Winning on Your Terms
In an age when so many conversations begin with, "Have you heard what Amazon just announced?," wouldn't it be nice to have your competitors worry about your latest supply chain success?
It's rather easy to become distracted by the daily activities of the world's largest retailer. But keeping our collective eye on the ball has never been more important. Regardless of what the mega-retailers are doing, 3PLs and other supply chain operations need to focus on expanding the services and enhancing the value they provide to their clients. Sales, customer loyalty, profitability—each of these vital measures of success will follow only if we all stay at the top of our game.
Winning with Technology
If the successes of Amazon and other global giants have proved anything, it is that technology can be a powerful differentiator. Given this fact, any supply chain organization that is not leveraging the full value of its transportation solutions portfolio is probably leaving opportunities on the table.
Many of your competitors have already accepted this reality and are investing in new operating models, technologies and other competitive resources to attract new customers and win more business from existing ones. Moreover, they are pushing the very limits of their existing TMS solutions—or investing in new solutions—to increase their differentiation and drive change in the marketplace rather than have change dictated to them.
These competitors are investing in an array of new capabilities that allow them to improve service levels and reduce costs at every step of the transportation life cycle. These include using real-time rating verification rather than relying on posted (and likely outdated) rates. You can even leverage this capability ahead of the WMS to find the best carrier/service options for every shipment.
Just as carriers optimize loads to enhance margins, logistics providers should be able to continually build and rebuild loads to reflect real-world situations, including multi-stop, pool points and any constraints. This advanced mode planning capability offers the flexibility needed to win new business while improving bottom-line performance.
Enhanced reporting and analytics can arm your team with accurate business and market intelligence. Shippers and carriers are aggressively leveraging analytics to identify efficiency concerns and reduce costs. It's in your own best interest to use analytics to more proactively resolve potential customer satisfaction issues and uncover new opportunities.
Cross-dock operations are prime targets for improved efficiency and visibility—both of which benefit the ultimate customer. Paper-based dock management systems are slow and costly; what's more, they prevent the near-real-time visibility demanded by retailers and their customers. Trailers and loads can now be tracked and routed in real time thanks to highly affordable yet robust mobile scanners tied to a modern TMS platform.
As the competitive pace quickens, your team needs to maintain its entrepreneurial edge, which can be all but impossible when they're buried in paper. Empower them with a TMS that automatically captures data, speeds carrier and client onboarding, initiates contracts and automates other time-intensive processes. Automated documentation is a no-brainer from an ROI standpoint even before considering its significant back-office productivity and employee satisfaction benefits.
A modern TMS solution can also allow you to explore the impressive benefits of pool distribution. Setting up multiple pool points based on cost rather than shipment size can help 3PLs and brokers best match routes to a given mix of freight.
Grow Faster, Smarter
By leveraging a TMS that addresses each of these core capabilities, logistics service providers can generate the revenue needed to create truly differentiated, highly personalized services. In the sea of the standard order-to-cash lifecycle, standing out in a crowd with the flexibility to address each client's unique requirements with a high level of personal service and efficiency can make LSPs the most attractive option.
To learn more about TMW's solutions for logistics service providers, visit www.tmwsystems.com.