Although over 17k logistics providers are using CargoWise to manage their operations, many aren’t using the system to its full potential. We spoke with our certified CargoWise partners, and they outlined the common signs they see when freight forwarders aren’t correctly utilizing the CargoWise platform.
Here are the three CargoWise red flags they told us to look out for:
- Increased Business Volume (Always) Solved by an Increase in Employees
- Organization Through Spreadsheets
- Not Having a Paperless Environment
1. Increased Business Volume Only Solved by an Increase in Employees
Growing an operations team’s headcount to handle newly acquired business was standard practice for freight forwarders in the past. However, waves of digitization in the logistics industry have introduced technology that can multiply the productivity of logistics professionals through automation.
When working with freight forwarders to audit and integrate their processes into CargoWise, Holly Scott of Orange Lime Consulting notes that many are “struggling with the fact that every time they bring on a new customer, they need to hire 2-6 people as well. Which is a red flag that your operation is not efficient.”
While increasing headcount will always be a necessity at some level, the ideal solution is to create a scalable, efficient process using digitization. This will equip your operations members to manage more work at one time in areas such as customer service, visibility, document sharing, quoting, and more, while giving time back to them to focus on top priority tasks.
2. Organization Through Spreadsheets
Freight forwarding teams using Excel spreadsheets for aspects of their operations is pretty common. It is also a clear sign that software is not being optimized when seen from a CargoWise user.
“Unfortunately today we still go in and uncover hours spent compiling data into Excel spreadsheets that are passed around internally that people then key into the system from, or combine data from, different reports. And [we see] reports that are made manually to give to a client.” says Holly.
CargoWise creates a single source of truth for freight forwarder’s data and processes. Set up CargoWise workflow features to store all documents, data, and more, while having the ability to automatically grab data from CargoWise to share analytics straight from your account to customers and relevant groups. This single source eliminates the need for the stacks of physical documents that used to fill freight forwarder offices.
If your operations team is using multiple spreadsheets to run operations, you’re spending time on manual data entry that could be handled more quickly, and possibly more accurately, by digital tools.
3. Not Having a Paperless Environment
As digitization sweeps across industries, the logistics industry has been slower to adopt new technological tools and instead favor known processes that have served them well throughout the years. Some of these rely heavily on paper and ink.
Unfortunately, no matter how much some may prefer it, paper and ink is slower and more cumbersome than digital document management.
“There is a paperless environment you can have with CargoWise. You don’t have to have your paper folders anymore. Back when I was doing this before CargoWise you would usually have a paper folder for all your jobs and you would actually file them away by ETA date forms. Then you would constantly track them online on a couple of websites that were available.”
–Amna Shah, certified CargoWise partner and AHS Consulting senior director.
This red flag can be pretty easy to identify. Just look for file folders, trays on desks, and boxes of papers on the floor! Our CargoWise partners shared that many freight forwarders know CargoWise can help them with this, but that the forwarders find it daunting to switch all their processes over to the software. (Fortunately, that barrier is one of the key things certified CargoWise partners help forwarders overcome.)
Many times there is some paper left in a freight forwarders office, even when integrating successfully onto CargoWise. Still, even though it may be almost impossible to reach, a paperless environment is a great stretch goal for logistics service providers aiming to reach maximum productivity and efficiency for their customers and internal operations.
Although the transition to fully utilizing your operations through CargoWise may sound intimidating, there are experts and CargoWise training tools ready to help users take that next step and implement all the best practices to ensure your success.