Although fuel prices will continue to be a primary topic of conversation at the dinner table and in conference rooms for some time, many other intriguing supply chain events are worth following. As the nation celebrates a four-cent weekly decrease in the national on-highway diesel fuel average per gallon, according to EIA, the parcel carrier industry is watching LaserShip rejoice over its merger with OnTrac. On March 30, 2022, Intelligent Audit CEO Hannah Testani and LaserShip's Chief Commercial Officer Josh Dinneen participated a webinar, "Learn How Other Shippers are Leveraging Lasership & OnTrac to Diversify their Carrier Risk," moderated by Adam Robinson of The Robinson Agency. In case you missed it, here are four key takeaways from the webinar.
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When shippers contract with parcel carriers, they must consider who they choose. What are their proven KPIs, and will they use modern tracking methods to bolster current data? Intelligent Audit's Testani noted the importance of this early in the call. Because shippers are typically only engaging virtually with their customers, ultimately, the carriers are the customer-facing representatives when they hand off the product at the final destination. Dinneen echoed this, reminding attendees of the importance of shipping companies considering these qualities when partnering with carriers of any size, whether an upstart or a semi-national parcel carrier such as LaserShip.
Robinson mirrored Testani's sentiment above, saying, "Data, data, data. It's the new oil!" Just as a car owner must initiate the upkeep of their car's oil levels through manual labor or outsourcing, shipping companies must see the value of collecting and actively using their data. Testani later shared that "Data is your ability to make decisions" by taking the guesswork out of optimizing a shipping company's workflow. Without collecting and connecting data points, shipping managers cannot correct the data points that could cut costs and maximize efficiency. With the development of TMS and WMS integrations, analytics in transportation no longer needs to be an untapped resource.
Robinson also guided the conversation into the realm of customer experience. New modes of delivery are becoming more prevalent with a rise in the gig economy and the lowest entry bar known to begin as a parcel carrier. As retail shipping continues to evolve, shipping companies must also consider their customer experience and the end consumer's customer experience. Testani noted that many of Intelligent Audit's customers discover that most shipping delays are due to mistakes in their customers' paperwork or packing of products. Shipping companies who solve these errors can maximize the customer experience and give their marketing team something to work with to drive retention and new customer acquisition efforts.
Although these buzzwords frequently occur in social justice headlines, poor collaboration in business directly impacts shipping costs. Over the past two years, supply chain disruptions have complicated purchasing items as simple as oranges. Today many consumers and customers have been exposed to the benefits of diversifying sources for their resiliency and improved chance of procuring the required customers. Testani and Dinneen both agreed on the necessity for shipping companies to pursue network optimization and diversify their carriers. Dinneen even shared that his team is already working with their regular customers to plan for peak season in Q4 and that all shipping companies should be doing the same.
As shipping companies continue to look at the best solutions for present and future shipments, they miss out on a goldmine of opportunities by not analyzing the past data. Or perhaps people will soon be saying a "crude oil reservoir of opportunities." Regardless, the spreadsheet mentality withholds opportunities found by modern technology. Take the emotion out of your decisions and start innovating by starting a conversation with Intelligent Audit today.
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