Author Archive for Chris Jones

If You are a Distributor, Do You Look Like This?

As more of the economy comes back online, distribution-oriented companies find their business in one of the following situations: volumes are up but costs have risen faster or, volumes are down considerably, and they don’t appear to be coming back any time soon. In both cases, the objective is to right-size distribution operations to drive down costs and dramatically improve productivity. Now is the time for distribution companies to look hard at their current fleet strategies, tactics and use of technology to make a step change in operational performance. Here are two ways fleet operators can make a difference.

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How to Mitigate the COVID-19 Impact on Your Supply Chain Operations

We’ve been receiving a number of questions from customers asking how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) on their operations, employees, customers and carriers. The good news is there is a lot that can be done now with your existing logistics and supply chain solutions. You could also quickly take advantage of new ones to be safe and mitigate the financial impact on your business. Here are a few ways you can help […]

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How Much is it Worth to Steer Customers’ Delivery Appointment Choices?

Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the chance to work with companies that have turned home delivery into a competitive advantage or reduced their costs by using counterintuitive strategies and tactics. On a recent trip to Europe, I had a chance to catch up with a customer who, for several years, has been using the concept called the “eco-friendly” delivery option to steer its customers’ delivery choices to improve productivity. The results they shared […]

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Beware of Real-time Transportation Visibility “Big Hat, No Carrier”

Real-time transportation visibility has become a powerful tool for shippers and logistics services providers (LSPs). Because the market is so hot, a number of transportation visibility vendors have entered the space and, to get attention, have made big claims about their tracking capabilities, which are misleading potential users. What we are seeing is a bad case of “Big Hat, No Cattle”. If you haven’t heard the term before, it’s an old Texas saying about making […]

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What happens When Everyone is the “Shipper of Choice”?

The over-the-road capacity challenges of the last year have caused a lot of shippers to rethink their carrier acquisition and retention strategies. While the capacity situation is better than in 2018, the capacity challenge never goes away and carriers across the board have learned to become more particular about which shippers they will do business with. Leading shippers and logistics services providers (LSPs) have realized that price beat down, erratic volumes and poor coordination dramatically […]

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The Elements of a Successful Transportation Management Competency Center

Too many larger transportation projects fail to deliver value over time or end up being scrapped because there was inadequate investment in a long-term post-go-live support and growth strategy. The most successful enterprise-wide transportation management programs don’t stop with the successful rollout of the system. Instead, they go on indefinitely, delivering more business value over time. To sustain and grow their transportation management success, companies need to implement a competency center. This post summarizes the […]

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The 3 Things that Matter in Delivery Productivity

For all who are familiar with the saying “There are 3 things that matter in realty: location, location, location”, there are also 3 “Ls” for delivery productivity: less, less and less. Time is the enemy of delivery productivity and the less loading, less unloading and less driving time spent, the more deliveries can be made. While much emphasis has been spent on minimizing drive times—and more will be covered here—there are tremendous opportunities to minimize […]

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What’s in Your Transportation Execution Solution Strategy?

Transportation execution solutions and, in particular, visibility solutions, are hot. There are a number of macroeconomic factors driving the adoption of transportation execution systems. Technological innovations such as cloud computing, logistics networks and real-time GPS are increasing the importance of transportation execution solutions and redefining how transportation is managed. With all these new capabilities, how can transportation execution solutions help? Here are 6 points to consider. 1. Think “TMS+”. Most transportation management systems (TMS) provide limited execution capabilities (e.g., rating, booking, tracking, document management and settlement) in breadth or depth.

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What Makes A Visibility Project Successful?

With the advancements made in GPS-based real-time tracking of commercial transportation over the last several years, visibility has become a hot topic again. Today, we can know the location of our freight on an almost instant basis and even get accurate predictions of when it will arrive. Recently, I was with a large retail customer who is interested in adding this capability to the visibility solution that they successfully deployed years ago. I am pretty […]

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Mobile Technology Adoption – The Weakest Link in Your Delivery Strategy?

If there was a subject that I should not be writing about now, it’s this one. Mobile applications and technology have advanced considerably. However, too many implementations struggle to rollout successfully because they underestimate the challenges that exist in getting drivers to use it correctly and consistently. This is becoming a critical issue, as Customer Facing Supply Chains rely on accurate and timely data from the mobile devices in the field to enhance the customer […]

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