Freight Market Competency Drives Transportation Success, Reduces Costs and Improves Service

By Matt Harding | Vice President, Freight Market Intelligence Today’s business environment is dynamic and becomes more so each day. How customers interact with supply chains...


By Matt Harding | Vice President, Freight Market Intelligence


Today’s business environment is dynamic and becomes more so each day. How customers interact with supply chains is evolving quickly and driving shifts in corporate expectations. Transportation performance is key to achieving competitive differentiation due to its direct impact on customer facing service levels. Emerging trends like omni-channel fulfillment, growth in mergers and acquisitions, and general economic growth are continuously increasing the visibility of transportation strategy, providing competitive advantage for leaders and punishing laggards.

Stemming from the sheer quantity and availability of data, expectations of its productive use are accelerating as quickly as customer demands are changing. Modern companies have access to more supply chain data today than ever before. That supply chain data, however, requires a great deal of cleaning and analysis to generate actionable information and data scientists, particularly those with specialties in transportation, are in short supply. It’s simply unrealistic to expect most companies to be experts in analyzing freight market data. Most are in the business of executing their plans, procurement, and measuring outcomes with only periodic forecasting (guessing) to support next year’s transportation budget targets.

All companies understand their individual transportation networks; but that leaves a huge blind spot: quantitative freight market knowledge. That’s a situation akin to experiencing only your own product, or talking exclusively to existing customers and ignoring all others. The overall transportation market matters, and the future belongs to those who know where it is, where it is going, and how it affects them.

Members of the Chainalytics’ Freight Market Intelligence Consortium (FMIC) gain unique market-based competencies that enable them to reduce transportation costs, improve customer service, and support supply chain transformation through a truly unique view of the transportation marketplace.

To understand how the freight market competency gained from the FMIC supports business vitality, consider the four pillars of the consortium’s mission to elevate the role of transportation in organizations.

The Four Pillars of Freight Market Intelligence Consortium

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TRANSFORM

In an uncertain future, executives are expected to be on top of market conditions — but most organizations lack the time, data, or resources to gain this insight on their own. Knowledge from FMIC maximizes the utility of information to drive material gains and enable business transformation. FMIC members can use market information and research to support many activities like network design, carrier procurement strategy, and pricing tools for customer service or vendor managers. The future is not remaining idle, and leading companies are using every resource available to successfully transform and adapt to it.

ACCELERATE

Access to data is important, but without context it is not useful or actionable. FMIC’s Premium Analytics solution accelerates the time to insight for data by visualizing it in a way that quickly answers complex questions. Users discover what is driving network market positions or market trends without relying on investments from IT departments to acquire and develop reporting capabilities. This new game changing capability accelerates time to insight from days or weeks to seconds, providing immediate information on how individual networks align with the changing marketplace.

COMMUNICATE

Transportation is one of the largest spend categories for many businesses, and executives demand accountability from transportation management to explain the market and how rate changes are impacting budget variances. Broad comprehension of the transportation market allows managers to confidently communicate how capacity is changing over time and provide perspective on where rates are headed or where they fit against peers. The independent and reliable source of market-level insight derived from the FMIC can also be communicated to customers and vendors, who typically rely on biased information from trade publications, carriers, or spot load data.

NETWORK

The world’s brightest supply chain executives from the most successful companies are FMIC members. With literally centuries of experience among the members of our consortium, members have the additional opportunity to share and develop best practices for issues focused on changing supply chain strategy, executive communication, changes in network design, and replacing or investing in core carrier programs. Each visible member within the FMIC has direct access to all other visible members, providing a virtual Rolodex of highly competent supply chain professionals that are steeped in solutions gained from years of experience.

Building a Freight Market Competency

Whether companies fully understand the transportation market or not, they are directly impacted by its behavior. Existing in a bubble is no longer sufficient to thrive in an environment rife with demanding customers, budget accountability, and competition from traditional and emerging consumers of trucking capacity.

FMIC provides unprecedented visibility into environmental conditions by offering its members a 360 degree view of market rates, research and trends. Mastering core competencies within the four-walls of your organization might have been adequate in the past, but the world of transportation has changed substantially in recent years. Market-focused competencies are not only growing in terms of usefulness, they are elevating the role of transportation itself and giving transportation professionals a solid foundation from which to serve their organizations.

To learn more about how to use market conditions to your advantage, check in with me on LinkedIn or talk to one of the data analysts at Chainalytics using the form below.


 Matt Harding is VP of the Freight Market Intelligence Consortium and contributes to projects involving large-scale procurement events and transportation management systems implementation.

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