Freight Consultancy Services
Many distributors are becoming aware of the true value of accessing freight consultancy services for their business. Niche industry experts can bring the systems, software, and industry knowledge to help them leverage the outcomes of optimizing their freight.
A lot of businesses try to save time and money by making do with the resources they have. They know outside help will be beneficial, but they can’t find the time, don’t see the urgency in researching and getting started with a freight consultancy. However, this often means their people and systems are stretched too thin. They band-aid together processes and software issues to keep things going on a day-to-day basis, which is fine until they add a new customer, roll-out to a new market, or a new product, or are put under unexpected external pressure and things break.
They are then forced to take their eye off their core business capabilities and leave their customers unimpressed, perhaps ready to look for a new supply chain partner themselves. You could have the best product on the market, or the cheapest product, (wherever you position yourself in your market), but if you don’t have your delivery rate at market best all that effort could be for naught.
Freight Departments a Profit Centre
This type of issue occurs because they are viewing their freight & supply chain departments as cost centres, rather as potential profit centres. The right freight consultancy will leverage operational, performance, and cost optimization improvements – the savings from those improvements – back into the business in a continual improvement cycle, ergo turning it into a profit centre.
Freight consultancies who manage freight day-in, day-out as their core purpose monitor and benchmark rates and changes to the freight industry. As a result, they are more likely to be aware of pricing opportunities and can put that knowledge to use for their customers quickly. They are aware of all the potential players that could be brought to bear in a Freight Review process; what services they offer, what the performance is like and how competitive they are. Distributors only review this at best only once a year and are typically only aware of about 30% of the carriers that could be invited to the Freight Review / Tender that match for their freight profile.
So, whilst it might not seem urgent to the distributor, they are not factoring in all the money they might be saving because they have put off a freight review, (or a freight audit or freight software upgrade), or because they don’t have the internal resources. And the money saved of course could be reinvested into the business for further improvements.
SMEs acknowledge they can’t always afford to bring the right, (or enough), inhouse talent required to improve their business. Accessing that talent through a freight consultancy enables them to tap into that capability efficiently and cost effectively.
Taking advantage of the technology – back of office and client-based technology, particularly SaaS (Software as a System) based systems which have lower cost of entry use, and PAYG (Pay As You Go) models – also offers efficient, cost effective capabilities to quickly leverage your business.
Another important aspect that a freight consultancy can offer is an outside perspective, one that can transfer the skills, knowledge, and tools acquired from managing the freight of companies from a range of industries, can assist stakeholders with highlighting the ‘weakest link in the (supply) chain’ that should be prioritised in a roadmap. A fresh look at what you are doing, with a broader range of knowledge and experience, is often helpful in isolating key issues to work on.
Larger companies, and those that need to scale up, are also looking to add a freight consultancy business to their partners list. Increasing challenges and complexity in their distribution, customer service and warehouse requirements, along with of course ecommerce implementation, and ensuing new markets (i.e., B2C) mean they need to access outside resources to complement their internal teams, and in particular, the technology and data analytics to assist with streamlining operations and ensuring optimal control and outcomes.
Data Analytics has become crucial for maintaining an edge over your competitors. Freight consultancies have the right tools to measure your freight data, to analyse that data to uncover insights to optimize your freight. Chasing down suppliers i.e., 3rd party carriers for data is a headache and it is often difficult to assess the veracity of the data supplied.
If you want to ensure that you are getting the most out of your freight processes: operationally, cost wise, internally, and with your distribution partners, you could spend years adding the right people, software and systems to your business or you could partner with a freight consultancy with the right expertise today and start getting results tomorrow.