The entire CoreTrust Team celebrated the appearance of Dave Pollard and Courtney Davis on the “What the Truck” podcast this past Friday, September 2. Dave and Courtney were invited to join podcast hosts Dooner and The Dude to discuss the current state of transportation and logistics, and to share some “Hidden Gems of Finding Value in Transportation” based on their years of industry experience.
In consulting with CoreTrust Members, Courtney and Dave work together to come up with solutions to unique logistical challenges that streamline the transportation process especially in light of the recent problems that the supply chain has faced in the wake of the pandemic. The CoreTrust logistics team assembles programs for Members that introduce efficiencies and cost savings including strategies to tackle future problems and help better insulate against inflation and labor market swings. At the heart of Dave and Courtney’s strategy is the mantra that you “can’t discount your way into savings” – it must be a measured process that includes a strategic program that optimizes and quantifies cost savings so they can be effectively demonstrated to key stakeholders such as the C-suite.
Historically, most companies try to save money through continual negotiation of better shipping rates. However, there comes a point in time where this process reaches an inevitable crescendo and you just can’t set prices any lower. Instead, companies should look to alternative logistics categories that may not be inherently obvious but will still equate to lower costs and higher efficiencies.
#1 – Reducing/Improving Transit Times
The first hidden gem focuses on improved transit times and providing complete customer transparency and visibility on logistics information en route. Companies who employ this strategy will immediately realize a competitive advantage and are likely to gain more business from existing customers, leading to increases in revenue. This strategy is just as much about speeding up transit times from production to delivery, but it also helps companies “own” the product until the point where it is delivered and helps reduce inventory carrying costs.
By providing this increased visibility, customers can now track packages on their own reducing calls to the customer service team, and providing companies the ability to reduce labor costs. This is sure to please the C-level who are consistently seeking strategies to increase shareholder/stakeholder value.
#2 – Improving logistics information availability and accessibility
FedEx Founder Fred Smith once said, “Information about a package is just as important as the package itself.” In a day and age where consumers have become accustomed to receiving a package the same day it is ordered, information accuracy, accessibility, and availability has taken on a new meaning. Information availability is not only important for an organization because of the help it offers to level load inventory counts, but it also offers transparency to the customer by offering real-time data to know where a package is located at any point in transit which directly leads to a reduction in the amount of customer support required.
In addition, logistics information availability leads to an improved brand image, demonstrating that a company is invested in the ordering and fulfillment process beyond collecting revenue and moving inventory. C-level executives will be sure to like this from CEOs seeking to improve efficiency, CFOs looking to add to the bottom line, and CPOs looking to remove friction from the procurement process and concentrate on other areas of direct spend.
Dave also pointed out in the podcast that providing logistics information to a customer is critical but perhaps even more vital is having that information available inter-departmentally within a company. If a shipping department doesn’t have the same information as the manufacturing department, if the manufacturing team doesn’t have the same information as the ordering system, information becomes disparate and the company will struggle to move forward in unison to provide the best customer value. Clear, open, and visible communication within a company is key to ensure a clear line of sight on what orders are forthcoming, current inventory levels, production line status and output levels, customer ordering and shipping requirements, and what logistics transportation options are available.
Curious to learn more about additional hidden gems of transportation and logistics? Catch Dave and Courtney live at the upcoming Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Edge tradeshow September 18 – 21 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN where they will co-host an education session with their logistics partner GEODIS on “The Hidden Gems of Finding Value in Domestic Transportation” and where they will show how Supply Chain Professionals can apply useful principles to deliver value through supply chain efficiencies that help smooth out economic and market volatility.
See CoreTrust’s own Dave Pollard and Courtney Davis on the “What the Truck” podcast here. Jump to 12:15 on the podcast recording to begin the CoreTrust segment. Thank you to Donner, The Dude, and the What the Truck podcast producers for having us on the broadcast!