Logistics Managers: Stop Wasting Time on These Four Tasks
Effective logistics managers are doers by nature, but there is only so much time in the day - and sometimes, there is not enough of it. Making it harder is running a shipping operation comes with various responsibilities and problems to solve, so no two days are ever the same.
Having technology, like ShipperGuide, to support the various activities logistics managers do every day is a big part of what can make them successful. Here are four areas of responsibility that logistics technology can streamline that are probably familiar to you.
- Procurement: Stop emailing for mini-bids and RFPs.
Ensuring your company's freight gets delivered on time at the best possible rate is a core responsibility for the logistics department and you as its manager. That starts by finding and building a network of trusted carrier partners.
Making sure your deliveries happen and at a reasonable rate is simple if you only ship a few loads at a time. But as your shipment volumes grow, freight procurement gets more complex and requires a strategy, possibly including mini-bids and RFPs. Those processes need to be supported by technology because email has its limitations. By using emails & spreadsheets, shippers are subjected to time consuming processes, often taking a week just to complete the email chain. Then information has to be entered into spreadsheets, where data is at risk of being transferred incorrectly or lost.
Technology such as ShipperGuide helps manage the process of freight procurement in every market, whether running RFPs, finding spot rates and capacity, or providing dynamic contract rates. ShipperGuide provides a centralized platform for shippers to find & engage with their carriers or Loadsmart’s vetted network. As well as, ensure you are finding the best available, market-appropriate rate. And once everything is said and done - ShipperGuide allows you to review your historical data to identify lanes that performed poorly to make sure you move loads for a rate closer to the market average.
- Operations Management: No more spreadsheets
Keeping a high-level view of the logistics operation is another vital responsibility of managers. As you ship more loads, seeing what’s happening becomes too much to track in spreadsheets. Knowing what’s on your dock, the shipments that need to be covered, and that the correct load information and paperwork are with the right people gets more challenging.
Technology that centralizes and makes all of this information easy to find is essential. And having it in real-time and updated automatically is impossible with a spreadsheet. ShipperGuide brings together all of your current, past, and future loads, so everything going on in your shipping operation will be taken care of and monitored.
- Customer Service: Keeping everyone updated
The logistics manager's responsibilities don’t stop when a load is picked up. Constantly working to ensure delivery happens as planned and dealing with potential delays is all part of their day, too.
There are inevitable questions, if not straight-up problems, that can require attention at any time. Being responsive and having up-to-date shipment tracking information is necessary to keep other departments, production, customers, and consignees updated on what’s happening.
ShipperGuide pulls in automatic updates and tracking from carriers so that delivery issues can be identified proactively and all interested parties can be updated immediately. Delays and other issues are inevitable in shipping, and good managers use technology to anticipate and help resolve them.
- Finance and all the others: Getting the most out of your logistics data
Data is every logistics manager’s friend and should drive your shipping operation. The cost data that the Finance department cares about is for more than just setting an annual budget. As two examples, shipping data can support important choices about where to source inbound materials or ensure that shipping costs are adequately covered in sales quotes.
Tracking and making routing decisions based on cost trends in the market and with your carrier partners is another way to use data. ShipperGuide makes cost and service reporting, cost modeling, and rate benchmarking easy because the rates and service data are already in the platform.
Streamline routine tasks with ShipperGuide
Logistics managers must do many things well, from fast decision-making and problem-resolution to having good communication and interpersonal skills. And as companies grow and their shipping volumes increase, even the best managers will need to find new ways to improve how they work.
Wearing so many hats makes finding ways to automate and streamline routine tasks important. ShipperGuide helps logistics managers who are at the center of production, carriers, and customer service make every minute count.
If you're interested in learning more about how simple data reporting and monitoring can help you easily and quickly identify ways to reduce costs, and seamlessly measure how well your logistics department is doing by using benchmarks. Join us for our webinar on Wednesday, August 23rd, 12 pm CT to learn how to do so, hosted by Grace Sharkey from FreightWaves.