As a college-educated computer scientist, Bastian Späth understands how IT solutions are developed from the ground up. For more than 15 years, he has spent every workday collecting requirements, finding ideas, developing designs, setting up projects and getting them safely across the finish line.
Best service for your customers and maximum transparency
Remember the Filofax? Those fancy paper-based personal organisers, usually with leather covers, that used to be the must-have accessory of every well-organised office worker? Or the Rolodex rotary file that graced every single desk? I am often reminded of these charming but outdated relics of a bygone era whenever I see how many carriers handle partner management. These work tools, after all, are just as ineffective as Excel at meeting today's logistics requirements.
Maximum transparency allows effective control
Spreadsheet applications are no more convenient or transparent in practice than the old hard copy helpers. Partners are still managed manually based on a vast number of phone calls. "We have a dangerous goods shipment here. Refresh my memory, please – do all your drivers have their ADR licence?" The real concern: liability risk. "The customer just asked where their shipment is. What's its status?" The real concern: transparency. Upgrading to a headset from a traditional telephone won't help in these cases. It may be easier on your neck, but that misses the point. What freight forwarders and carriers really want is a structured process that covers everything from order placement to transport monitoring. Not paper clutter, not unwieldy Excel spreadsheets, not endless games of phone tag. Something quick and easy – that's the only way they can jointly provide the best service for their customers.
Online portal instead of unwieldy Excel
Traditional spreadsheets simply aren't user-friendly. Nor can they compare with the capabilities of online portals. Web solutions connect the customer and the contractor without needing interfaces. And they meet compliance requirements simply and effectively. Carriers can upload all relevant documentation to them. That includes proofs of insurance and approval for hazardous goods transports as well as drivers' qualifications such as driving licences and ADR licences. Once the information is stored online, it is always available, making it easier for dispatchers to find the right partner for a specific transport order without having to ask a lot of questions.
A closed information chain is good for your nerves
When order management apps are added to the mix, the system can provide all the status information for a particular shipment, from pickup to delivery. This information can then be viewed in real time by everyone who is involved in the process. This helps the service staff as much as the subcontractors, who now know exactly where their vehicles are, too. And, last but not least, it keeps customers informed of the whereabouts of their delivery with significantly less effort. Centrally managed, proofs of delivery are then available more quickly, while the forwarder and carrier benefit equally from faster billing. That's what makes partnership fun. And isn't that what any good partner management system should do? Exactly.
So when will the Excel spreadsheet used to manage your subcontractors become as obsolete as Filofax and Rolodex?
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