A good transportation network requires a strategic symphony of well-managed resources uniquely crafted to fit the specific needs of a business. However, work-around processes are often put in place to meet unanticipated customer demands. This can cause inefficiencies and result in an unproductive environment of misaligned resources and processes. The supply chain becomes complicated, and inefficiencies can afflict the business for years to come.
The execution of a good transportation network begins with four questions:
1) Is our transportation network simple, stable, and consistent?
Individually these three conditions are important but not as impactful as when they are working in concert. When unified, they form a powerful strategy that can transform an inefficient supply chain. Simplifying processes aids in productivity, reduces man hours, and decreases overall transportation-related cost. The emphasis becomes laser focused on income-producing activities that can be duplicated again and again to create a stable and consistent supply chain process.
2) Do we have the right technology to keep pace with our distribution network?
The world is constantly changing, and technology is at the forefront of the evolution. While integrating a new system might seem challenging, you may no longer have the luxury to wait another budget cycle. Customers demand shorter wait times, better quality products, and customer service experiences to match. Satisfying these demands requires visibility across your supply chain and real-time customizations that will keep your brand in a positive light and at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
3) Are our drivers properly trained and equipped to be a great representation of our brand?
Drivers are so much more than just people driving trucks. Drivers are the physical representation of your brand and should have skillsets that compliment what your company symbolizes. Unfortunately hiring and retaining drivers is challenging and costly. With high turnover rates as the norm, finding and retaining good drivers could quickly tie up your resources leaving other parts of your business unattended.
4) Should we manage our supply chain efforts in-house or outsource?
While the prospect of managing your transportation network may sound like a good idea, you could find yourself dealing with uncalculated risks, unaccounted man-hours, and unanticipated costs. The idea of outsourcing can be worrisome as you may feel a loss of control. It is important to thoroughly vet potential partners before allowing them into your business. Speak with their previous clients. Learn about their internal processes. Validate their driver recruiting, training, and retention programs. Make sure they do not approach your business with a cookie-cutter solution. Every transportation network is unique and requires a design built specifically for each business.
Asking these questions before implementing changes can make the difference in the viability of your distribution network, impacting your bottom line and the quality of service delivered to your customers.
Cardinal solves complex mill-to-farm and retailer challenges
Learn how we helped one of the largest animal feed distributors in the US answer these questions and more resulting in:
- An increase in network and driver productivity
- A flexible network design that matched demand surges
- Greater visibility and control over the entire network to deliver better service and aid in decision making
View our interactive Agribusiness case study or download our Agribusiness Infographic for more details.
To learn how Cardinal can help improve your transportation network, give us a call at 704-789-2071.