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How Can Thinking Like A Big Shipper Save Money? (Part 3)

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The obvious answer there is no. There are small to mid-sized consulting firms like enVista that do smaller projects than what shippers typically expect from a consulting firm. People have a perception that consulting firms charge millions of dollars to tell you an answer that you already know.

Are external resources only feasible for big shippers with large budgets?

The obvious answer there is no. There are small to mid-sized consulting firms like enVista that do smaller projects than what shippers typically expect from a consulting firm. People have a perception that consulting firms charge millions of dollars to tell you an answer that you already know. Typically the smaller consulting firms will come in and do very short, up-front, affordable consulting projects that show value immediately so you aren’t laying out a large sum of money and a solution you can’t implement. Additionally some consultants work on a contingency basis so they only make money when the shipper or 3PL saves money. That allows the service provider, the consultant, to come in and put some skin in the game, prove they can save the shipper money and then over time the shipper can give them a piece of the pie.

Additionally, logistics services providers, 3PLs and software providers all have engineers internally at their company. These folks are generally former consultants or current consultants who come in and help you fix some of the processes that have eroded due to normal business change. We see processes erode when there is acquisition or when there is turnover in the department and it’s always good to do a refresher and have a fresh set of eyes whether it’s from a consulting firm or one of your source supplier.

What is the first step small and mid-sized shippers should take to start acting like a big shipper?

Take a look at current transportation spend and your transportation process and identify where the most savings occur. What we do when we try to figure this all out is create a spend diagram. We lay out all of the transportation flows with their costs and logistically-relevant information in one document and try to figure out, do we have all the data here? How much money are we spending or can we save money here? Once we do that, we can really identify the areas we can execute. Take that one area, focus on it, come up with a plan, execute it and show everyone you had a win and it might be easier for you to go out and justify spending more money for another area in your organization.

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