Setting Up Your Transportation Team For Success
Transportation is much more than the physical movement of goods to the end customer. Ensuring that the entire transportation team is set up to succeed is crucial, and spans across the entire administrative team as well as drivers and the warehouse team. Considerations for setting up for success begin as early as the onboarding process and carry all the way through to finalizing fulfillment with the end customer. Keep reading to discover some of the best practices that our team recommends.
Within the various stages of the transportation process, you can use many human or technological processes to ensure optimal operation levels. The onboarding process is a very crucial first stage that may not be immediately clear as a stage in the transportation process, but should never be overlooked.
As mentioned above, onboarding may not be immediately recognizable as a crucial stage in the transportation process. However, this is the all-important first step. Here you can meet with your customer and confirm key factors of the transportation process such as:
- Setting and managing expectations
- Establishing physical processes and technical requirements
- Developing KPIs and measurement tools
- Clearly defining roles and responsibilities on each side
- Establishing a process for support and escalation
Clearly defining these key areas sets up the transportation process for success before a single piece of product is ever handled. Delivery windows, KPI support requirements, and more are all considerations that must be discussed and understood by both parties during the onboarding process.
Some important KPIs to consider monitoring include; sales order fill rate, returns, perfect order rate, average shopping times, and more. The specific KPIs you choose to track can depend on the specific operational procedures of your customers, which circles back to the importance of clear communication in the onboarding process.
Once your team and your customers have a clear understanding of how the transportation process should operate, it is time to ensure the management of said process is optimized as well.
Managing your transportation process is about creating a seamless connection between all facets of getting products from A to B. This includes the various stages of your warehouse operation from procurement and receiving, to picking and packing. Utilizing a variety of hardware and software, you can gain a high level of visibility in the transportation and final mile side of things that can help you and your customer better understand how operations are working. Some technologies to consider include:
A Warehouse Management System allows those within the warehouse to easily manage the entire throughput of inventory throughout their operation, from inbound to outbound and everything in between.
A Transportation Management System, paired with IoT sensors and route optimization technology, allows for drivers to work along the optimal paths in order to get customers their products on time, and in their ideal conditions.
A Yard Management System allows for higher coordination of inbound and outbound vehicles coming to and from your operation, creating a more seamless flow for product entering and exiting your operation.
A Digital Control Tower acts as the main hub for your admin team to monitor your transportation process. Allowing them to see every aspect of your transportation network in real time, making it much easier to react when action is needed.
This leads to another important step which is creating an ongoing review process with your customers to give both parties a chance to bring up any areas where optimization could be achieved, or any processes that may need adjustments in order to meet standards set forth in the onboarding process.
Ongoing monitoring of your transportation process allows you and your team to consistently review and optimize the process as a whole.
Monitoring your transportation process isn’t simply about gathering data and reporting it back to the customer. Monitoring includes areas such as:
- Risk assessment and management
- Ongoing support triage and escalation
- Assessments on mitigating wasted time and resources
Mitigating wasted time and resources allows your team to optimize for the future. If a certain issue with your transportation team occurs on a regular basis, it may mean you have to change a process in order to avoid this issue from occurring. Monitoring can also bring to light areas in which more training may be needed if the team isn’t experienced with the technology they are using.
Setting up your transportation team for success comes down to developing a mutual understanding between your team and your customers. Understanding what is required by them, and having them understand how your team can meet those needs, as well as any limitations you may have, is crucial to providing a transportation experience with no unwanted surprises or errors. By creating this understanding, and using tools and technologies to optimize the various stages of the process, your team can set up, manage, and monitor the process optimally.
Routeique has the team and technologies to optimize your transportation network to its fullest extent. We provide a level of visibility and insight unprecedented in the supply chain industry, and our team has the know-how to take that data and create a seamless connection through all aspects of your network.