Some carriers post quarterly losses every once in awhile, and much of this can be attributed to the overall state of the economy – however a string of consecutive losses may indicate a larger problem with your carrier. From a business standpoint, you don’t want your carrier’s inefficiency to hamper your investments.
Your loyalty to your carrier may cause you to put up with unreasonable pricing structures and let’s face it; the hassle of taking up a new service provider puts you off. Your current provider may use their knowledge of your business and efficient customer service (or other skillset) as a counterbalance for high rates but the implications of this should be interpreted within your own corporate culture. Find out how much you’re comfortable paying your carrier and feel free to shop for market competitive rates if necessary.
Falling service standards
The nature of carrier services is that most of the major companies provide essentially the same services – however, what separates individual brands is the quality and scope of their services. If you notice a decline in quality of service, contact sales support and try to learn more about how that affects your business and when possible, extricate yourself from among poor performers.
Does your carrier lag behind in IT?
This goes without saying but if your carrier does not invest latest technology to support supply (e.g., GPS, Cloud-sync, etc.), they may be slowing down your business. Modern carriers need heavy support from IT in managing transactions and tracking of supply chains from one or multiple locations. If your carrier appears to lack the proper IT framework required to offer competitive service, then you might be forced to hire a third party to operate IT connectivity for your current carrier.
Rapid business expansion
Service requirements may vary as your company grows and it is important that your existing carrier grow with you. If your current carrier is unable to fill the orders coming in, then it might be time to look for a larger, more established service provider. As you plan to expand your business, make sure your partners can keep up with subsequent service demands.
There’s value in knowing your true brand attributes and how existing business relationships influence each other. When building a brand, the quality and value of your products and/ or services is critical; and working with controversial brands may damage your own reputation in the industry. Is your carrier engaged in a public dispute over their services? It is more logical to replace the carrier than to maintain that alliance and risk social backlash.
Whatever the size of your business, your marketing strategy should facilitate brand attributes of association, awareness, and advocacy. From a purely business standpoint, if your carrier can provide a stable platform for you to operate your business (and take liability for any inconveniences caused by third parties), that would be ideal. But often times you need more collaboration and fewer affirmations.
Watch how your carrier performs under your own perception of successful business practices and find out whether their own model is compatible with yours.
Justin Bright – CEO Brighter Logistics