Third-party logistics services (3PL) provider C.H. Robinson and Microsoft Corp. are teaming up to digitally transform the supply chain, creating an alliance that will capitalize on each company’s strength to allow real-time visibility for C.H. Robinson customers, the firms said today.
The partnership combines Navisphere—C.H. Robinson’s global multimodal transportation platform—with Microsoft’s Azure IoT Central to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) device monitoring that can measure everything from temperature to shock, tilt, humidity, light, and pressure in shipments to give customers more detailed information about goods as they move through the supply chain.
The partnership will provide visibility to all inventory in the supply chain, whether it’s moving or at rest, explains Jordan Kass, president of managed services at C.H. Robinson.
“We are working upstream, providing end-to-end visibility,” Kass explained in an interview about the new release. “It’s not just at the shipping level. We are actually capturing purchase order or delivery order information within the shipment. That gives shippers visibility to see the actual inventory.”
From there, the system takes in outside sources of information such as weather, traffic, and so forth, and uses predictive analytics and other intelligence to flag potential disruptions in the supply chain.
“The supply chain of the future is smarter, less volatile, and can be navigated with a new level of visibility thanks to the power of this relationship,” Kass added in a statement announcing the partnership today. “Through this collaboration, our customers receive a greater competitive edge, as well as industry-leading insights and expertise.”
The companies also emphasize the ability to scale and develop new solutions, noting that both C.H. Robinson and Microsoft work with many Fortune 250 companies.
“The pace of change we’re seeing in the supply chain industry today is unparalleled. Being able to quickly scale and adapt our technology is what helps give our customers a competitive advantage,” Chris O’Brien, chief commercial officer for C.H. Robinson, said in the July 14 statement. “As we continue to invest and enhance our technology that is built by and for supply chain experts, we look to partner with other best-in-class companies that bring the most value to our customers. Through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we gain more scalability, premier data security, and increased application speed, which benefit our customers and carriers around the world.”
Kass added that the solution is available to shippers of all sizes, and that Microsoft uses the Navisphere platform across its global supply chain, as well.
“We’re partnering together to transform supply chains,” said Kass, noting that the partnership makes shipping easier, faster and affords greater capabilities to parties throughout the supply chain. “[This solution delivers] greater access to shippers of all sizes around the world.”