The new age of logistics has arrived. Carrier direct is dead, or at least dying. To keep costs down and increase production, you can’t do it alone anymore.
To achieve cost savings, you need advanced logistics software. In seconds it can do what it would take hours for a team of people to do. But contrary to some experts, it’s not all about technology.
Today, companies that lead the way in this new age of logistics blend software and reporting with experienced logistics professionals.
When I meet with company presidents and corporate executives, we focus on process. It’s a powerful conversation. About 90% of my new business comes from a conversation about business intelligence – not rates.
Used consistently, business intelligence delivers real savings to both large enterprises and small to mid-size businesses. When it comes to logistics today for businesses of all sizes, this old saying holds true, “Doing the same thing and expecting different results is…”
So how do you know you’ve found a good logistics partner. Well, when they speak, they will address the following 5 areas of logistics with concrete facts and how they will measure and report on them.
- Operations management. Your partner should provide you a defined team to manage your account, engineer solutions and deliver support. This team will handle carrier contract negotiations and the day-to-day management of your active shipments.
- Software solutions. On top of reporting, logistics software brings carriers, services and prices together in one place. You can track all shipments for all carriers in one place. Plus, most partners give you login access to your information, so you can check it from your office or while you’re on the road.
- Freight pay and audit. Your partner will consolidate, track and manage freight payments for you. They do the work and audit your shipments to guarantee you the best pricing. All you need to do is review the data and cut a check.
- Claims management. Claims eat time. If it’s not bad enough that you need to file one, now you’ve got to lose employee time chasing down the credit. Why bother? When you work with a third party logistics partner, they’ll submit, collect, and deliver claims reports to you. In other words, they’ll save you hours of time and money as they take care of all of it for you.
- Analysis and solution engineering. The backbone of your logistics partner is their software. Through it, they can analyze your freight profiles and distribution types. With that information, they can ensure you have quality data to make smart decisions. A good partner will go the extra step and engineer cost-cutting solutions for you on a regular basis.
In the past, sure you could get by going-it-alone. Today, you’ll lose either money, time or both if you do it yourself. No matter your business’ size, look for a good 3PL partner. How will you know you’ve found a good one? They’ll give you clear, well-defined answers to each of those five logistics areas.