3 ways to get ahead of your
Ask any freight forwarder in the world: the complexity of their job is highly underrated. They are in many ways the master of balance. While trying to keep their team motivated, they are managing relations with countless stakeholders, all with different interests. On top of that, their clients expect to be informed on the whereabouts of their shipments throughout the entire supply chain, while the managers tries to maintain their precious middle-man position. They are urged by the customer service department to keep clients updated, while playing catch-up with the internal information flow. When they do a perfect job, everything runs smoothly, as it should. When, on the other hand, there is a delay or a shipment gets lost in cross trading, customer service lines are bright red and the manager is held accountable.
But times are changing, and with it logistics management, especially freight forwarding. New money-saving technologies are taking over the logistics industry, helping managers to excel in their jobs. The following three approaches are designed to help those wanting to step up their game as freight forwarder.
1. The right tools for the job.
Get the right tools to control the entire process. With emerging technologies, it’s possible to have a real-time overview of all your shipments. But more than that, it is possible to create an interactive dashboard. Look for software that can give you a grip on your shipment flow to:
- Control the order in which shipments should be handled. Prioritize your shipments according to their urgency (milestone delay, customs delay, …).
- Transfer real-time information to your clients without losing your middle-man position.
- Accumulate insights into continuous learning. Never make the same mistake twice.
- Avoid revenue leakage through cross trading invoice delays.
2. Your data is your backbone.
Nowadays, data is the one thing supporting your daily claim on being better than your competitors. Freight forwarding is a business, like many, in which knowledge equals power. But to gather knowledge, information needs to be structured, visible and workable. Usually, all precious information is scattered across the entire supply chain. It’s inherent to the industry. To smartly handle all in-and outflow of your data, you need software capable of doing three things:
- Integration with APIs and your ERP-system to avoid web-scraping and to make sure all data is available to you anywhere, anytime.
- CSV-file reading.
- Flat file mapping and parsing to get all emails, supplier data and user data structured into the database.
3. Transparency is key.
Only by automating the inflow of data, your database will be updated in real-time. This way, you avoid sharing outdated information with your clients. And by keeping your clients happy, you can keep yourself in the position of having the pick of the litter when it comes to freight consolidation. But not only does it generate more revenue, it avoids customer interaction costs.