Shippers want to optimize their orders and manage events more tightly than their competition, observes Jordan Kass, general manager of the Transportation Management Division of C.H. Robinson (www.chrobinson.com). Kass works with shippers and manufacturers with special focus on the transportation management piece of event management.
“In terms of optimization, what it really comes down to is density. For example, if you have a small amount of orders versus a larger amount that could fit on a truck — if you have a larger universe of orders — there's more opportunity to save money, because you can create larger pieces of freight and ship them at a lower price point. Density is necessary for maximum optimization.”
There are hierarchies in optimization, Kass points out. “Look at less-than-truckload (LTL) optimization. One of the things third-party logistics providers (3PLs) bring to the table is that now, for the first time, companies don't have to evaluate LTL opportunities to create truckloads in isolation. 3PLs can aggregate the market and create a denser network that offers more opportunity than they would have if they evaluated their transportation in isolation.”
Kass views event management as a mixture of people, process and technology. The aim is to have technology automate as much as possible — catching as many meaningful events as possible — and bring exceptions to customers with the right processes to manage them.
Shippers must ask what they really want, adds Kass. They have to ask themselves what are their core competencies. “Most times as shippers evaluate their orders, they do so from their own dock looking out. That upstream piece is important, but they also need to look downstream to their customer's dock or their own distribution center dock and look back. It may be simplistic sounding, but it is something that many companies neglect to do.”