The freight business is growing up.
There are fewer 3PLs, but they are larger and growing in
sophistication and capability. As carriers buy brokers and brokers buy
carriers, the lines between carrier, broker and 3PL are blurring. Wall Street
investors and venture capitalists are making big bets in our once overlooked industry.
Big European and Asian players are partnering with American companies to create
global behemoths. And of course, a slew of well-funded web-based freight
marketplaces continue to gain momentum.
The battle has already begun and the transportation and logistics business is changing. There will be winners and losers. Some companies will get bought or go out of business, while others will flourish.
The best way to be a victor rather than a victim is to act now to shore up your company’s future. The goal is to become more competitive and resilient become the storms come.
Improve Your People, Product and Processes
At TranStrategy Partners, we have been helping the owners of freight brokerages and 3PLs grow their businesses since 2004. We know what it takes to compete and win in this business.
To be more competitive, maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your people. Start by implementing an organizational structure with well-defined roles and responsibilities. Your people will have a greater impact, if they know exactly what they are supposed to do. A typical organization will have the following groups: 1.) Sales and marketing, 2.) Operations and 3.) Finance. When each group can focus on their own individual roles and responsibilities, you will see big improvements in your company. It will also become obvious which areas have weaknesses that must be shored up.
Employee training and development is another area of opportunity. If your employees lack the skills, knowledge and attitude to accomplish your mission, training and development can help. Brokertrain provides training specially developed for 3PL and brokerage employees.
To be more competitive, consider improving your product. Your product is more than just your service offering. Your product is a combination of tangible and intangible attributes that includes: web presence, social media, expertise, messaging, competitive advantage, niche, advantages, benefits, features and branding. When TSP begins working with a new client, we conduct a comprehensive current state assessment that highlights areas of opportunities. We help our clients work on their business rather than in it.
To perform at the highest level your company needs process. Defined processes are not required for every function in the business, but for mission critical activities, processes should be developed and continuously improved. At TSP, we help our clients implement processes for lead generation, sales, leadership development and strategic planning. When these processes are in place, your company will become easier to manage and more profitable.
About the Author – Mike Temple
Mike Temple is a Senior Partner at TranStrategy Partners and the Director of the Xcelerator Leadership Program, which is designed to be a catalyst for accelerated growth for 3PL and freight brokerage businesses. The Xcelerator Leadership Program is a yearlong program that utilizes a unique process that maximizes business results with minimum disruption to day to day operations. Does My Freight Brokerage Business Serve Me or Vice Versa?
Every business depends on their customers choosing them over the competition. This concept is so simple and obvious, that we forget about it sometimes.
What would be a good first step to growing up?
There are fewer 3PLs, but they are larger and growing in sophistication and capability.