Youve been considering an online solution to your global supply chain management needs. But how do you know what kind of solutions will work for you? What do you need to do in order to prepare your company to make its shipping processes more efficient before putting an online solution in place?
Keep it simple. Streamlining your global shipping processes may seem complicated, but by asking the right que
Then, consider your companys unique global shipping practices. Pay special attention to your companys inbound shipments, and how your inbound practices may or may not be affecting your total shipping expense. A typical company operating on a global scale is likely to find its mo
Next, ask yourself what kind of online solution is going to: A) allow you to change in a changing marketplace, B) analyze and assess your companys global transportation co
Here are 10 questions (and sub-questions/examples) that you can ask your potential global visibility software provider in order to determine if their online solution is right for you:
1. Can your global transportation management software provide a comprehensive, multi-modal view of our companys shipments, beginning from inception to delivery?
For example: Will I be able to track a shipment from my manufacturer in
2. How are you going to give me control over the cost of each shipment within my companys supply chain?
For example: Am I going to have visibility of each and every shipment within my supply chain?
3. Is your online solution going to provide me with accurate, real-time data?
For example: Is there going to be a delay between the time a shipment leaves the di
4. Does your solution allow me to hold the appropriate departments accountable for our companys freight expenses?
For example: How will I be able to hold my Procurement Manager accountable for all of his or her procurement activities, including purchasing, expediting, inspection, transport and logi
5. In what ways will I be able to calculate the optimal network configuration for different service costs and objectives?
For example: Will I be able to create tables, graphs, dashboards, etc., that allow me to query pa
6. Will I be able to view my companys supply chain from anywhere in the world?
For example: Will I have a global view of my parcel shipments, whether they originate from international or dome
7. Will I receive an automatic alert when shipments deviate from our companys logistics guidelines?
For example: If a particular department in my company is continually using a carrier that is not in accordance with our companys logi
8. If your global transportation management software is web-based, where, exactly, is the information
For example: Do you offer a multi-level security application that enables management to monitor the information?
9. In what ways will your online solution help me to determine my final selection for a global (versus national) carrier, and how will I know which of those carriers would benefit my company the most?
For example: How will I know that the amount of my controllable inbound freight has been determined, and that I should consider partnering with another global/national carrier?
10. Will your solution allow for scalability when shipping volumes increase?
For example: Will you able to handle high-capacity software in
After youve asked these que
Of course, ultimately, youre looking for savings, so be sure to keep in mind that any software provider you choose should be able to provide you with a detailed assessment of your companys current shipping practices even before you begin implementing the software. After your current shipping practices are compared to be
Niko Michas is President and Founder of BridgeNet Solutions, Inc., a rapidly growing Chicago-based firm specia