In recent Accenture research, Logistics Service: Full Service. Full Stop, nine out of ten logistics companies believe their customers want them to offer a broader set of logistics services.
The research found that in addition to reliability, last-mile delivery capabilities, 24/7 customer support and instant quoting, logistic customers want to team with a trusted provider that delivers new services such as advisory and supply chain consulting services, reverse logistics, data and analytics capabilities, e-commerce channel management capabilities and even algorithms that match demand and supply.
So for logistic companies, this means either extending their service portfolios to include upstream and/or downstream solutions or expanding their existing services across more geographies, industries or modes of transport.
While this could present an issue for logistics companies that have built their reputations on the delivery of targeted services such as freight forwarding, transport or customs brokerage, notes the authors of an article discussing the report. "But it also presents a tremendous opportunity to rethink the scope and end-to-end nature of their services and create a more customer-focused approach to service delivery."
To help companies integrate and expand their offerings the authors suggested these four steps:
1. Understand the drivers of change
Companies need to understand what customers want, what their competitors are doing and assess the main drivers for change in demand.
2. Assess change-readiness
Logistics companies must assess their existing capabilities and identify the service gaps they must fill to add the most value to their customers.
3. Formulate an integration strategy
Logistics providers need to determine whether their goals will be best addressed through vertical integration, horizontal expansion, or both.
4. Execute the new strategy
Logistics companies must take several critical actions to launch and sustain their expanded business model.