For all freight forwarders today, the key to success often comes down to planning and preparing correctly for whatever deviations and issues may occur along the supply chain network. Building a robust freight forwarding system and support a freight forwarding network is an essential part of the puzzle. Yes, it is easier said than done. But it is also often what separates the successful freight forwarding companies from those struggling during these unprecedented times.
Here are some of the top features your freight forwarding system needs to include to be efficient and successful.
Cross-Platform and Cross-Metric Management
In response to obstacles and drastic changes to customer demands, a robust cross-platform management plan is essential. Cross-metric operations also help to complement the freight forwarding system and help it perform as efficiently as possible. In today’s day and age, you need to know what actions to take, when, and from who – even when that “who” might be another platform or perhaps working with another colleague on your team.
Automation and Digitalized Analysis
It’s almost to be expected that some aspect of the supply chain will include some level of automation. To survive in the industry today, freight forwarding systems must be automated and digitized to keep up with trends and industry growth.
After all, automation is the steppingstone to additional advanced functions, including management by exception, robotics process automation (RPA), and much more to build resiliency.
It all goes back to the use of data analytics in the network. And according to JOC.com, “Big data is obviously one of the critical success factors; the more collected real-time data available, the more value and optimization are put into supply chains. However, the challenge for companies is to be able to cope with this huge amount of data. A new generation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) is expected to come that shall include more AI features and connected devices to cope with predictive analytics in demand planning, real-time planning adjustment, scenario planning, and advanced profit optimization schedules.”
SaaS Technology to Help Overcome Obstacles
The technology is being utilized in freight forwarding systems, and today’s automated platforms are changing how the industry responds to obstacles and problems. Global supply chains must be able to respond to delays, issues, and customer complaints quickly.
And part of that demand means using the same systems regardless of location. In other words, cloud-based platforms that rely on software-as-a-service (SaaS) models can unify your network and reduce barriers to efficiency. And they achieve this feat at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining digital freight forwarding system platforms in-house.
Last, and most importantly, SaaS represents conducting business on the terms of your customer, which is often what great relationships and clients boil down to. You would be surprised as to how many shippers and clients of yours also value the same transparency and tech advantages that you do. This comes down to the unique “value,” you and your team bring to the table – and if you can help them, you ultimately help yourself.
Improved Chain Visibility and Connectedness
With new advances in technology and a healthy, renewed focus on freight forwarding system platforms, it becomes possible for shippers to improve visibility and connectivity. The improved productivity ensures all parties are on the same page from start to finish. As an example, your freight forwarding technology should aggregate and share data collected from IoT-enabled sensors and third-party supply chain partnerships too.
Please keep in mind though, that the more “independent” of a freight forwarding company you are, the more weary you should be with integrations. Think, “is this something my customer would want to have?”, and ask them! Don’t integrate just to integration, but do so in specific areas that provide concrete value to the customer.
Fast and Accurate Data Sharing
Although connectivity leads to increased visibility, it deserves its own mention. By embracing automated data sharing, every team member and third-party member can stay in the loop throughout the forwarding process. A robust freight forwarding system is a much-needed trend that forwarding and tracking industries can significantly benefit from and enable management by exception.
Think about the ease of use of popular technology and features such as the Amazon or Alibaba logistics timeline, or the DHL or FedEx tracking number. They’ve been around for a while now, and provide value to each party that needs to know whats happening with their shipment, in very easy ways. There are no logins required even. Seek out solutions that work just as easy with clients who don’t want to remember another password. Use platforms so good that the shipper actually wants to sign up and create an account for the added benefits.
Features that allow you to copy, paste, and transmit valuable data should always be a part of your digital customer experience strategy.
Promotion of Management by Exception
A well-implement freight forwarding system allows drivers, shippers, and workers throughout the chain the power to fulfill their work or projects. The manage by exception method of management makes data more application and shareable. Have a system of alerts and notifications to help you deal with all of the commercial day-to-day operations will allow you to operate more strategically at scale while driving revenue and profitability.
Efficient Planning Stats to Handle Deviations
Freight forwarding systems should be designed to predict deviations by applying real-time data and analytics to see trends and optional areas of concern within the chain. It can help forwarders maintain their competitive advantage through it all. Additionally, analytics insights should be meaningful, presented in near-real-time, and actionable to promote the most substantial ROI. If you do not have the tech teams or budget (as most independent forwarders do not), we encourage you to try to seek out members of your community or engage consultants to support your organization. Arming your people with the ability to proactively respond to deviations and exceptions will help you succeed.
User-Friendly Lines of Communication
Faster responses to questions and concerns should be a primary focus of freight forwarding systems. Such a focus makes the entire supply chain more potent and more efficient. Keeping up a good rapport with customers and clients is more straightforward, too, with access to a good platform. And a good platform means one that is easy to navigate, log key data and events across offices/departments, and being able to search for past events by internal reference numbers and tools. Bonus points for being able to extending your existing team with chat-like capabilities.
Build a Strong Freight Forwarding System With Help From the Experts
Get everything you want and need, and expect in one convenient package today by trusting the freight forwarding experts. To see how easy it can be to set up the perfect system platform for your freight forwarding needs, sign up for Cargologik.