With the spotlight pointed directly at the predicted capacity shortage, businesses are looking to ensure that their shipments will not be left behind. While many businesses are scrambling to lock-in service with a suitable carrier, others may find that the solution may be as easy as a heart-to-heart talk with their current provider.
That’s because a good logistics provider should also be a logistics problem solver. Rather than just offer scheduled pickups and deliveries, with little room for flexibility, a problem solver will have options at its disposal to meet your specific needs.
In a recent Canadian Transportation & Logistics blog post, Dan Goodwill noted that the issue of delivering solutions had come up at a recent shipper-carrier roundtable he had attended. “This idea was mentioned by both Heather Felbel, vice president, logistics of Indigo Books & Music, and J.J. Maislin, president of Maisliner, a Quebec-based freight carrier,” Goodwill wrote. “Shippers are looking for transportation organizations that are problem solvers and can pull together a combination of resources to meet each cluster of customer needs,” he continued. “Shippers are looking for solutions providers that can provide a range of services and modes, that can offer storage when requested, and that can make available value-added information services as needed.”
So how can your make sure that your logistics carrier is a logistics problem solver? A few “points of discussion” to consider:
Flexibility: Does your carrier offer a “one size fits all,” “take it or leave it” approach, or is there a menu of options to choose from to meet your exact needs?
Customized Plans: Does your carrier understand your business needs and objectives? Have you worked together to develop a logistics strategy that is specifically designed to meet or exceed those objectives?
Out of the Box Solutions: Can your provider call on different resources to put together unique logistics plans to address unexpected or “rush” situations?
Contingency Planning: When the inevitable crisis or SNAFU arises, will your carrier be able to offer a “Plan B” to ensure that your shipments are not delayed?
With 2012’s challenging business climate and transportation shortage on the horizon, it’s more important than ever for a business to have confidence that their logistics provider is also their partner. A few minutes today to discuss your carrier’s service options could go a long way toward addressing your long-term service needs.