One Size Does Not Fit All: Why Bake Flexibility Into Logistics

Shippers that can’t be flexible when their customers require it rarely hold onto those customers for long. But when their logistics provider fails to be flexible, shippers often accept that this is just the way it is. Why?

Every shipper is different and faces a different set of challenges. As such, a one-size-fits-all approach to logistics solutions can not only hold companies back from reaching new heights of success but can actively damage them—stifling their growth and cutting into the bottom line.

Big or small, shippers deserve flexible support

Most logistics providers have a limited number of models that they try to impose on all their clients, regardless of those clients’ size or circumstances. But treating a company with a $1 million annual freight spend the same as shipper that spends $100 million or more simply doesn’t make sense—and providers that don’t tailor their support accordingly are doing their clients a massive disservice.

Providers must be flexible, both in their pricing models and their technical solutions, if they want to earn their clients’ loyalty. In today’s market, shippers have plenty of choices. And if their provider won’t work with them to offer solutions that align with their specific needs—at a price point that fits their budget—then shippers can and should look elsewhere.

As shippers’ needs change, providers must change with them

At the level of the individual client, providers need to offer flexible solutions that allow all shippers to shift their organizational capacity in the blink of an eye. Modern supply chains are always evolving, and providers must equip their clients to weather that change gracefully. They can do this by taking steps like building flexibility into the client’s business processes and ensuring that their tools are adaptable and scalable.

As a rule of thumb, whenever a provider proposes anything that’s set in stone, shippers should start walking briskly in the opposite direction.

Flexible at home and abroad

This high level of flexibility should also extend to the way providers approach their clients’ worldwide operations. While it’s important for providers to help shippers to implement global controls, it’s equally important to be flexible at the regional level.

The logistics landscape in Europe, for example, is very different from the one in South America. If providers don’t take that into account in the way they set up transportation management applications and controls around things like mode and carrier selection, routing, and more, they will ultimately make their clients less effective and increase their spend.

In some cases, providers’ inflexibility can stem from their inexperience handling logistics in certain regions, causing them to make rookie mistakes. But often, it’s just a symptom of their lack of foresight or attention to detail—and shippers deserve better.

Leading the charge for flexibility

Flexibility isn’t just nice to have. It’s essential—and shippers must demand it from their provider, or start looking for support elsewhere.

At CTSI-Global, flexibility is a core tenet of our approach. We have over 350 customers with logistics spends ranging from a few million dollars to over $100 million—and while our mission is to provide the same exceptional experience for all clients, we don’t treat any two alike. We believe all providers should take the same approach, and we aim to lead by example.

Embrace flexibility. Contact us today.

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