ARE YOU RELEVANT ?
Did you get a look at the latest update Maersk sent out to the Industry?
We've been told a lot of forwarders are pretty angry and upset about this. So, let me ask you, do you think any of that anger or upset will make any difference?
Getting upset about this is like getting upset with the tide coming in, and trust me, the tide is coming in, and fast. Maersk's new announcement is yet another confirmation of a trend that's been gaining momentum for a few years now. This is not an isolated incident. And, if you're looking to get upset, you might as well add FLEXPORT, BEACON, CARGO.ONE, TWILL, FORTO and several others to your list.
Our industry is changing profoundly, and if you don't have a response to this change, it will be like missing a leg on a three legged stool. You can try, but without the third leg, the stool just won't work that well.
I grew up in the forwarding industry, just like you, focused on providing competitive rates and service. And for the longest time, this was the playing field we competed upon. Getting to great rates always includes a measure of creativity, and good service is just something that takes almost a minute by minute diligence and a certain attitude of service. This is what made us relevant.
But is this enough to remain relevant or even competitive in this new environment? Just to be clear, here is the definition of relevant, closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered.
Our industry is changing rapidly, especially over the last six to seven years, and this pace is accelerating. No longer will just rates and service be enough, as these are only two legs of a three legged stool. Flexport's phenomenal growth, the arrival of BEACON, as well as an increasing host of other well funded new Digital Forwarders confirms that the field we play on has changed. Our industry is changing to a DIGITAL, DATA DRIVEN, HIGHLY VISIBLE, INFORMATIONAL VALUE ADDED space. This is the all important third leg of the three legged stool.
And, those who are out in front of this have an almost overwhelming advantage over those who aren't prepared, or don't have to have these tools. Rates and service alone are no longer enough. Why would clients not expect all three when the Digital Forwarders come calling?
In fact, if you're not truly competitive in this space, you have to ask the question, are you relevant any longer? And, what does not being relevant mean for client retention? This is a new playing field, and simply continuing to work harder on rates and service is like continuing to play basketball, when everyone else is switching to field hockey!
It is becoming increasingly downright risky for your client retention to not have the tools to compete. We're not saying this is the end, we're saying that going forward you will feel like you have one hand tied behind your back, if you're not starting to feel this way already. Remember, it took Expedia roughly 4 years after it launched to get to a critical mass, after which it was too late for travel agents to respond.
It's been very hard to find a way to respond. The big software suppliers like Cargowise, Descartes, and many others are offering expensive and somewhat difficult options that often don't feel like real options given the cost and the complexity. And, this often leaves us feeling like we're between a rock and hard place. We are left with the thought that spending lots of money with unsure responses, especially at this time, doesn't seem wise, but is it worse than doing nothing?
After a number of years working on this issue, we are pleased to introduce you to a new platform that provides you with a way forward not only to compete, but to do so in a way that helps drive profitability for your business, in a way none of the other options offer.
So what does it have to offer?
- A full 360 degree Supply Chain visibility, with a state of the art digital platform that tracks all your clients data in a very easy to use interface.
- This platform costs you nothing to acquire, and is less than $200.00 a year, flat, for each client you load on the system. There are no user licenses and no limits.
- It is very easy to interface with your existing systems, or it can stand alone, set up is easy.
- It offers an array of Supply Chain Optimization apps, built into the platform that clients can easily access to lower their landed costs, and increase efficiencies. Most of the competitors don't offer these.
- These Supply Chain Optimization apps create revenues, which are shared with the forwarder, opening up revenue streams forwarders traditionally could never access before. These revenues can be substantial.
This approach is unique and this will be rolled out for our networks before any other network, and before being rolled out to the entire industry.
Please consider that whomever gets to the client first controls the clients data, and with that, controls recommendations to the client. If you are second in line, those recommendations may not include you! It's critical that you consider how important this is for client retention.
Better yet, if you elevate to this new capability, you have an instant advantage in your sales efforts which differentiates you from your competitors
The operational and physical benefits Maerks alludes to are not nearly as important as the control of the client's Supply Chain Data. We all know we can find ways to compete on rates and service. But without DIGITAL SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY solution, we're really not in the game.
If you would like some more information, please let us know.