Every industry has their own language but the freight industry takes it to a new level. There are more unique terms, abbreviations and acronyms than probably necessary. Unless you live this stuff every day, it is virtually impossible to stay current with this vernacular.
As a lead logistics company, KDL is forced to always be coming up with ways to help its clients to get better. So we are always asking ourselves, "What burdensome task can we take away from our clients." One area that has been a huge help is the GL coding of their freight invoices.
There is no more of a helpless feeling than getting a freight claim denied when you are sure the liability lies outside of your responsibility. You do have rights when it comes to claims but often times it may feel like you are guilty until you are proven innocent.
Without a doubt the hottest topic I've discussed with shippers over my past 18 years in the transportation space is the lack of control people feel they have within their inbound logistics operation. Many people seem to think they are getting scammed by costly prepaid and add programs or played a fool by vendor's "free freight" program. And they have good reason to feel that way because it's been my experience that many times they are.
There are two bits of research that I believe are the best kept secrets in business today. First, according to Boston-based AMR Research, the average total return of companies in AMR's "Supply Chain Top 25" in 2007 (which included companies like Apple, Walmart, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, etc.) was 17.89%, compared with returns of 6.43% for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 3.53% for companies in Standard & Poor's 500 Index. The second bit of info is from a Georgia Tech study that show supply chain glitches can all but destroy shareholder value. They indicate the total shareholder value loss associated with a glitch can be as high as 25%.
A few weeks back I was reviewing some shipping data with a client. I was simply highlighting all of the times they shipped on the same day to the same customer and calculated the windfall of savings they would have realized if they easily combined these orders onto a single shipment. My client was floored because, although he admitted his company might not be the best at combining shipments, he didn’t think the premium he would be paying was as high as it was. But it was and considering this was happening several times a week and could cost of tens of thousands of dollars a year in extra transportation costs if it continued…thus inspiring this week’s Freight Savings Tips article.
It usually depresses company leaders when they find out how much effort their own people are spending tracking and tracing shipments. This activity can be a massive time suck for customer service reps, purchasing folks, shipping people and sales men and women. The kicker is that it can be totally automated with KDL's simple event notification tool and tracking panel.
Something prospective clients tell me they desire more than anything is visibility. They want visibility to data, visibility to shipment tracking information, visibility to documentation, etc. The more visibility the better. When we start showing them all of the meaningful information we can put at their fingertips, they typically get googly-eyed! Having access to all of this information can help skyrocket a company past their competition. But one thing companies forget to do is actually make all of this visibility actually visible for people to see.
What if I told you you are paying good money to your employees to stand with a phone up to their ear on hold for hours-upon-hours a day? I'd imagine you'd be upset, right? Well, guess what? If your company regularly ships product with freight companies you are spending your hard earned revenue dollars on just that...for your employees to wait on hold.
When considering partnering with KDL to assist them with the management of their logistics operation, most companies face two questions. Do they hire KDL or do they do it themselves. Coming up with the answer to this question is easier than they think.