Getting The Most Out Of Your Routing Guide
In setting up your carrier selection, the strategy of your routing guide will play an important part. When moving a particular shipment, a carrier must be chosen; so what is essentially a shipper’s guide is needed. Of course, there are any number of routing guide forms. Many companies have ditched the paper trail for online portals. But service improvement and maximum saving costs can be realized through dynamic routing guides utilizing enhanced technology for transport management systems.
Choosing a Carrier and a Mode
Rather than using general cube or weight guidelines, choose your mode based on cost. Once that is achieved, you can pick a particular carrier. Then, based on logistics strategy, utilize your routing guide to choose the correct truck, parcel carrier, less-than-truckload, or intermodal.
Figure out how much goes into a spot market or backup matrix versus what lanes you want in your routing guide. You will be able to protect important capacity or realize savings by altering your routing guide to match up with a particular area’s spot market rates.
Make Scorecards for Stakeholders
In order to track key data and performance indicators, weekly stakeholder scorecards should be created and published. As well as having scorecards for your carriers, you will want to have them for your ship points as well (distribution centers, suppliers, and others). What will this accomplish? If there is an ineffective part of your routing guide, you will be able to analyze and repair the problem through the utilization of your weekly scorecards.
Concentrate on Clear Communication
Communicate with your carriers and anyone making use of your routing guide. Clearly communicate compliance guidelines, expectations, carrier awards, etc. This also means communicating vital information like labeling requirements, drop-trailer, ship-from locations, and ship-to locations.
Are You Aware of the Depth of Your Routing Guide?
For a particular lane, just how many routing guide carriers are required? To ensure that all your bases are covered, you may need to access more carriers particularly if you have a high-volume route. On the other hand, a large carrier selection may not be required should you have a lane with low volume.
Simplicity Is Key
As long as your network will allow it, make sure that your routing guide and your strategy are simple. A multi-load, multi-tiered routing guide may not be worth the insignificant savings. Just because a high level of complexity is offered by advanced technology, that doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect solution for you or your company.
Technology and Cost Efficiency
Sometimes, however, advanced technology does us a favor. Static routing guides via a portal and paper routing guides are inadequate and obsolete. Shippers managing any supply chain complexity and carriers of any size can utilize advanced transportation management systems. They can be an efficiency boost and offer your organization cost savings. Also crucial to your ongoing routing guide strategy is the careful tracking of your carrier base’s cost data, performance, and historical lane.
What Is Your Logistics Strategy Overall? It Is the Basis for Your Guide
Here’s what you need to factor in: cost-saving goals, customer service standards, and third-party logistics providers versus the importance of utilizing asset-based carriers. Once you have settled on your logistics strategy and determined that it is doing what you require of it, stay with it. If needed, changes can be made for increased efficiency through revisions to your routing guide. Ideally, however, try to keep the complete reconstruction of your guide to once every year or less.