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Without a clear picture of overall supply chain costs, calculating the total landed cost of goods is difficult. To determine financial value with any accuracy, manufacturers must look at all components of the shipment process – from sourcing materials, to shipping rates and distribution. Costs are also associated with customs clearance, document processing and other fees related to the movement of goods across borders. Achieving a realistic view and improving control of total landed costs requires end-to-end connectivity and communication with supply chain partners.

As retailers and other customers move to reduce their infrastructure for handling inventory and distribution, manufacturers are constantly under pressure to take on that burden. To meet customer demand without incurring additional costs, manufacturers need to be more effective in managing production schedules, component availability and assembly processes.

Manufacturers require a real-time, end-to-end view of inventory – including goods in transit or en-route – across the various supply chain parties. In addition to visibility, manufacturers can gain efficiencies by having the infrastructure in place to exchange all types of electronic information, from purchase orders and amendments, to shipping notifications and tracking and tracing of deliveries.