June 2009 | Sponsored | Knowledge Base

Measure Your Way to Exceeding C-Suite Expectations

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With organizational performance demands at an unprecedented high, the C-Suite is scrutinizing every cost of doing business and looking for places to cut costs while enhancing customer service. Constantly changing corporate goals and the mandate to do more with less adds stress to heightened business goals. One thing is clear: Changes made to your business function need to yield long-term value to your organization's bottom-line.

Outsourcing transportation has proven to be a valuable way for companies to secure hard-and soft-cost bottom-line savings. Most transportation management providers work in partnership with shippers. But, outside of savings, how do you measure the value your service delivers? Is realizing percentage savings enough? Does "value" have the same meaning to you and your provider?

A true partner will understand your business and use your specific needs to create a customized approach with key performance indicators. Establishing important benchmarks is the first step to creating a mutually agreed upon set of measurements. Overall program goals and measurement intervals should be established as a collaborative effort between you and your service provider.

Ensuring that you and your transportation management partner share the business goals of Senior Management will allow your outsourced team to be in synch with organizational objectives. With open lines of communication, your transportation management team will be able to make improvements to process and procedures based on your needs, ultimately addressing the needs of your customer.

So with measurable goals in place and open lines of communication, how are these measurements reported? Are they objective? Are results delivered in a controlled environment, and do you have access to results on-demand?

Your transportation management partner should be able to provide real-time metrics on-demand and conduct periodic reviews with business analytics to support tactical and strategic decisions.

On-demand reporting allows your internal key players an instant view of program strengths and weaknesses. Armed with key performance indicator benchmarks and other data, you can make fast changes to processes that move you toward the goal of managing to the expectations of your Senior Management team.

In a true partnership, your provider will continually bring to the table data-driven suggestions and even program changes that will allow you to surpass your initial goals. Such suggestions should be reviewed on at least an annual, if not quarterly, basis to ensure cooperation between your internal transportation team and your outsourced provider's strategic goals.

At Echo, the Account Manager of each Enterprise account acts as the quarterback of the outsourced dedicated team. The Account Manager is responsible for keeping your business goals a top priority while at the same time evaluating analytics regarding supplier performance and overall transportation management program objectives. Keeping a close eye on your business goals allows the Echo Account Manager to create appropriate suggestions for the improvement of program efficiencies.

This transportation management professional has a specific skill set that ensures that the values of each client are upheld, concerns are addressed, and strategic initiatives are implemented. And, as always, these changes are defined, evaluated, and executed with thoughtful attention to your business needs.

Keeping your Account Manager aware of any changing business needs is the best way for him or her to remain your champion for transportation optimization. This team leader can use your business goals to shape optimization opportunities, including strategic changes to procurement, data management and tactical approaches to achieve your desired results.

When made privy to your business needs, the Echo Account Manager takes responsibility of ensuring you have the appropriate data and analytics to prove the transportation management program is working, or what changes need to be made to demonstrate value-driven results to your Senior Management team.

The real benefit of having a transportation management partner is the ability to help you achieve, if not exceed, the results so critical in today's marketplace. Doing more with less is a lot easier with a partner like Echo helping with the heavy lifting.

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