Over the course of the last two years, supply chains have faced unprecedented constraints which have resulted in long lead times on many types of materials, goods, and products. The imbalance between supply and demand has left all industries feeling the effect of delays and interruptions. In an already strained economic landscape, this makes customer fulfillment more challenging than ever before.
The main focus for many companies at the moment is on expanding their distribution chain and seeking to enhance their multicarrier management strategy.
And while carrier management is integral to scalability and growth, there are some challenges to account for.
Challenges With the Multicarrier Management Strategy
Adequate customer fulfillment relies on effective distribution and on-time delivery. However, there is a multitude of factors that can affect both efficiency and timely fulfillment. Below are some of the top challenges most companies tend to run into with regard to their multicarrier management strategy:
Budgetary Compliance- Increasing carrier rates make it difficult to remain within budgetary compliance. These hikes are usually arbitrary and attributed to volume spikes. Demand fluctuation and carrier capacity can make budgeting for distribution a challenging affair to navigate.
Performance Monitoring - While having a large pool of carriers available is beneficial to a distribution chain, keeping track and monitoring performance becomes more complex and difficult.
Shipment Reliability - Consumer expectations have increased over the last few years as they are expecting products to arrive faster and faster. This is usually attributed to the rise in e-commerce giants such as Amazon that have set somewhat of a new standard. Multicarrier management is not immune to delays or interruptions as there are more variables on the table and this can slow fulfillment processes considerably.
Re-visioning Your Multi-Carrier Management Strategy
Striving to fill in the gaps of your distribution process can only further benefit you. Your multicarrier management strategy is integral, so looking into methods of optimizing it is key to driving operational efficiency.
Here are four tips to optimize your multicarrier management strategy:
Identifying Needs - First and foremost, you need to identify what is important to both you and your customer. You also need to develop an understanding of your current transportation process. Examine this area closely and identify areas of weakness. Evaluate and analyze shipment requirements, carrier mix, fulfillment times, and ultimately the financial impact of these requirements. This is where having a set of supply chain benchmarks in place comes in helpful.
Network Expansion and Relationship Building - Visibility is key when dealing with the client and partner alike. You should have a clear visual of your entire distribution process. This can be established through building a positive rapport with suppliers, vendors, carrier services, and further expanding your network. A strong network can aid in developing a plan for the future and preparing for any unforeseen obstacles.
Carrier Selection - Identifying your needs and continuing to expand your network can help in leading you to the right carrier. Factor in all of the attributes that you deem important. This includes carrier rates, reliability, or other essential components needed to be enforced through contract management.
Technology Implementation - Getting rid of manual processes and streamlining your multicarrier management strategy can easily take your operation to the next level. It can enable automation of the assigning of loads, more precise tracking of KPIs, and help increase efficiency through the simple reduction of human error. Centralized data systems such as a transportation management system (TMS) can establish the thorough insight needed to achieve operational visibility as well as forecasted objectives.
Optimizing Your Multi-Carrier Management Strategy With RedwoodConnect
Unless you specialize in freight distribution, you may find the management of multiple carriers to be a daunting and complex task. This is especially true if you are keeping track of all material movement through paper or excel spreadsheets. If you are seeking to optimize your multi-carrier management strategy, RedwoodConnect can help. Our TMS platform can establish the framework and foundation needed to get you started.
RedwoodConnect provides the connectivity and visibility you need to efficiently and cost-effectively move your freight from end to end. Take control of your multi-carrier management strategy and continue scaling to the growth you desire with RedwoodConnect.