Accelerating Enterprise Logistics With Top-Tier Multi-Modal Solutions

Logistics has evolved into a strategic business concern—from a back office function to a boardroom agenda item—and as a result, enterprises now seek 3PLs with multi-modal capabilities for complete end-to-end integration. By linking all transportation modes, enterprise shippers leverage the entirety of the supply chain to achieve economical logistics performance.

Today, it is important for organizations to align and collaborate with 3PLs that have deep domain expertise. For businesses that think change management is an integral part of their shipping operations, this trend is increasing.

If an organization isn’t changing, it’s going backward. Enterprise executives know they have to transform their businesses to compete for market share. In addition to being cost conscious, they also think about minimizing operational inefficiencies, administrative burden and risk within the functional areas of their operations.

One area where organizations can leverage 3PLs to mitigate the impact of risk is through assessments: conducting routine "health checks" to make sure that shipping operations are tracking to KPIs and other metrics ensuring that performance is routinely meeting or exceeding expectations. 3PLs that offer true Enterprise Logistics solutions have the tools and expertise to conduct such assessments and design the remediation.

Accommodating E-Commerce

E-commerce has changed the enterprise supply chain. Both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce operations are driving the preponderance of change in small package and parcel delivery. Even the impact of technology that enables smaller organizations to spin up web-based commerce sites has been dramatic, which is fueling demand.

From a supply chain executive’s perspective, e-commerce drives the need for a shipping platform that is flexible and meets changing demands. Both B2C and B2B customers use mobile and traditional technology to become increasingly savvy in procurement. In turn, they demand more from logistics operations.

There are, however, cost and operational implications in meeting these demands. How do you put products in the right place and get them to the consumer on time? The cost-to-serve increases when delivering on a daily or hourly basis versus a two, three or four-day delivery. The enterprise shipper needs to determine if the ROI makes sense for their business.

A Better Way to Ship Now

Best-in-class enterprise shipping operations must understand how their delivery profile impacts every carrier’s network. Consequently, shippers can "tune" their shipping profile to optimize and align it with their carriers’ networks. Why is this important?

These scaled carrier networks won’t change for the shipper; thus, the shipper has to align to the networks. Once they do that, the networks become more efficient for them, and they can leverage the networks more economically. The alignment also improves the carrier’s ability to serve.

Partnering with a multi-modal Enterprise Logistics solutions provider offers today’s enterprises insight into better ways to ship. In addition to ocean, rail, air, truckload and less-than-truckload freight optimization, the time is now for enterprises to reach out for third-party expertise in small package or parcel logistics optimization, parcel auditing and advanced parcel shipping analytics.

In the supply chain, much of the 3PL’s value is in the assessment and design phase, where analytics not only provide visibility for the shipper, but also drive ongoing operational improvement of the shipping platform. While satisfying the demands of increased volume and other customer expectations, a more economical way of shipping is subsequently achieved.

Better Enterprise Logistics practices drive sustainable corporate growth. If organizations don’t understand this, they’ll be left behind.

Transportation Insight delivers Enterprise Logistics solutions in all modes of transportation to more than 1,000 North American clients. Ken Wacker is Transportation Insight’s Executive Vice President of Enterprise Business Solutions. Wacker is a leader in his field for driving corporate growth through outsourced business services and supply chain optimization.

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