Most shippers have existing vendor compliance programs in place within their vendor inbound logistics guide. Unfortunately, the traditional logistics of sending out paper guides and even keeping updated online versions has grown complex and difficult to control. Meanwhile, the importance of vendor compliance has grown more than ever as supply chains expand, explains Lisa Terry of Inbound Logistics, and companies look to trim the fat and optimize workflows to gain a competitive advantage. Fortunately, today’s logistics technology has the power to execute a winning inbound freight strategy and maintain compliance in the following ways.
Using Logistics Technology to Execute a Winning Inbound Freight Strategy & Have Compliant Vendors
1. Different Variables Can Be Automatically Tracked and Accounted for Within Modern Vendor Modules.
There are literally thousands of possibilities when it comes to selecting the best carrier, mode, insurance, protection plans, routes and other variables in modern shipping practices. All this information means that combing through the possibilities by hand is both cost-intensive and physically tiring, so automation in managing these situations through algorithms in modern vendor modules is key to maximizing profits and reducing inbound logistics costs.
2. Increased Use of the Internet of Things (IoT) Optimizes Shipment Status Visibility and Keeps Costs Down Through Ongoing Assessments.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) within newer vendor modules can help you keep track of inbound logistics costs and possible issues. The IoT also helps to ensure KPIs are accurate and reflect the most recent data available.
If an issue appears to occur frequently and falls outside of the specified range, you can act to resolve the problem. In addition, some inbound logistics management providers may manage this process for you, letting you keep working to fulfill orders and make your customers happy.
3. Call-In Routing Centers, Like Cerasis, Can Prevent Vendors From Using the Incorrect Mode of Transit.
Vendors want to sell more of their products and make a profit, and sometimes, that profit comes at your expense, especially if you lack control and visibility into their actions. However, you can eliminate problems with using incorrect vendors by regaining the power of inbound logistics through call-in routing centers.
For example, Cerasis Inbound Logistics Management within the Cerasis Rater, under the “FREIGHT” menu option, puts the power of choice in your hands through the following steps:
- Vendors call into the Cerasis Freight Desk and provide shipment details to the representative.
- The Cerasis representative enters the information into the Cerasis Rater.
- Notifications are generated and sent to both the vendor and buyer simultaneously.
- Upon logging into the Cerasis Rater and entering your PO#, you can review the shipment details and provide additional instructions for shipping.
- The instructions are then transmitted back to the vendor, including pickup date and time, labeling and other appropriate requirements for shipping.
If an existing shipment needs re-routing, the Cerasis Freight Desk can complete the change at your request, or you have the option of re-routing the shipment from within the Cerasis Rater. In addition, Cerasis can automatically audit invoices prior to you sending payment to carriers and resolving any discrepancies or inconsistencies. Therefore, your costs associated with inbound logistics stay as low and as accurate as possible.
4. Advanced, Broader Vendor Portals Only Show Pertinent Information to Vendors, Keeping Proprietary Information Secure.
One of the biggest risks in using paper guides for vendor inbound logistics is security. Your inbound logistics guide may contain proprietary information that relates to your inbound freight strategy and gives your company a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, vendors may not necessarily take the level of care in protecting the document as needed. In this situation, modern inbound logistics technology, such as applying the Cerasis Rater to inbound logistics through the vendor module, can eliminate the possible security breach. Moreover, the legal risk to vendors is reduced, which may result in lower costs of raw materials and supplies, leading to lower costs for your company, the buyer.
5. End-to-End Implementation of a Dedicated TMS Reduces Inefficiencies Through the Power of Dashboards and Real-Time Analytics.
Changing rates and services provided by carriers continue to impact the costs incurred by buyers. By controlling carrier selection and managing the supply chain from procurement through last-mile delivery, shippers can find patterns that reduce overall operating costs that might not have been otherwise noticed. In addition, analytics can provide a means of verifying the accuracy of information provided by vendors against the actual status of shipments when picked up. Thus, vendors can be held liable for compliance violations, which may be used to strengthen the vendor-buyer relationship or seek out other potential suppliers.
The Big Picture.
Shipper requirements from vendors and increasing demand from consumers leave little room, if any, for error throughout inbound logistics. By utilizing modern technologies, including vendor portals, such as Cerasis Inbound Logistics Management, you can create and execute a strong inbound freight strategy, maximize vendor compliance and lower your inbound freight costs. It’s a win-win for your company and your customers.