As supply chain leaders your job is to deliver great customer experiences while controlling costs. In some ways, the shipping process is the backbone of your sales growth and retention.
Your shipping process can be as simple as jotting your orders down on a piece of paper or Excel spreadsheet, then distributing them to your team to manage and track.
A lackluster shipping process can create confusion and higher labor costs that lead to an out of control shipping expense on your profit & loss statement. This creates organizational inefficiencies that drain time and resources. It can also take a toll on morale as the demoralizing effects of not having a customer friendly shipping process takes hold.
Even more pressing, companies who refuse to create an efficient shipping process can cause costs to spiral out of control. One of the easiest ways to build customer loyalty is to create a shipping process that contains (5) key elements:
- Integrated Technology
- Smart, Dedicate, Empowered People
- Strong Carrier Relationships
- Order Consolidation & Optimization
- "Actionable" Data Intelligence
By building a shipping process that incorporates the (5) key elements companies it will boost customer loyalty and improve the bottom line.
1. Integrated Technology
Before you can begin to eliminate customer tracking orders and shipments on an Excel spreadsheet, you need to integrate a Transportation Management System (TMS) with your ERP. The integration will make it easy for you to consolidate orders, create & track shipments and communicate with the customer.
25% of mid-sized shippers have embraced the TMS revolution.
2. Smart Dedicated, Empowered People
Invest in a dedicated and experienced team that delivers strategy, solutions and continuous improvements that result in continued growth and increased market share.
Engage the team through recognition of their hard work, career growth opportunities and continued education, including ongoing training and development. By fostering a culture and environment where a team can be successful this will ensure better results.
Customer satisfaction is worthless, customer loyalty is priceless.
3. Strong Carrier Relationships
Truck capacity is tight! Higher freight demand, driver shortages and ELD mandates have severely impacted capacity on the road.
There is no "easy pill" when it comes to matching a shipment with a carrier. The best logistic programs are driven by relationships. Those strong relationships with carriers allow you to rely on them to deliver on-time, provide better pricing and improve your customer experience.
4. Order Consolidation & Optimization
One of the best ways of minimize shipping costs is to rely on a technology to consolidate orders into fewer shipments. The right technology will consolidate orders, optimize routes and track the shipment which allows you to reduce headcount, control shipping costs and keep the customer informed.
5. "Actionable" Data Intelligence
Many organizations have little or no visibility into their shipping habits. You may be able to run a few reports (that no one looks at) but few companies have "real-time" access to their shipping data.
A world-class business intelligence platform is not expensive. Getting visibility into your shipping data will help your team make better decisions. Business intelligence allows you to "take action" quicker to control your costs, manage claims, improve on-time delivery, optimize shipments and get better carrier rates.
LOWER SHIPPING COSTS STARTS WITH YOU
As the supply chain leader who is responsible for mapping out a clear company strategy to control costs and deliver an amazing customer experience it is important to have access to people who have been there, done that.
If you have questions on building your company strategy or are stalling out somewhere in the shipping process, you can call me at (913) 904-5162 or email me at Glenn@shipDLX.com.