Whether your company is a retailer accepting inbound shipments of products to stock your stores, a distributor taking shipments of important inventory, or a manufacturer receiving raw materials for your production process, inbound freight is a vital part of your business, not just your supply chain.
So why do so few businesses take control of the management of their inbound freight? It is complicated, that’s why. It involves multiple departments in your organization that can sometimes be pitted against one another. It involves multiple companies – vendors, carriers, trading partners – and various shipping agreements to analyze and comprehend.
The payoff, however, is still substantial. It is incumbent on the logistics, supply chain, and transportation managers in organizations to champion the cause to get control of inbound freight and make sure the C-level executives in the organization understand the benefits. Hiring an expert partner to help gain control of this complex issue can pay dividends.
Here are 4 benefits:
#1 – Hold vendors accountable to right carrier, right price
Whether vendors have negotiated the freight or your team has, it is critical that you know the right carrier, with proper safety certification and insurance and the right standards, is delivering your critical cargo. More importantly, this carrier is delivering at the right price.
#2 – Leverage inbound and outbound spend
If vendors are making all the decisions regarding shipments of your inbound freight, your company is not properly combining your total freight expenditures into comprehensive negotiating leverage with carriers. By relinquishing control of inbound freight, you think you might be saving a little headache short-term, but in reality your most likely not, and you may be losing money.
#3 – Improved visibility to inbound freight
Supply chains are getting more complex in every organization. Bombarded with data and transactions, supply chain managers are forced to make decisions faster with less everyday. The answer is improved visibility. That only comes with access to better, more complete information delivered quickly and efficiently. With visibility over inbound freight, managers can see their whole supply chain picture.
#4 – Power back in hands of buyer
The bottom line is that the company receiving freight is the customer. Doesn’t it make sense the party buying the merchandise should have oversight and control over the scheduling, receipt, quality, and timing of the shipment of the inbound freight? With the power of scheduling back in the hands of the buyer, they can schedule shipments from vendors to match their timetable, not the vendor’s.
So even if your time is already limited, taking control of inbound freight should be a priority. Suppliers may not be initially open to sharing information, but collaboration is key. If you go into the process with the right frame of mind and an expert partner, the savings can be substantial.