Logistics Lingo Decoded: Buzzwords and Their Meaning To ShipperGuide Users
Shipping, like every industry, has its own lingo and buzzwords. But separating the marketing-speak and understanding which words are actually meaningful is not always easy. This line gets even more blurred when it comes to logistics technology.
While many buzzwords get overused to the point of losing their meaning, many are still relevant. And we’re proud to say some relate directly to what ShipperGuide offers its users.
Here’s a mini-glossary with some of the latest terms we think logistics pros need to understand. Buzzy, perhaps, but each is relevant to the shipping process and technology in meaningful ways.
Running a successful logistics operation requires a lot of information and communication. The challenge for companies is that both are hard to manage across an organization and with partners. Information (often in the form of shipping data) for small and medium-sized companies can be housed in many locations, from various company IT applications to spreadsheets on a laptop to papers in a folder in a desk drawer. Properly centralized logistics data is accessible instantly and by whoever needs it through a single interface.
Centralization is an important concept because logistics is a process that’s very dependent on free-flowing information that is easily usable and accurate.
Centralized in ShipperGuide: The shipping manager can quickly compare rates from different carriers and find the lowest cost carrier because all of the company’s truckload rates are centralized in ShipperGuide.
Despite probably being the buzziest of all buzzwords right now, the idea of efficiency is still core to almost everything concerning logistics. When it comes to many shipping processes, efficiency means getting things done with as little cost and effort as possible.
Being efficient is difficult in shipping because the job often requires fast decisions and actions. And the risks and costs of inefficiency can make or break a company. This means the processes that run any company’s logistics operations must be VERY efficient.
Efficiency in ShipperGuide: ShipperGuide increases a Shipper’s efficiency because they aren’t forced to spend their time managing their shipping operations in several spreadsheets and email threads. Shippers can expect an 83% reduction in time on rate procurement activities after implementing ShipperGuide.
Buzzword: End-to-End Solution
Shipping is a process that can potentially involve many different parties, including suppliers, trucking companies, customers, and others. An end-to-end solution is when one technology can connect them all and facilitate the shipping process from start to finish. Many logistics technologies can do individual tasks well enough, but many companies prefer end-to-end solutions so they do not need to buy and manage multiple tools.
End-to-End in ShipperGuide: Having ShipperGuide as its end-to-end shipping technology meant the company did not have to worry about its logistics data being stuck in siloes, and departments not having access to the most recent information.
“ShipperGuide has been a lot better for us. The biggest improvement is the data and reporting. We can easily see our freight spend and compare it to market rates, which gives us the ability to drive closer to the minimum rate. Thanks to ShipperGuide, we now have visibility and accountability.” - Graham Douglas, Logistics Supervisor at Steele Solutions, Inc.
A close second to efficiency in popularity as a buzzword (based on our unscientific poll), innovative may win the prize for peak marketing-speak. Innovation is not easily measured, yet it’s a go-to word that many new logistics technologies use to describe themselves (even when there isn’t anything new about them!).
Innovative is supposed to mean there is something different and, more importantly, something BETTER that a solution offers. But technology, for technology’s sake, doesn’t change anything. It’s not better. In fact, “new” technology can be counterproductive because the wrong technology (one that is too complicated or users won’t embrace) can set a company back, and not improve anything.
Innovative in ShipperGuide: ShipperGuide is an innovative solution for shippers because it allows them to find fair pricing and high quality carriers for all contracted and spot lanes, in an easy-to-use, centralized platform. Shippers are able to onboard their entire team in 60 minutes - even the least tech-savvy people.
Buzzword: Visibility (synonym: Transparency)
Visibility is a word with multiple meanings and applications at different points in the shipping process. For example, there can be visibility into costs or visibility to a shipment’s location. But visibility of almost every type is valuable, so despite being a buzzword its true importance is still often underappreciated. ‘Transparency’ is a common synonym.
At the same time, because the word gets used a lot, visibility also suffers from unmet expectations and over-promises. However, having true visibility into each part of a logistics operation brings legitimate value to any company.
Visibility in ShipperGuide: Companies are quickly able to provide an ETA for customer deliveries thanks to the visibility ShipperGuide provides across the entire logistics operations.
All of these buzzwords are terms whose ‘buzziness’ matches their meaningfulness for shippers. Even if they are used a little too much at times, each should have its place in every company’s logistics glossary — and come to mind when thinking about ShipperGuide.
Can we use our list of buzzwords in a sentence? Yes. ShipperGuide is an innovative end-to-end logistics platform that provides visibility and efficiency for shippers by centralizing shipping processes and data! Learn more!