Boston Consulting Group has come up with a serious effort to explain why consumer goods companies need to pay a lot of attention to transportation. How much applies also to manufacturing companies? to wholesalers? to any company?
One of the tools suggested is on the fly network redesign. Modern software allows us to simulate changes to the network and examine the effects. We can also examine the issues that arise with a hypothetical problem or two. with a plan we might be better prepared to move ahead. Underlying it is an attitude that change is good, and we’d better be prepared to implement changes.
There are also good suggestions for collaboration across the supply chain. The ‘share groups’ are means of pooling resources among different companies to achieve synergy with transportation resources. They must be artfully constructed, with some flexibility, and every party has to be conscious of what each other partner needs to get out of the sharing, both in dollar savings and other ways. The transaction cost is the added effort to manage these relationships. Some of the most fruitful ones might be with those competing for some resource– customers, carriers, warehouse space, etc.
Other suggestions include improving the operations along the way. There’s always benefit in doing that.