Recalling the question from last week... How often are we seeing "Big Data" referenced in every day business?
So how can you use Freight Data to make better Business decisions for your company?
Let's turn our focus to Logistics and Supply Chain and discuss this burning questions that data may be able to help us resolve!
Logistics and Supply Chain
1. We know we need to store goods on the West Coast... Where is the best place to open a facility?
First of all, what prompted the idea to "store goods on the West Coast?" New customer, shipping more to West Coast? Are we better off consolidating truckloads to a distribution point or leasing space or contracting a 3PL? Data...
Meanwhile, if we do find delivery times and freight expense demand a new facility, where should it be? Which carriers will provide the transit times and cost to make the project succeed?
To make this decision, you need not only projections, but also historical data to model the system. Can you take all of last years shipments and re-route from 3 or 4 origins? Maybe Salt Lake City is a better option than Southern California? Without data, you can't make a meaningful argument.
2. XYZ Carrier is demanding an increase... how is that going to impact us?
Not only do we need to evaluate the impact, we need to be able to meaningfully respond to the carrier in an effort to mitigate that request.
Are we responding to the carrier, "how can you do that? We've only been working together for 6 months and you are already..." or "how can you do that? I thought things were so good!" That's not going to cut it. Wouldn't you rather tell that carrier, "Appreciate that, but in the last six months, you received 350 BOLs... with this change, you are going to get 22. If you were to only increase by Y%, you would keep 250 BOLs..."
This same evaluation allows the view of "what's the real impact?" Using data, you can report the exact monthly, quarterly or annual impact in dollars on your firm. You can also predict exactly which carrier will pick up the difference. That can be useful to prepare for the change or even use as leverage to possibly improve pricing on the lanes the carrier could add.
3. With record high Freight Volumes and never before seen Capacity Shortages, what changes can we make to maintain high levels of customer service and steady flow of materials for our production?
Reading the latest issue of whatever supply chain or transportation news you choose, can spark serious concerns:
* How are we going to find a truck?
* Do we need to bill our customers for these new Accessorials?
* Can we continue our just-in-time materials management without interrupting production?
* Should we extend our dock hours to accommodate carriers?
Nothing provokes change faster than pain; but lets not confuse pain with fear! Pain is real, fear is a potential for pain. Lets use data to measure the significance of the pain or reality of the fear.
We can use data to measure the impact of every concern mentioned above.
* How often are we actually delaying shipments due to inability to secure capacity?
* How many failures by carriers handling our inbound materials have we actually endured this quarter vs a year ago?
These are only a sampling of questions that can be answered using historical shipping data; I'm guessing you've thought of a few on your own?!
Do you have the tools to not only store, but also manipulate data to answer those burning questions? If not, it may be time for a conversation. Click on the link to the right and schedule some time with me to discuss.