To provide quality service, there needs to be factors in place that will help you as a business measure your progress. In any service provided, whether it be marketing or freight management, there ought to be Key Performance Indicators put in place to allow you to track the performance of any part of your business. KPIs also help you attribute a tangible ROI on such activities.
Marketing strategies have elements that liken to those of freight management when working on achieving their set KPIs. Today we’ll look at and analyse 4 of these unique elements that mirror marketing plans and they are as follows:
Front End Research and Analysis
When refining marketing plans, a marketer first conducts a market research. A market research helps you understand your target audience much better. It also assists in getting the correct message and tone across. Through it you are able to know who your competitors are and what historical activities and data can provide to benchmark various data points to start building KPIs. Similarly, when first building a relationship with a freight shipper, a third party logistics company is required to do a freight activity and data analysis. This enables them to understand shipping rates, patterns and everything related to the shipper’s freight on a more intimate level. You get an insight on auditing of old invoices, claims, customer service issues due to late shipments or inefficient shipping modes. If your logistics provider does not ask for this information from you in the beginning, then they will not be in the position to create a strategy focused on results and savings.
Strategy and Plans
After the marketer has insight on where the company stands with historical marketing, they can now devise a strategy aimed at reaching the right audience to increase brand awareness, leads and ultimately in the end, sales. It is at this point that goals and specific KPIs are established. Much like this, the freight logistics service providers ought to create custom logistics plan or strategy for your business determined by the previous research and analysis of your freight data and activity. Based on your data, this strategy can produce better freight rates. Another point is that the provider can also have a better understanding on how to lessen freight claims because they will have knowledge on what causes higher freight damage. Finally, putting time into the research phase allows the logistics service provider to optimize the way in which you ship freight by putting together pool point distribution programs and more.
The main aim is to have a strategy and specific KPIs set in place before you begin shipping your freight with the systems and service of the logistics provider.
Execution and Processing
In marketing, there then begins the execution phase of the strategy. Given the fast moving world of social media and content marketing, there are many complex tasks and activities that happen every single day in order to ensure the goals set out for the plan are met. In logistics, there activities such as processing freight shipment, freight accounting and communication with all parties involved with the freight shipment. When you have a logistics provider that knows what they’re doing, they will have a system or form of technology in place such as a Transportation Management System. Such a system increases the ability to scale as you ship more freight by decreasing the time spent entering the details of your freight shipment. Your logistics provider should present you with a system that’s also able to allow you the choice between many carriers with rates which were negotiated in the strategy phase if you are shipping by LTL freight carrier. This in the long term ensures that you get best rate for your shipment and don’t have to waste valuable time contacting many shippers trying to negotiate rates. Finally, a great logistics provider must also be able to give you integrated freight management services such as freight management, dedicated customer service to get a handle on your patterns and activity over time, and of course freight payment and audit services.
Data Analysis and Business Decisions
In marketing, data is key when it comes to consulting and making decisions that continue to produce the highest ROI. Marketers are very data driven people. Data and reporting enable you to make certain choices and changes when the strategies you have in place don’t give you the expected results. Like marketing, when a logistics provider gives you meaningful data and is able to explain how it is affecting your operations, it will empower you to make better decisions on matters like your carriers, commodity choices and freight packaging.
If you enjoyed reading that, find out Why You Can’t Live Without Freight Software!