Transportation spend management proves critical in volatile market
Shippers often find themselves operating on razor-thin margins. This is especially true during times of extreme market volatility, like those seen during the coronavirus pandemic. Right now, every dollar matters, and it is important for companies to up their game when it comes to transportation spend management.
It can be difficult to visualize where transportation spend is actually going. Carrier data is often complicated, disparate and incomplete, making it virtually impossible for shippers to track shipment-level performance and pinpoint which charges are accurate. That is where Trax comes into play.
“A lot of it comes down to the complexity of carrier data,” Trax EVP of Customer Success Steve Beda said. “It requires a lot of either time or technical capability to be able to access, harmonize and use that data to pay the vendor and manage your transportation network.”
Streamlining freight audit and payment processes is the first step toward managing transportation spend. While many shippers attempt to do this in-house or utilize generic tools built into their TMS, partnering with a transportation spend management company provides more robust tools, increased efficiency and peace of mind that is difficult to find elsewhere.
There is a plethora of companies that advertise freight audit tools, making it important for shippers to practice discernment when choosing a partner.
“I encourage folks to look past the bullcrap. This is an industry that has been around for 60 years, and there are a lot of businesses desperate to earn customers,” Trax President and Chief Revenue Officer Josh Bouk said. “There are very few strong, reputable businesses in this space.”
For a company to be a strong transportation spend management partner in 2022, it needs to be attuned to shippers’ changing needs, embrace emerging technologies and boast a global presence.
“Global coverage and multimodal coverage are critical,” Beda said. “In a typical large supply chain where materials are being manufactured overseas and shipped across borders, you need a global company with regional support to meet those needs.”
In addition to increased globalization, companies across the supply chain are placing increased emphasis on collaboration and integration. Companies are tiring quickly of the disparate nature of the logistics industry, especially when it comes to technology. Fewer shippers are willing to adopt multiple, separate tools for every need. At this point, for any third-party solution provider to win customers, it needs to ensure its tools serve multiple purposes and integrate with existing systems.
“There is a need for integration on the upstream and downstream sides of data capture. We are finding that more and more customers have a comprehensive strategy, and platform integration takes a lot of expertise,” Beda said. “You have to be careful that your partner has the skill, staff and understanding to handle it.”
Over the past five years, Trax has led the freight audit and transportation spend management space in dollars invested in technology. The company has invested well over $30 million in its tech platforms to enable integrations and push forward in increasingly important areas like sustainability.
Trax will continue to invest in its platform, ensuring it is able to meet customers where they are and help them climb to the next level.