As the year comes to a close, what would usually be a frantic peak season has been slower and mundane for many freight forwarders. Instead of continuing the status quo, the most competitive forwarders and logistics service providers are using this time to level-up and plan for the next rise in demand.
The best place to get started? Stronger connections between partners and customers along your global supply chain network.
As a logistics service provider, you know the market is saturated and competitive. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself to shipper customers is to become more visible and discoverable.
By building easy, repeatable, scalable connections to your customers and partners across all your supply chain systems, you can start to establish deeper relationships that solidify your company as one that is easy to work and integrate with. For prospective customers, this means onboarding takes less time, and they can count on you to provide them with a better level of service than other forwarders.
Becoming fully integrated with your supply chain network starts by leveraging new technology and data so you can grow your business and serve your customers better. Once you have the tech in place, you’ll be able to share meaningful data to your network and gain loyalty in return.
1. Integrate Your Systems
The obvious first step to becoming better connected to your overall supply chain network is to focus on systems integrations. Making sure all of your internal systems and external data communicate automatically will give your team more time to build relationships with the people at your customer and partner companies.
For a strategic approach, start by mapping your digital nervous system to document, discuss, and prioritize how your data is moving between systems - both internally and through your customers’ systems. Take this opportunity to identify any misalignments and put a plan in place to address these issues.
For many logistics service providers, making legacy systems communicate and determining which integrations to prioritize can be complex and is a time-suck for internal resources. At Chain.io, our experts have intimate knowledge on a wide range of business processes and work hand-in-hand with your in-house teams to ensure your expectations and goals are being met.
Once you understand how your data flows and where you can improve, you can start integrating and automating your first business process. Right now, many freight forwarding companies are focusing on TMS integrations so they can have automated supply chain visibility or carbon impact data available to their customers and partners.
2. Embrace Supply Chain Technology
As the economy softens, it's more important than ever for your team to be informed and adaptable to whatever situations arise. That doesn’t mean investing in less tech, it means investing wisely in tech that will help your team do more with less during slowdowns and keep you top of mind for customers who are still needing goods transported.
Embracing supply chain technology is one of the easiest ways to be better connected to your customers without needing to deploy more internal resources. For example, data integrations will help you automate core processes, like sending shipment notifications or processing commercial invoices, and ensures that all of the data that results from shipment activities is communicated through your systems, without manual data entry.
Even if demand isn’t increasing in the supply chain market, you can increase demand for your services as a forwarder. Investing in an automated and connected network and prioritizing the use of digital tools will appeal to prospective customers and keep existing customers loyal.
3. Leverage the Chain.io Partner Network
By connecting to the Chain.io ecosystem of partners, you’ll have access to the tech and resources you need to compete, win, onboard customers quickly, and increase profitability. Our network of integrations gives you access to the same tools as the world’s largest freight forwarding companies, giving you a competitive edge.
At Chain.io, we connect your company and all of your data streams to your existing customers and partners, plus the leading supply chain technology companies, so you have better insights into your operations and opportunities to grow business. Being a part of the Chain.io network makes it easier for your shipper customers and supply chain software providers to integrate and work with you, and gives your company visibility to a new pool of customers who may not have known about you otherwise. A fully connected supply chain network will foster connections and collaborations that may not have been possible without being a part of a larger ecosystem.
Want to learn how we’re enabling the discovery of logistics service providers and software partners across our network? Speak to a member of our partnerships team today!Book a Meeting