Written by
Kevin Luo
Head of Product

Beacon's supply chain visibility and collaboration platform empowers organizations to achieve more efficient, reliable and sustainable supply chains.

In this article

Product Release
February 15, 2024

October 2023 product roundup: Comments on Live Boards, Doc Manager, warehouse ETAs and more…

Supply chain collaboration is at worst broken and at best, highly inefficient. 

While processes built around carrier portals, emails, spreadsheets and shared drives may look modern in comparison to faxes, phone calls and filing cabinets, the reality is they aren’t scalable and fail to capitalise on the technologies that are shaping modern ways of working.

The introduction of comments on Live Boards and Doc Manager, our new document storage and sharing feature, mark the next steps in our journey to help supply chain and logistics teams modernise how they collaborate. Additionally, the release of air freight reporting and warehouse ETAs mark a step forward in making sure that every actor in your supply chain has the information they need to make data-driven decisions and keep goods moving. 

Comment and chat on Live Boards

Communicating with partners to respond to disruptions and keep goods moving shouldn’t require the endless email chains that have come to characterise supply chain collaboration. Not only is this kind of collaboration inefficient, but when you share static data you can never be sure everyone is dealing with the same set of facts. 

The solution to this problem lies in bringing together communication and real-time data sharing in one place. Building on last month's release of live boards - our solution for sharing real-time tracking information - we’re introducing comments and turning live boards into a central hub for supply chain collaboration.

Comments reduce the time needed to respond to disruptions by allowing you to communicate and coordinate responses with your stakeholders directly alongside the latest tracking updates. 

Upload and share documents with Doc Manager

Between commercial invoices, purchase orders, packing lists, bills of lading, customs documents, dangerous goods certificates, certificates of origin and arrival notices, paperwork is an integral part of getting goods from A to B. 

These documents are used to pass information between supply chain actors, and also play an important role in compliance and accounting. Unfortunately for most organisations, these important documents tend to be scattered across email inboxes and poorly organised shared folders. Oftentimes, this means that when compliance or finance teams are auditing a shipment or resolving an accounting discrepancy, you’re forced to chase down vendors for documents relating to past shipments. 

With the launch of Doc Manager, you’ll never have to go hunting for a document again. Users can easily link documents with shipments in their Beacon dashboard – simply search for the relevant shipment and click the paperclip icon to upload documents. Once uploaded, documents immediately become shared with other users of your Beacon account.

Doc Manager supports the following file types, max 100MB per file: pdf, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, xlsm, csv, jpg, jpeg, png, tiff, dat, log, bmp, ods, rtf, tex, txt and wpd.

Warehouse ETAs

Different stakeholders have different definitions of ETA. While logistics teams might be most interested in knowing when a shipment is arriving at port, warehouse, merchandising and customer teams are likely more interested in knowing when the goods are arriving at the warehouse or final destination.

With the introduction of warehouse ETAs, we’ve extended visibility from the POL all the way to your warehouse loading docks. 

After a one-time set up of delivery locations and expected transit times from POD, users will be able to specify the delivery destination for shipments and see warehouse ETAs alongside POD ETAs in your Beacon dashboard.

Air reporting and ocean ETA reliability insights

This month has also seen the launch of several improvements to the Beacon analytics and reporting suite. 

To complement the existing ocean freight reports, users now have access to air freight volumes and transit times by route, time period, airline and forwarder. 

Additionally, improvements to ocean freight reporting allow you to measure the accuracy of carrier provided ETAs by comparing carrier reported ETAs from one week prior to arrival against ATAs. 

Book your no-commitment discovery call to learn how Beacon can help you improve supply chain visibility and transform how you collaborate with your stakeholders.