With economic consequences from COVID-19 and other resulting challenges, companies are looking for ways to manage more efficiently with less—while reallocating resources to more productive activities and maximizing freight spend value.
Logistics operations are a great place to start, as even the smallest percentage savings could mean triple-digit impact to bottom lines. These operations are a significant cost center and therefore a great place to identify opportunities for improvement.
Q: If looking to achieve End-2-End efficiency within logistics operations, where does one start?
A: Start by looking at your supply chain holistically and build a digitization strategy. Once you’ve analyzed your logistics ecosystem to identify gaps or areas of data improvement, then start at the beginning of End-2-End workflows with procurement.
Building a trusted carrier network is imperative to the success of your logistics efforts. A freight procurement tool, like Alpega’s TenderEasy platform, that enables freight tendering and spot bidding across all modes is essential to understanding current market value of carrier services; and, in times of disruption, the ability to go outside your established network to find additional capacity.
Q: When we talk about improving logistics efficiency, we tend to think of transportation execution. Where does this fall within End-2-End workflows?
A: A transportation management system (TMS) is a core component to facilitating improvement across all nodes of transportation workflows, inclusive of planning, execution, freight cost settlement, and analytics. Alpega TMS is modular and flexible, so companies can invest in a cloud-based solution in the areas they need most now with the ability to easily scale up or down later; as well as add additional functional capabilities.
Alpega TMS also connects carriers and other trading partners across logistics and supply chain networks through one platform—enabling real-time collaboration with features like automated load tendering and carrier acceptance. Other processes in the End-2-End system, like freight invoice reconciliation and analytics, are vital to close the loop.
Q: With what type of technology investment do you see the greatest immediate impact on logistics operations?
A: Probably dock appointment scheduling. Long carrier wait times and lack of visibility across warehouses and DCs have severe detrimental impacts on customer service levels and operations. Providing carriers the ability to make their own pick-up and delivery appointments via a cloud-based 24/7 portal saves time and confusion for both parties—and lets shippers redirect resources if needed. Time saved setting appointments manually could be used on exception management and operational efficiency.
The result is higher productivity overall. Alpega’s dock appointment scheduling solution is a low-cost investment with a high rate of return, delivering rapid time to value. Its positive impact on logistics operations can be realized almost immediately.
Mark McArthur, Managing Director, Alpega North America, 877-763-3240
CUT COTS OF THE FLEET WITH OUR AUDIT PROGRAM
The audit is a key tool to know the overall status and provide the analysis, the assessment, the advice, the suggestions and the actions to take in order to cut costs and increase the efficiency and efficacy of the fleet. We propose the following fleet management audit.