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Supplychain

How is your 3PL delivering on their proposed solutions?

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“If you sell on price, you lose on price.” is typically a line that is used inside the walls of BlueGrace. Price is a very important factor in transportation in this trillion dollar industry where there is billions of dollars of waste. Inefficient supply chain consultation, technology, and pricing keeps companies from not growing as fast as they should, and keeps business top line revenue down. In our recent blog “Keep the main thing, the main thing” we told you how keeping your focus on your business should be the most important thing and to leave transportation to the experts. We have seen some lacking proposals from competitors in our space. We want to give you a few pointers in what to look for in a transportation management proposal.

Does the proposal focus on your needs?

In the lead up to this proposal there should be needs you current do not have such as reporting, business intelligence, claims management, auditing, GRI management, as well as others. If these items or others business issues were brought up in the initial talks then they should be on the proposal.

Are solutions proposed explained in how they will be executed?

Companies can say they can do anything and numbers can be bent to make sense. The entity that needs to understand how these numbers and solutions proposed made the proposal page are the business owners and stake holders. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how everything is supposed to take place and when. This takes us to our next suggestion.

Is there a timeline?

9 times out of 10 changing transportation providers is not easy. Large clients have business systems and processes in place. It is up to the 3pl to figure out how to fit those systems to make transportation a seamless business function, rather than a burden. When the proposal is delivered there should be a timeline of when and what happens. Is there an integration schedule? When are the 3pl implementation representatives or IT employees supposed to be on site at your location? When is the “go-live” date? These are a few of the very important items to make sure a 3pl can deliver on a proposed solution.

The focus should be on the business

These are a few very important factors in grading a transportation proposal. The focus should be on the business and the business should understand everything that is going to happen and how the 3pl got there. BlueGrace prides itself on delivering proposals and making them happen. Reach out today to learn how we can become a supply chain partner today.

 

Business Boondoggle: Multiple Business Units with Unaligned Transportation Strategy.

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Businesses with multiple units employing different processes for the same task are NOT running lean or effective. It’s easy to get this way. Start-ups enjoy rapid success. Acquisitions are made. Technology is rapidly evolving. The skill set of the workforce changes. The result of which is that you end up using multiple systems, processes and even vendors to solve a single business problem. The business implications are far reaching and too often the executive suite or business owners are not privy to them.

Even when a need and benefit are identified, execution requires more complexity.

Whereas there is often a technology solution to the business problem or problems to increase efficiency and streamline productivity, it is not always understood. Technology often involves a subject matter expert in both the innovation and the problem it is intended to solve. Technology solutions are often misunderstood. More often than not – the business problem itself is misunderstood. Even when a need and benefit are identified, execution requires more complexity. This could include infrastructure, capital investment, training and most of all – change management. Poor Change Management is the single greatest threat to technology innovation and implementation.

During the sales process there are typically multiple detractors. They can come from all over the organization. “I do not like change,” Is the statement sales people hear most often. However, change is key to helping businesses run effective and lean. Change is critical to staying ahead of competition. And most of all change is inevitable, and should not be left alone in the hands of anyone not directly and greatly affected by the outcome.

Here are key issues facing businesses not already benefiting from a transportation and technology provider

  1. Visibility and Reporting. Without technology visibility is the hardest thing to management. Many shippers that do not utilize transportation technology typically have no key performance indicators nor know if their locations utilize a LCC (least cost carrier) program. BlueGrace is able to build a hierarchy to have each location reportable to a top tier level. Reports are limitless and business specific. Reports are built to see items like if your end users are choosing the least cost carrier or not, what is your price per pound or percentage of freight as a sale cost, and how those items are trending.
  2. Not negotiating pricing or GRI’s with full buying power: When a business has multiple units shipping with a number of different carriers and different rate structures the full price negotiation power of the organization is not being used. The pricing is being determined on a pure location spend basis and based on the skill and knowledge base of the decision maker on site at each location. BlueGrace takes all of the information from all of the locations and brings it to our key partner carriers to get tariffs for the entire organization to use. This makes things such as GRI (general rate increase) and KPI (key performance indicator) management so much easier.
  3. Consolidated Billing and Invoice Audit. When multiple business units manage their own freight and price negotiation this means there are freight bills flying around at a fast pace. If a bill goes to the individual unit to be approved, and then sent to corporate for payment how long does that process take? With a number or different carriers and billing times and schedules this has to be a business boondoggle. BlueGrace sends one consolidated invoice per week. This can be sent to multiple end users and is customizable. We also pre audit these bills to also save you time rather than having to perform this practice yourself.

 

These are a FEW of the issues facing businesses with multiple units doing multiple different processes. Please reach out today so we can help you run your business more profitably and effectively. This is our main thing.

 

“Keep the main thing, the main thing”

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BlueGrace Logistics CEO Bobby Harris is fond of saying “Keep the main thing, the main thing. BlueGrace employees embody, promote, live and breathe the Core Values. The most important core value of the employees themselves? #2 Be Caring of Others. It’s the people at BlueGrace that make it a great place to work. It’s the people that drive everyone to deliver their best and to be their best. It’s then also the people who carry these values into their interactions with prospects, customers and partners. Transportation and Supply Chain Management is what BlueGrace does – and does well. But the “Main Thing” is the company culture – the people themselves. If we were ever to stray from the main thing, our performance would suffer in all areas. So every day we focus on keeping the main thing, the main thing.

 

Transportation and supply chain management are simply a parts of manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and e-commerce businesses in the United States. Each company has their core business offering – their main thing. And like us, if they stray from their main thing, their performance suffers in all areas.

 

So, how can our Main Thing allow you to focus on your Main Thing?

 

  • Our Employees.
    • We are built with industry veterans in key departments such as the C-Level suite, carrier relations, and pricing. A positive attitude is so vital to performance that it counts as 50% of job performance reviews. We do not hire unhappy people.
  • Technology and Integration:
    • Technology needs continue to evolve, and so does our technology. We outspend anyone else in our space on IT. Our BlueShip TMS is user friendly and easy on a transactional basis, it also is able to support large level client engagements and can plug into different ERP, e-commerce, and WMS systems.
  • Customer and supply chain engineering:
    • Through collaboration with our customers and through needs analysis we present a total supply chain solution. We look for current inefficiencies and gather data to send to our pricing team to present both hard and soft cost savings.
  • Proactive and daily support:
    • We see our roles as an extension of your own customer service. We send tracking, reporting, and pre invoice auditing to you as value adds as no cost to you. We are your advocate to the carriers, so you can run your business and not have to think about dealing with multiple people at multiple carriers on a daily basis.
  • Scale-ability
    • We are a private business with no debt or no stake holders to answer to. We can take on the largest of customer and projects along with hiring staff as need be to fulfill customer needs. We work with a large variety of customers and unique partnerships in our industry.
  • Franchise offering
    • We have the strongest franchise offering in our space. Logistics is a one trillion + industry per year and is over 8% of US GDP. We have low start up fees, as well as industry best training and support. You can find out more at BlueGraceFranchise.com

 

Please let us know how we can help you “Keep your main thing, the main thing” today.