Tag Archives: service

PODCAST: Behind the Flexport phenomenon; Ryan Petersen interviewed 

This interview with Ryan Peterson, CEO of Flexport, is fascinating.  It is well worth registering at the Loadstar in case you don’t already have access.

Ryan points out that only 75% of freight bookings are kept.  This may be a correlative of on time percentage of about the same amount for ocean carriers; but it is more symptomatic of a situation in which the uncertainty breeds more uncertainty.  It’s like new product introductions; no one knows if your new product (disk drive, for example, in the business I was in years ago) is going to sell; it has plenty of promise, but also lots of competition. As a result your distributors (NVOCCS and freight forwarders) over-order, trying to convince you they can peddle lots of them, for fear that they will be cut out of the allocation when you start to deliver but can’t give them their whole order.  In a sense, for an ocean alliance every voyage is like a new product launch. People over-order, they plan, but can’t full ships, so they cancel (or reroute, changing schedule).  It’s a no-win for everyone.

Ryan is right in my view; data and sharing it can help. The issue is whether companies can be talked into sharing data.  That’s what his firm is partially about– facilitating the exchange (for a price of course!). And for many firms, shippers and carriers, it should be worth it; a trusted intermediate can greatly reduce transaction costs.

Listen up– you’ll learn a lot!

Source: PODCAST: Behind the Flexport phenomenon; Ryan Petersen interviewed – The Loadstar

Customer experience & next-generation operations 

This McKinsey piece makes some of the best points I’ve heard about improving the customer experience.  These thoughts resonate with me concerning the import-export logistics experience for customers.

Especially useful are:

  • Exhibit 2, which makes the supply-chain point that you can locally optimize the individual steps, but flunk out on the whole process experience.

image exhibit 2

The journey stinks though the legs perform well. Put in the context of ocean logistics, If the ocean carrying segment has only 70% reliability, it really doesn’t matter how reliable the other steps are; you’re limited to 70% satisfaction overall.

  • Exhibit 3, which reports on a study of some real examples (it happens, in banking) that shows how firms can miss the point and concentrate on improving the experience for the wrong things.

image from article

Some touchpoints have high importance but give low customer satisfaction.

 

Here’s the link to the article:

  The benefits of improved customer experience can be fleeting unless changes to supporting back-end operations are made, as well.

Source: Putting customer experience at the heart of next-generation operating models | McKinsey & Company

Another article form the same source, cited above as reference 2:

 New research reveals that focus, simplicity, “digital first,” and perceptions matter most.

Source: The four pillars of distinctive customer journeys | McKinsey & Company

Journeys: Seeing the world as customers do

Again McKinsey says something relevant to ocean carriers. Do you see the world from the customer’s viewpoint? You deal in journeys, why not look at the customer’s?  Or are you stuck trying to make touchpoints successful without seeing the big picture?

mckinsey-logo

To maximize customer satisfaction, companies have long emphasized touchpoints. But doing so can divert attention from the more important issue: the customer’s end-to-end journey.

Source: From touchpoints to journeys: Seeing the world as customers do | McKinsey & Company