Amid unpredictable times, we have never seen such an intense focus from the media and economists regarding the dire need to strengthen supply chain operations. Loading your bench with reliable and flexible logistics partners is critical in this environment and should be at the forefront of each supply chain leader’s mind.
At Pegasus, we say “Hello chaos, Meet clutch.” We believe that loyalty is built through execution during times of chaos. Over the last 25 years, we have been solving these types of challenges: lack of visibility, supplier risk, labor planning, and alternative supplier locations are just a few examples. Our battle-tested network, proprietary technology, and best-of-breed solutions are designed to tackle these exact problems every day.
Disruption with your logistics provider is even more impactful during times of supply chain uncertainty. Selecting the right provider during a crisis is an integral part of ensuring an ease in pain from the current situation. In this blog, you will find 6 helpful points in which many of our valued clients and industry experts advise to be crucial in searching for the right partner.
1. Transparency and Continuous Improvement
Simple metrics are now table stakes in today’s world of logistics. Transparency and continuous improvement in your partner’s services and business offerings are vital. At Pegasus, we do this by conducting Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) with our clients. This is an opportunity to learn the customer’s impact of failure so that we in turn can drive exceptional service.
We understand that each of our customers are different; therefore, we customize our QBRs to the client’s needs. QBRs are composed of the following metrics, for example:
- Shipment volumes
- On-time performance
- Billing accuracy
- Claims ratio
- Competitive pricing
- Damage ratio
- Transit time
- Other business opportunities and capabilities
With this transparency from the provider, you now have the collaboration between both parties to deliver that superior client experience you are striving for. Choose a forwarder that will help you reduce risks, facilitate growth, and enhance your brand.
2. Proven Core Competencies
With all the M&A activity in the market today, is bigger really better? Most of our legacy clients and supply chain experts have asked this question, believing that the core competencies of a provider are a better gauge of capability and performance versus size.
Being competitive is a must but having expertise and evidence of quality service in specific service offerings is critical.
- Does the provider have a track record of success in your vertical?
- Does the provider have a history of solving similar logistics challenges?
- Can they prove it with a referenceable client base?
- What is the average tenure of their existing clients in your space or services required?
- What measurables do they use to determine if they are providing a superior client experience?
- Can they describe what a successful experience looks like for their client base?
- Can the provider describe how they recover from an issue of fault? How do they make it right?
Research the provider’s Net Promoter Score to help identify their loyal customers’ willingness to recommend their brand and services.
3. Collaborative Client Support Structure
Understanding your unique business challenges and having the right partner to make your life easier is paramount. Even if the provider has experience in your industry, they must understand that one size does not fit all.
We support many clients that compete in the exact same industries, but their supply chain dynamics require different solutions. Those challenges have a wide range of variance, from packaging challenges to raw material sourcing.
Technological solutions must be adaptable as well. Simple dashboard visibility could be enough for one client, but much more complex solutions for the others. What type of client service model will be utilized? The quality of your operations support team is integral to sustaining an ongoing, collaborative and supportive environment.
Challenge your potential provider on their support structure and the culture within their organization.
The bottom line is… the right technology and people will make your life easier.
4. Smooth Onboarding Process
We understand that the cost of change is very important to customers. Change is difficult but can be made easier with thoughtful transition practices.
What processes does the provider have in place in for a seamless and successful transition? Do they have a dedicated onboarding team? Many important factors play into a smooth onboarding process, including:
- IT integrations
- Routing guide changes
- Freight payment audit processes
- Network configuration
- Handling instructions
When reaching out to your potential new forwarder’s references, make the onboarding process a point of conversation. A smooth transition is not easy and should be well thought of and executed between both parties’ transition teams.
5. A Flexible and Trustworthy Network
Having a strong, battle-tested network that is heavy on visibility, provides the reliability and consistency everyone desires. At Pegasus, our ideal clients need a flexible and trustworthy network that can scale capacity and meet stringent service requirements at a moment’s notice. To learn more about the forwarder’s network, ask the following questions:
- How flexible are their network options?
- What is the dynamic between the forwarder and its partners?
- Do they help improve cost efficiencies?
- Does the network provide real-time visibility and accuracy with status updates?
- How does their network limit touchpoints for high value, highly susceptible to damage product types?
- What examples of supporting clients in a crisis can they reference?
Find a forwarder that has developed partnerships with the carriers that benefits both parties. We believe that your partners are a vital resource and a frontline representation of your company. At Pegasus, we are committed to establishing a network of dedicated partners that provide our customers with the same quality of service that we uphold.
Forwarders must maintain a network with the capability for non-static supply chain changes which is essential in today’s world.
6. Managing the Exceptions
How often has a relationship gone sour over a significant service interruption or high-value claim? Reality is, nobody is perfect and anyone who says their execution is flawless should immediately be questioned as a viable option. Claims, damages, or a lost shipment should be minimal but will eventually happen.
- Does the forwarder make it a difficult process to file or assist you in how to quickly get paid?
- How many Service Logistics Agreement (SLA) penalties have been paid out due to service failures?
- SLA failures bring a new dynamic to qualifying carriers. A reduction in failures will reduce your overall budget and maintain high satisfaction with key stakeholders.
- How does the forwarder respond when those failures occur?
We make it a priority to surround ourselves with thought leaders to help our stakeholders navigate these potentially treacherous waters. During times of supply chain uncertainty or when you are thinking of making a change in your provider, select a freight forwarder that checks off these six points.
Below is a free consultation with our leaders and solutions team to help you work through your most complex supply chain challenges. Mention this free offer in the email and we will get back to you shortly.