Gap, Urban Outfitters and Cole Haan.
The importance of real-time intelligence and supply chain visibility has risen to critical status for shippers, especially as chokepoints abound, inventory levels are challenged and holiday demand ramps up.
Michael Haswell, vice president of partnerships for Narvar, said Monitor anticipates delays – a more common occurrence given ongoing supply chain woes – so a retailer or brand can get in front of the customer messaging.
“Obviously we’re following a package along its inbound journey to the consumer’s doorstep, and there are many hops on the way there,” Haswell said. “For example, at a warehouse in southern California in the midst of container-geddon, we can see historical data vs. real-time data, anticipate the delay, and the shipper can route an order around that warehouse that’s far above its normal capacity.”
The Monitor dashboard also displays all of a retailer or brand’s shipments across all its carriers, to see where volume is spiking and where potential chokepoints and delays could arise.
“On the flip side, sometimes the delivery is ahead of the anticipated date, which also requires proactive communication with the customer,” Haswell said. “They can see how their entire network is performing and identify exceptions.”
Shippers can get benchmark data to compare their performance against others in their category or vertical, across a range of metrics like delivery speed of ground vs. two-day services by carrier.
Asked why UPS is the sole carrier providing real-time data into Monitor, Haswell said Narvar is in constant communication with all its carrier partners, including annual and quarterly reviews, and real-time data and analytics surfaced as a top priority for both UPS and Narvar heading into 2021.
“Obviously we value all our carrier relationships, and try to be good partners by aligning their strategic objectives with ours,” he said. “UPS is leaning into real-time data, while another carrier might focus on our returns business, activating all those features and functions like boxless returns and QR codes. We align our go-to-market strategy with each partner.”