Strategy Leads Tactics

Ready, Fire, Aim is not a good strategy

In logistics management as in all things having a strategy leads to tactics. Getting cheapest freight rate is a tactic, it may be part of a strategy but if it leads to freight claims, customer dissatisfaction with delivery expectation or a failure in your supply chain that shuts down a line, it wasn’t really a great strategy.

Having a goal leads to strategy

How does one go about creating a strategy? Goals is first and foremost. Goals in and of themselves are strategies of a sort. A plan to attain those goals is developed through analytics and the harnessing of data. Acquiring data is paramount to developing strategies to achieve goals.

This is where a TMS helps dramatically, first in acquiring, reporting and analyzing data. If the goals are to smooth out bumps in the supply chain, having the data to know specifically and empirically where the bumps are, who are the players (vendor/transportation provider/purchasing agent) you get a statistical analysis that will show a developing pattern. 

Likewise, in deliveries to customers, patterns emerge, typically with the transportation provider but sometimes they are confined to a specific region or locality of a transportation providers. A couple of years ago a major transportation provider had a hub in Denver that service any western states. They also sustained an acute reduction in available labor due to newly legalized recreational marijuana. Many of our client suspended them until things settled down. 

Patterns emerge

Over a given period of time, patterns emerge and then tactics can be deployed to mitigate the problem. You may want better visibility on your retail deliveries to avoid penalties. Maybe the problem is lack of visibility on incoming shipments leading to uncertain labor planning. Vendor compliance and vendor timeliness is also important and can be managed, if seen and historically evaluated. 

Giant data warehouse

A solid Transportation Management System is a giant data warehouse, one you don’t have to ask IT for access to. Custom dashboards, alerts, reports should be easy. ShippersEdge TMS is affordable high technology that assists you in your execution of strategies and gives you the analytical tools to identify opportunities and execute the tactical moves that follow. 

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