How Collaboration and Technology Create Efficiencies for SMB’s
One of the things people are starting to realize is that relationships and collaboration matter. Many shippers have long viewed their relationships with their transportation providers as tactical rather than strategic, and they’re the ones suffering the most with today’s supply chain challenges.
Simply taking the time to develop meaningful and long-term relationships can eliminate so many headaches down the road.
Q. How can collaboration be used to build relationships?
A. Education plays an important role. For instance, a typical LTL carrier has an economic disincentive to educate their customers. If you have the wrong NMFC (National Motor Freight Classification) number for the items you’re shipping, your costs can increase dramatically. Unfortunately, a carrier will almost never tell you about a misclassification when you should be getting charged less.
However, as a 3PL, we have an economic incentive to educate our customers because we can only grow if we are able to show our customers a savings and a higher level of service.
So, one of the services we provide with the onboarding of any customer is looking at every item they are shipping, matching NMFC numbers for that item, the correct freight class, and tariff they should be using. In turn, allowing them to gain the best value for their freight spend.
Q. What technology solutions can be utilized to create efficiencies for SMB’s?
A. We found in our research that about 90% of companies with less than $250 million in revenue don’t have a transportation management system to help them professionally manage their freight.
We built our TMS from the shipper’s perspective, and it encompasses everything that a transportation manager would need to manage their organization’s freight spend. Whether that be reporting or on-demand track-and-trace tools. The R2 TMS is specifically designed for those SMB’s that don’t have the budget to justify an enterprise solution.
Q. How long does it take to implement the R2 TMS?
A. We like to measure implementation in days not months, but the process can go as fast as the customer is willing. Where our TMS really shines is in the data aggregation phase. We request three to six months of customer data so we can preload it into the system. This includes everything from their products, freight classes, origins, and destinations.
We also do an NMFC audit on all their freight to make sure they’re not being overcharged. Taking all this data and translating it into meaningful reports allows our customers to make good decisions quicker and gives them a competitive advantage against larger corporations. Typical implementation time is two to three weeks before the customer is up and running.