Based on research, there are a lot of changes US manufacturers will need to make to stay on top in their respective industries and continue to compete in a global market in 2018 and beyond. The innovators will edge out the competition and continue to succeed. Your shipping spend is a bellwether tied directly to your company’s success and it oftentimes gets overlooked.
Here are some of the most important things to consider when looking at shipping in the manufacturing environment:
- Cutting-edge technology:
Data is king. Without access to your data, you simply “don’t know what you don’t know.” How am I trending? What did my shipping spend look like last year at this time? Where are the outliers? These along with many more questions are something manufacturers should have answers to at their fingertips. If you don’t, you’re not maximizing your opportunities and finding savings that you would be missing otherwise.
- Spend management:
Ongoing monitoring is required in the freight world to make sure your spending doesn’t spiral out of control. Carriers take increases, and that is a fact that won’t change. The question lies in what is being done to manage that process. Are there monitors in place that can offset those inevitable increases? Are there other options being considered if they cannot be offset within reason? These questions are vital to maximizing your shipping budget.
- Process improvement:
We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting different results. It’s not uncommon that a lot of key elements that can be streamlined go unnoticed. How is the order management process tied into freight, or is it? How are the thousands of freight bills being managed? What systems are in place to allow the shipping department to move freight? Are there still manual and laborious processes that can be improved upon? There are soft savings associated with each process improvement and every one should be explored.
As we head into 2018, these are all important things for manufacturers to consider to help them stay at the forefront. Ultimately it comes down to three things that need to come together: people, processes, and technology.
If you’d like to talk to experts that can provide guidance, FreightWise is here to help. You can count on our hundreds of years of combined experience to provide you with solutions that can help keep you on the front line and focused on your core business.