As the organization’s supply chain grows, it becomes more complex and the need for additional shipping options arises. Unfortunately, the LTL options are confounded by a myriad of third party logistic providers, available shippers and other transportation carriers. However, a best in class shipper knows how to achieve the satisfaction of clients and recipients by optimizing the different aspects of supply chain processes. To get an idea about how to become a best in class shipper, you need to understand some of the major factors that influence the shipping activities.
- Data capture
Shipping of goods is essentially accompanied by the large amount of data. This data may include delivery and pickup dates, invoices, product descriptions, originating addresses, method of transport, shipment weight, destination address, fuel charges, rate of transport per haul, and the expenditure that comes with loading and unloading of items at the distribution centre. Each entry of the data presents an opportunity for the data capture and analysis. The clients become more confident about the tracking and visibility in shipping, when you ensure that the data capture capability is superior.
- Knowledge of the carrier's business
A shipper must be well aware of the functioning of shipping processes to calculate the best monetary worth in transportation and shipping. For instance, the shipper must know how to manage rented and private fleets, handling of delicate items, conduct international trade, budgeting of expenses, maintenance of safety, ensure compliance to the regulations and make sure that all the KPI(s) are in alignment across the manufacturer to delivery route.
In order to become a best in class shipper, one must know that how LTL processes might benefit the businesses of varying structures. Furthermore, data capture and knowledge to promote your status must be included in all the aspects of LTL journey.
- Freight expenditure management
As a best in class shipper, one’s top priority must be the monitoring, reduction, and accounting throughout the entire shipment process because cost remains the main priority of any business. However, as a shipper you can only decrease the expenditure by understanding that how the transportation budget relates with each shipping cost and how it is integrated within rest of the organization. Consequently, all shippers must have the knowledge, skills, organization, and data capture in place before making an attempt to decrease the expenses and creating a strong budget.
A best in class shipper has to monitor the management of inbound freight, plan the shipments logically, effectively manage the transport system and use other carriers as needed. There can be serious implications if the shipper fails to understand how to effectively master shipment process and efficiently manage freight. The pickup and delivery dates may be delayed and mismanaged, the drivers may receive fines and penalties for the violations, customers may become upset and errors may occur in the invoices. Unfortunately, each of these problems can cause a hurdle in becoming the best in class shipper.
- Use of Technology
We have discussed the role of technology in supply chain management before, and the best in class shippers are well aware of the role technology plays in the business. However, many of the supply chain managers do not tend to think of technology in these terms. Therefore, most of them might have not implemented the latest technology options to their businesses such as the advanced transport management system(s), optimized route logging and planning and the mobile apps designed especially for supply chain management. As the technology advances further into the supply chain area, it will become an integral part of keeping the customers happy and reducing the costs.
- Shipping Strategy
Most of the suppliers have gained enough experience and knowledge of shipment, process monitoring, organization, budget control and control over the shipping processes. What sets you apart from each of them is your business strategy. The business strategy includes working with different leaders of the same sector, focusing on the particular aspects of the shipping process, reducing the inefficiencies in daily functioning and reducing the expenditure. Furthermore, a strong business strategy allows you to compete with the enterprise level businesses and large shipping corporations with purchasing power more than you.
- Monitoring and Reporting of the Key Performance Indicators
The major concern of all the businesses around the globe is analytics. Key performance indicators (KPIs) help identify where, when and why a problem might have occurred in shipping. In addition, key performance indicators indicate that which areas need improvement by monitoring them carefully, analyzing them and suggesting changes. This might include monitoring the financial pointers for your expenditure versus profit, introducing technology to the pen and paper environment, management of freight rate and evaluation of the performance of your deliveries.
- Carrier-Shipper Relationships
In order to become a best in class shipper, there must be a working relationship between your clients, carriers and customers. To improve in supply chain, you need to keep the costs down, help the carriers take maximum advantage from available space, and enhance the predictability of processes. Furthermore, by working in collaboration with the carriers you may reduce the hurdles between your business and becoming a best in class shipper. This might seem counterproductive and give a hint of profit-loss, but it is better to maintain relations with those who can help you grow instead of adding them to the list of competitors.
- Operational Excellence
Even with the integration and application of all these procedures, a shipper has to execute them in a collaborative and effective manner. Detailed reports are of no use if they do not lead to improvement. A best in class shipper is well equipped to face the possible challenges and operates the entire organization with skill and efficiency.
By applying these ways to become a best in class shipper, your company will grow beyond the expectations. Moreover, these tips will help to keep the customers satisfied, clients happy, boost the traffic, and give you an edge over your competitors.