In the world of transportation, involving its ecosystem and collaborating with all its partners are major challenges for a company. These collaborative projects obviously include transport operators, who are the main players involved, but not the only ones. All stakeholders in the transport chain are involved, from the recipient to the sender.
The objective of an involved ecosystem? To get this group involved in this collaborative approach, underlining its strategic importance linked to the control and performance of these transport chains.
The importance of involving one’s ecosystem in the transport process
Now, in B2B, as in e-commerce, customers’ expectations are growing around the performance, quality and reliability of all deliveries. To achieve this optimum, collaboration has become a major issue. And this, on all the links of the transport process by involving from the beginning, all the actors.
The different stages of a transport chain
Through the essential steps of a transport chain, the objective is to make all the actors work together, from shipping to delivery.
- Communicate transport orders to its various partners.
- Make the appointment.
- Ensure visibility.
- Manage the financial part, cost control and invoices.
Throughout all these stages, the constant challenge is to get the various partners to work as well as possible.
Uniting your ecosystem around your project: essential and complex at the same time
This collaborative work can be complex for several reasons. On the one hand, because there are more actors external to the company than internal, and it is crucial to involve these external partners by taking into account the diversity of their needs and activities. On the other hand, because the transportation field is still not very digitalized. However, these “brakes” are now under control in terms of process and implementation.
Advice on how to federate your ecosystem around your project: what are the best practices to ensure that it runs smoothly?
To ensure the involvement of its ecosystem, there is a set of good practices that allow this virtuous functioning between transport actors. To achieve this, it is necessary to work on three levels: managing change, defining the role of each player and steering collaboration.
1. Change management
The implementation of a project implies to integrate as early as possible, all the stakeholders, who must be involved in the design of the process, from the very beginning of the project. Shippers, carriers, suppliers and end customers all actively collaborate in the supply chain. They do not all have the same needs, expectations and use of tools, so the project manager should adopt an agile approach to respond to all issues. Federating the ecosystem requires a good understanding of the business and a perfect knowledge of the players involved. Change management is therefore based on a golden rule: communicate.
2. Lift the brakes on collaboration
The difficulty lies in federating your suppliers, carriers and customers. One of the first key factors in the acceptance of change is raising awareness, in order to get each of the players on board and support them. Avoiding the surprise effect is therefore essential to reassure your partners. In addition, your message must be adapted to all stakeholders.
To federate its ecosystem around its project and train users to the tool, different steps exist: presentation sessions, dedicated days, exchanges on fears and apprehensions, and meetings to raise awareness, is judicious… Following the example of the provision of the dedicated application, online training or other workshops to get to grips with the tool.
In parallel with these actions, the providers most motivated to change can then be your representatives. The actors convinced of the advantages of this new collaboration will thus be your best ambassadors.
Finally, in order to adapt the means of information processing to each sector, offering a multitude of solutions to players equipped with MSDs as well as to those without suitable tools is essential to enable collaboration. Mobile applications and collaborative web portals are all easy-to-use technological solutions that will allow all players to be involved, removing the brakes on digital and technological difficulties. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
3. The definition of each person’s role
The objective here is to clarify and specify the roles of the different actors in this chain. This is particularly the case for transport service providers. What do you expect from them? At what point in the process? How often? What response time should be set? Expectations must be precise and price negotiations clarified around the expected level of service. When the players are on board and the process is set in motion, the idea is to put everyone’s role, expectations and level of service in black and white.
4. The steering of the collaboration
It allows the implementation of solutions to perpetuate collaboration, while remaining scalable to changes in the organization and people. The regular piloting consists in monitoring the commitments of your providers, scheduling periodic appointments and, of course, including the monitoring of collaboration in the performance review.
Gains from collaborative transportation projects
Benefits for shippers
- Improved customer service: tracing information shared by carriers and visibility on deliveries and orders in case of problems.
- Improvement and measurement of delivery performance.
- Productivity and remote work: chartering and planning of removals, digitalization of exchanges and management by exception thanks to notifications.
- Reduction of transport costs: avoid billing for waiting time.
Gains for the recipients
- Control and visibility of logistics with your suppliers: visibility of orders received.
- Reduced risk of product breakage.
- Productivity gains: deliveries by appointment, warehouse reception planning, digitalization of exchanges.
- Safety: the driver or subcontractor is known in advance.
Gains for carriers
- Carriers equipped with TMS: EDI exchanges even with small shippers.
- Ease of communication with drivers: mobile application to transmit and track transport orders.
- Telework and productivity: digitalization of exchanges.
- Reduced waiting time for drivers.
Productivity gains, cost reduction, risk reduction, improved customer service, performance improvement and measurement, and security… The benefits of collaboration are numerous and shared by all players in the transport chain.
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