How to improve your supply chain visibility with workforce optimization

Ryan Mann
November 21, 2022

Remember that movie, Jerry Mcguire?  If you recall, the famous scene where Jerry starts screaming “show me the money” repeatedly. It was what Jerry had to do to retain at least one athlete when starting out on his own. Rod needed Jerry to show him the money to know he was making the right decision for his career. Like Rod, your customers are begging you to show them the goods. They need supply chain visibility.

Show Me the Goods

Supply Chain Visibility is a tough one to crack. It’s not just implementing a TMS or tracking tool. That’s certainly part of it, but supply chain visibility goes further than tools. It needs to be embedded in how the business operates to really differentiate your customer experience from the less savvy competition. To achieve supply chain visibility, businesses need to move away from just tracking where things are to a more valuable deliverable - how things are going.

Today’s business landscape is changing quickly. With talks of recession, there’s a strategic shift in focus from “growth at all costs” to frugality, doubling down on what’s working and driving real business value, and meeting customer demands. Here are some of the things real supply chain visibility can give your customers:

  • Supply chain resiliency  
  • Real time decision making
  • Improve supplier or partner relationships  
  • Improve customer experience
  • Create internal/operational efficiencies  
  • Cost control

One of the main points of impact visibility has on a business is customer experience. It’s easy to forget that your customers must deliver on their own promises, and your business plays a vital role in that. When the experience provided to them by partners and vendors isn’t top-notch, it can lead to disruptions. In a world where customer experience is vital to business stability if you don’t deliver one that’s positive it is unlikely, you’ll have the opportunity to do so again.

The Challenges of Delivering Supply Chain Visibility

Make no mistake, there is a reason why companies struggle to deliver on this consistently and efficiently.  

  1. A lack of the right tools
  1. A lack of the right processes
  1. A lack of resources to scale new initiatives  

While this might seem like something that simply can’t take priority right now, it would be unwise to not evaluate and continuously improve upon the kind of visibility being offered to customers. It can be the difference between meeting SLA’s and not. This could very well be why your best customers stay and new customers come in during times of belt tightening.  

Workforce Optimization

To achieve any kind of successful change, businesses must bring people, processes, and technology into strategic alignment by engaging in the process of Workforce Optimization. The goal is to maximize customer experience and minimize operational costs. This process can be applied to almost any business function, but visibility in transportation is a great place to start.  

The cradle-to-grave model is a staple in the transportation and logistics industry. The limitations are glaringly obvious though. Brokers and shippers are still people who have lives. 24/7 customer care is difficult to attain in the non-stop world we live in, and with multiple customers moving countless loads per day, the broker cannot focus on problem-solving efficiently nor stay in constant communication with the customer. For example, a 3PL (third party logistics) may consider making changes to a few areas in the business to meet customer expectations and deliver on SLA’s:  

  1. Track and Trace Teams
  1. Seamless carrier communication tools like TextLocate
  1. Improved processes to better meet SLA’s

The Benefits of Workforce Optimization

By creating alignment between people, processes, and technology companies can win no matter the direction of the economic winds. Workforce optimization is the people and power behind your big ideas. Some of the ways this process improves visibility and customer experience are:  

  1. Improve customer relations
  1. Improve productivity for employees
  1. Improve efficiency
  1. Meet SLA’s
  1. Minimize the operational costs associated with these programs

Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a great case study of how one of our customers ramped up their visibility and customer experience.

The End Goal  

Visibility should ultimately lead to one place - transparency. Transparency is the subtle and impactful art of “giving clarity to each situation as you can,” according to Chris Brewer of River City Logistics. Transparency is what customers demand, and visibility is an essential pillar in meeting that demand.

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Ryan Mann is the director of Lean Marketing. A great strategist and experienced marketer that has worked in agencies, freelance, and business marketing. He is driven by using marketing to connect people with their goals, and helping businesses grow. His biggest motivation is his family and turning amazing ideas into reality for businesses. With passion and hard work has led each member of his team, promoting their best qualities, building team confidence, and amazing team collaboration. Ryan is a fervent writer, he delights in blogs, essays, short stories, songs, and Haiku. Mr. Mann studied General Studies and has 3 minors in Psychology, Sociology, and Human Resources Development.

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