Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. -Henry Ford
Henry Ford‘s wisdom continues today in the myriad of solutions that are available in supply chain. Now more than at any time, companies are seeking the best partner to assist them in the addressing issue like increased costs, global complexity, and higher customer requirements. As companies evaluate their trusted carriers, suppliers, and needs of their customers, they often take great care in selecting those that make up their complex network. For the most part, companies select those partners that know their business and their business goals to be in that trusted group.. Many companies rely on their partner’s expertise to deliver results. So why do so many overlook their supply chain backbone? Why do companies not look at innovative solutions for assistance?
One of our clients in the food and beverage industry needed to gain control of transportation management in the midst of evaluating the entire supply chain. Prior to LeanLogistics, the client handled communications with carriers manually via fax and phone, so visibility into shipments was limited. Yet they felt that they were the experts on their supply chain and where it needed to go.
The client sought out technology to provide insights and advice based upon their internal mastery of their supply chain and the broader market. However, they came to realize that finding a technology platform provided value, but they needed more. Supply chain conditions change; that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The ability to be agile and adjust with supply chain changes separate good companies from the great companies. The technology supporting a company’s supply chain should be backed by experts who know what to do when these challenges arise. As the client integrated the TMS, they could now rely on the collective expertise of a team for best practices that had been proven to trim down costs.
Eventually, the client recognized a lack of resources in-house and considered options for outsourcing transportation management. They envisioned a solution that would balance the expertise of both their existing team and the provider involved. They were the experts on their supply chain, but their technology partners had the supply chain expertise from a broader perspective.. Successful partnerships are always built on a foundation of shared expertise.
Today, the solution isn’t technology only and it isn’t a fully outsourced solution. It’s a hybrid. The client has full visibility to their supply chain, access to the technology, and all the operational control necessary to manage their supply chain going forward based upon its own experience. We bring our own expertise to the relationship, going beyond a technology provider and implementing our many years of supply chain experience in the day to day management of the clients operation. Why is that significant? The partnership enabled a 38% increase in loads managed over the last five years with no additional headcount. Additionally, the client has experienced significant success because we have done it together, collectively working toward a common goal to build better supply chains together.
That is just one of many examples of partnerships in the supply chain. Many feel as though the only options are to go at it alone (technology only) or have the partner go at it alone (complete outsource). However, if you’re focused on the long term, even with impacts such as HOS, driver shortages, and port lock downs, etc., together combining your expertise with your partners allows for the greatest opportunity for success..
Chris Timmer is SVP of Marketing & Strategy at LeanLogistics. Chris is responsible for overall strategy and positioning of the LeanLogistics solutions. Chris has over 20 years of experience in transportation and logistics management and has been recognized as a leader in the SaaS solution space.