Can eSourcing help overcome common challenges in freight?

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ESourcing is fast becoming a vital component of the modern procurement toolbox. Allowing organisations to connect, screen and shortlist suppliers irrespective of global location, this technology allows businesses to run their sourcing operations more efficiently.

For the freight industry in particular, there are unique challenges to address. Sourcing in this sector involves building relationships with a large number of vendors and managing a variety of different specifications across countless geographic borders.

Such procurement software is making it easier than ever for freight companies to build an extended network of suppliers. It makes sense that the greater number of freight suppliers an organisation has, the more efficient its shipping processes. For a variety of suppliers this means improved flexibility, so fewer delays, reduced shipping times and lower cost options. All of this, of course, impacts a company’s bottom line.

At long last, digital procurement tools are also replacing an excessively paper-laden industry with more valuable analytical digital interactions. Sourcing and recording relationships on paper has long been an arduous, time consuming task, making it difficult to interact with any more than just a handful of suppliers at a time. This digital transformation is now allowing organisations to identify and communicate with a broader base of vendors in real time, meaning less room for mistakes and greater opportunity for efficiencies.

In terms of limiting factors for freight, geographic boundaries can present a massive logistical challenge in terms of both distance and paperwork. ESourcing tools are helping overcome such barriers through the identification, verification and sourcing from supplier markets that don’t need to be localised or even regionally connected to the buyer. This is helping organisations operate in corners of the globe which could have never been reached otherwise.

A freight client of ours, who is a world leading provider of mobile power solutions, came to us needing to move equipment around the globe at short notice. However, due to budget limitations and not knowing when its next shipment would be far enough in advance, the company didn’t feel capable of doing this. This is where procurement tools can prove especially useful for complex supply chains.

ESourcing tools allowed this company to negotiate and secure the best rates across the globe. This meant it could deliver on client requirements, even at very short notice. Results like this, and many others, are proving the impact that such technology can have in very real business terms.

We see every day how technology is an ever-developing area of this industry, keeping us on our toes and providing huge opportunities to improve our offering. In a sector where efficiency and versatility are of even greater importance, it makes sense to pay such advances particular attention, so watch this space.

 

By Steve Trainor

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