Nurturing a good relationship with partners is pivotal in freight procurement, but in hectic times such as these, ironclad customer loyalty can be the difference between whether a shipper or logistics company is in the red or the black. That said, maintaining strong partnerships in freight procurement can be easier said than done.
With that, here are a few missteps that shippers and logistics companies need to avoid so that they can put their best foot forward when looking to build long-term, sustainable relationships.
Transparency has long been one of the foremost issues in freight procurement. For example, real-time data is central to making the best decisions possible today, yet, brokers and other third-party vendors routinely only provide an infinitesimal amount of data to shippers. This undercuts trust and doesn’t set the stage for a long-term partnership. Therefore, companies that provide transparency to customers stand in far better stead than those that do not.
Partners always want to feel like a relationship is strong and driving great results. Unfortunately, in freight procurement, oftentimes companies settle for current success instead of always trying to improve. For example, instead of looking to cut freight costs, even more, vendors will rest on their laurels and not try to drive further savings for their customers. This is a huge mistake. Relationships are dynamic, not static, and therefore partners need to constantly think about how they can continue to innovate and break new ground.
Clear KPIs and Targets
No two partner’s KPIs are exactly the same in freight procurement. However, there is often misalignment in terms of what exactly should be judged as success and why. This misunderstanding creates ripples among partners and can lead to ineffective partnerships. To prevent this, partnerships need to be founded on a clearly outlined set of KPIs and success metrics that are collaboratively tweaked based on ongoing feedback, market conditions, and other factors. This allows for a constant flow of both feedback and goal alignment that can strengthen a partnership and allow for a more symbiotic relationship.