You see, when I was a kid, I loved Fourth of July fireworks displays. Today, the big explosions of color and sound are an inseparable part of the day. Of course, as much as Independence Day celebrations and fireworks belong together, I prefer my business to run with as few “fireworks” as possible!
For years though, that wasn’t the case. As an importer of ATVs and motor-bikes I spent a lot of time looking for the best freight prices. Freight rates after all can eat into profits real fast. But getting the rates was only the first part.
Next, I’d have to coordinate the shipments with the carriers, track shipments, and work with the carriers to deal with any issues that came up. Or what I called the fireworks. Issues came up and exploded suddenly and, like the thunder of a firework’s BOOM, you felt it to the core of your being.
I spent years shipping freight. And in that time I learned I don’t like fireworks in business. I also realized how third party logistics (3PL) firms created big opportunities for shippers to simplify LTL and truckload logistics. That’s when I started LTL Freight Center, a third party logistics firm handling LTL, truckload, and partial truckload logistics.
Now I take the fireworks out of freight and shipping. My customers hire us to take care of the fireworks I’m all too familiar with. But as a 3PL, I’ve eliminated the hassles.
Sure, things come up all the time. But they don’t become fireworks for clients or us. To do this I apply the same principles I used to successfully import and sell sports and recreational vehicles combined with my experiences as a business owner who shipped all the time.
The principles involve process, technology, and a commitment to customer service.
Process. An established process makes decision-making easy. By creating processes for elements of logistics, I’m able to not just present facts to clients, but actionable recommendations.
Technology. Organizing data and running reports takes a lot of time better spent solving problems and serving customers. By leveraging best-in-class logistics software, all the data we need is at my fingertips. Where it used to take me hours as a shipper to get freight quotes, now I can call up dozens of freight rates for my clients in a matter of seconds.
Customer Service. When you place the customer at the center of every decision, it simplifies decision-making. Plus, it increases transparency with customers and builds closer partnerships. And that’s a win-win for everyone.
So I say, leave the excitement of fireworks for Independence Day. Enjoy (safely) Fourth of July fireworks displays, but when you return to the office let process, technology, and a customer-centric approach make your days predictable. Oh, and if you need to ship freight, may I recommend finding a 3PL partner to save you both time and money.