Sunday, May 14, 2006

Value? Technology, People, Process, and Profits!


What primary value do logistics operations by 3PL's bring to their clients? Technology! Building technology capabilities to outsmart traditional logistics competitors within supply chain planning and executing logistics operations will remain center-stage and THE focus in the future.

This subject is also a question that remains in the minds of 3PLs: How do we choose a cost-effective, yet effective technology that can serve our company and our customers better?
So yes, don't worry, I still maintain that people, and process, and then technology drive this equation (don't forget the STAR Process!)!

Working with asset and non-asset based 3PLs, 4PLs, Carriers (TL, LTL, Specialty Transportation as in bulk goods in Energy, Automotive etc.) and Railroads to improve Visibility and Supply chain integration, we find the need to deliver shipper-facing solutions on the rise substantially.

Taking a tailored solutions approach also requires that such applications are reliable and can sustain consistent value from operations.
Such strategies yield results and early ROI (Return-on-Investments) for 3PL's technology investments.

Next technology application that are critical are tactical tools like 24x7 (shipper portals) tracking, events management, online signed PODs / BOLs, Shipper communication for marked improvements in customer service- all these tools remain factors that help achieve successful business outcomes using technology implementation.

Some of the most preferred 3PL applications and their advantages include:

• Automate Rating and Bidding to maximize benefits for your shippers’ benefits -On time deliveries, service levels/price points, and reduced cost per lane. Internally, your operations is transformed to an automated platform that can electronically receive RFQs from Shippers, send out bids to Carriers and receive their Quotes, Select/commit to carrier partners for specific lanes upon receiving your authorization- using an integrated workflow for approvals.

• Optimizing for Profitability while enabling maximum capacity utilization of carrier/fleets and ensure shipper’s demand (delivery reliability) fill full truck-loads even in LTL situations helping reduce unused miles and cost-to-serve.

• Web Portals for Shipper/Carrier Management provides a simple yet universal view of events that happen within your supply chain network, and partners with a logistics planning-to-execution cycle for increased visibility to monitor and control movement of your shipper’s freight.

• Load Plan, Build and Routing Optimization based on a mathematical modeling technique that deliver assured profitability gains and improved asset utilization for lowering costs including personnel (workload management) in warehouses/D.C.s, pools etc.

• Automated Dispatch to Manage On-time Deliveries, Performance indicators while reducing Operational Congestion to absorb impact propagated due to uncertainties or delays. Automated dispatch and scheduling systems offers tremendous productivity, compliance and efficiency gains for 3PLs.

• Lower Transportation and Logistics Costs for your customers by increasing Supply chain Visibility, Inbound and outbound costs from improving Operation Effectiveness and maximizing Revenue margins from improved utilization of your capacity and fleet.

• Delivering Continuous Move opportunities that help implement Supply Chain Network Optimization and attain a Supply Chain Flawless Execution to evaluate private fleet decisions.
Some 3PL’s say, Show me the money.

3PLs can realize returns from technology in the following areas:

- Improvements in ratios of their logistics operations
- Real life dispatch productivity
- Capacity utilization
- Shipper demands serviced online
- Costs and Revenue management

Additionally, using an Optimized (mathematical model) using technology to improve drivers in key performance improvements can help unlock value (cost savings or increased revenues) and flexibility within 3PL operations while mitigating risks.

Summary:

3PLs can identify processes and automate them along side optimizing them within their operations and firm up on possibilities to realize a step-level business transformation to lead the pack in delivering supply chain benefits to shippers and their businesses using technology.
Oh yeah...don't forget the people! Hire, train, develop, and foster your people by creating a culture, empower the believers, and SHARE THE SUCCESS!

1 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin said...

I worked for Schneider Logistics for 12 years and now am at Whirlpool. I am not sure that 3PLs bring the "best technology" and I am now rethinking the entire 3PL strategy.

With the cost of technology decreasing and the unique integration demands increasing, I am finding more and more the actual shipper is investing in the technology. What are you seeing from the other shippers you deal with?

22:50  

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