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Carriers Playing Games. Who’s Keeping (the) Score(card)?

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Carriers Playing Games. Who’s Keeping (the) Score(card)?

March 24, 2022

Over the last decade, it’s become popular not to keep score when young children are competing in sports. The school of thought on this is articulated well by author Bobbie Quinn who writes:

“By not keeping score, young players are able to just focus on playing the game and learning the rules; not worrying about the outcome.

Of course, it’s hard to learn how the game is actually played without knowing how to win. Without a scorecard, the game becomes a sequence of events with no consequences. That isn’t a game so much as it’s practice.

Part of learning how the game is played is what happens when you’re winning and losing. How does the strategy change when you are up? How does it change when you’re down? Winning and losing — and keeping score — is an important lesson to learn for life, not just sports.” (Quinn, 2016)

Today’s Carrier Landscape

Today’s carrier landscape is more challenging than ever – Fuel costs are rising. Driver shortages are real. Fleet equipment is backordered. A recent piece published by Sean Fahey of Coyote Logistics suggests that both contract and spot market rates will be moving even higher in the quarters ahead. (Fahey, 2021)

While it’s natural to sometimes feel like you’re losing the game, you likely learned long ago that you still need to keep score. Today’s shippers may not have as much leverage as they did in the past, but carrier accountability to key service KPIs must still be part of any organization’s winning strategy. Enter the scorecard.

What Goes on a Carrier Scorecard?

In general, most companies would agree that the following metrics would be important to include in any carrier scorecard:

  • Billing accuracy
  • Carrier service levels
  • Customer service responsiveness
  • Damage-free shipments
  • Data access
  • Driver performances
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Load preferences
  • On-time performance

Carrier Scorecard Tools

Whether your company relies on traditional EDI data feeds or utilizes GPS tracking technology via ELDs from leading providers like FourKites and Samsara, the key is to aggregate carrier data into a useable format that leads to actionable results. SaaS based tools from industry leaders like Blue Yonder can do just that. The Blue Yonder Business Analysis product provides customized, on-demand reporting that reveals carrier on-time percentages, tender accept/decline ratios, freight pickup statuses, and more. This same performance data can feed to your Blue Yonder logistics procurement software so that service metrics can be considered as part of the next round of carrier RFPs. Additionally, real-time integration of all carrier track-and-trace data to your Blue Yonder TMS allows you to actively participate in the game and take proactive operational measures. As you can see, it is no time to throw up your hands and quit the game when the tools are out there to make you the captain of the winning team.

Looking to implement these ideas as part of a new TMS implementation, or you simply need some expertise on getting the most out of your TMS?

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