Supply Chain Consulting Tools and Methods
Trans-solutions supply chain consulting work largely involves the creation of practical models designed to examine exactly how changes to your current approach will impact your freight rates and service levels. Our modeling tools can examine any number of strategic and practical alternatives, including changing modes, services, carriers, freight shipping rates, and distribution locations.
We use several proprietary tools to conduct our data gathering and analysis.
Network modeling tool
It all starts with the construction of an accurate baseline of your current operations. Our Xact Network Modeler© is a flexible software tool that captures all key components of your existing program, then calculates the impact of a change.
The tool is not “one size fits all.” It can be modified to capture your own unique practices and requirements. This flexibility allows us to get an accurate read on your current methods and costs.
Freight rate negotiation tool
Xact Negotiator© is proprietary software developed by Trans-solutions to determine specifically how a carrier’s proposal affects a shipper financially. It operates much like the model used by carriers to determine a shipper’s freight rates. Analyzing your freight like a carrier gives you a negotiating advantage.
Xact Negotiator© avoids use of averages or aggregates when analyzing carrier proposals because this calculation shortcut can create a false read. For instance, a 10% rate discount doesn’t necessarily reduce the freight bill by 10%, as many shippers assume. Accessorial charges, minimum charge thresholds and other factors may eliminate or offset the discount.
Freight rate benchmarks
In most freight rate negotiations, shippers see only their rates and activity, giving the carrier, who has visibility to everyone’s rates and shipping, a decided negotiation advantage when pricing your freight.
Because Trans-solutions negotiates rates for many companies, we maintain extensive freight rate benchmarks. This allows us to compare your rates with similar freight to get the best deal. We also identify complimentary freight for specific service providers so your freight is more attractive in the marketplace.
Many companies want to know how their transportation rates compare to their competition. However, carriers don't care as much about that or industry as they do about how a shipper's freight matches their network. Further, just because two companies compete against each other, it doesn't mean their freight is the same. We find carriers that want your freight. When we negotiated the Adidas LTL and Parcel, they wanted to know what Nike paid. We had that benchmark, but the freight was very different.
You should know more about your traffic patterns than your carriers. The more data and information you have about your freight, the better equipped you will be to make effective decisions.
Trans-solutions’ supply chain consulting services provide the tools, systems and services to capture information that can be used to recognize trends, flag trouble spots and plan for the future. Check out some sample freight reports we can provide.