Freight Forwarders Are Integrating Digital Technology As A Revenue Driver

The digital landscape in the logistics industry is changing fast. Increasing demand from shippers for digital experiences is driving huge investments into digital freight forwarders and technology providers. As forwarders and customs brokers jump into the new waters of digital technology, it’s important to understand how this investment will impact the top and bottom line. 

To help with this, the NCBFAA and Logixboard Organized a webinar on “Digital ROI: How To Integrate Digital Technology And Leverage It As A Key Revenue Driver.”

In this webinar, an expert panel unpacks the true ROI of digital technology, and how to optimize it. Conversation themes that arose around the topic of digital ROI were:

Watch the webinar recording here, or continue to read the summary below.

Meet the Speakers:

Greg Bollefer
EVP Commercial & Product Development at Green Worldwide Shipping
Holly Scott
US Director at OrangeLime Consulting

Julian Alvarez
CEO of Logixboard


 

What tech should be implemented/prioritized first by forwarders?

All speakers agreed that Customer Experience technology and internal technology (to better streamline operations) should be a high priority for forwarders trying to stay competitive in the changing industry.

Automation, visibility, and payment processing were some of the other technology solutions encouraged by our speakers. These solutions need to be considered while evaluating your own company’s operations, your customer’s needs, and what takes the highest priority to best elevate your business.

Join the conversation by hearing more about our speaker’s top suggestions for what technology solutions should be prioritized first in the full webinar.

How do you measure the ROI of digital tools used?

From improved operational efficiency, to increased sales, measuring the return from investments in implemented technology can be done in countless ways. 

Greg discusses Green Worldwide Shipping’s return of their own investments in technology as not only measured in operational growth, but advancements in the actual product available to their customers now. A happy customer equates to a healthy increase in sales.

Being able to pair a competitive digital solution for customers with the advanced industry knowledge of traditional forwarding companies, is a match made in heaven for winning and retaining shipper business. Julian, CEO of Logixboard, can attest to this with the success of customers who implemented and released Logixboard to their shippers.

Even more ways to measure the benefits of integrating digital tools into your forwarding company were discussed, but it was also made very clear that putting in place a team to tackle this change management was also important.

The Importance of Change Management

With talks of integrating new technology into current systems and protocols of logistics companies, the importance of having change management strategies in place was highlighted in the webinar.

Having a team, even if a singular person, in charge of change management is the key to staying on top of innovations in the industry, evaluating tools in the market efficiently, and having a smoother transition of those tools into your current systems.

When looking at these external technology solutions, another valuable point to consider is if that external team is supplying support in your integration of their product.

Instilling the importance of change management within your company’s decision-makers will help ensure your team is prepared to take on the changes within the logistics industry.

Technology’s Impact on Employee Recruitment & Retention

Technology not only has an impact on winning customers but on winning and securing your own staff of talented employees.

When thinking of ROI, one cannot forget to take into account the effect of useful, innovative  technology on securing your team and ensuring that you are able to keep them. This is not only protecting the strong asset that is your team, but also from the additional cost of vetting, training, and onboarding new people.

Digital Forwarders vs. Traditional Forwarders

What separates a digital forwarder and a traditional forwarder? Asked by an event attendee, this question was deeply analyzed by the speakers.

Technology is not new in the industry of freight forwarding, but there has been a surge in innovations that have enabled some forwarding companies to stand out in the pack. Holly states that the difference between these two categories of companies comes from who is utilizing technology to better improve operations.

All the speakers were also aligned in the sentiment that freight forwarding is, and will continue to be, an industry very defined by good communication and customer service by it’s people but with improved overall experience and operations enabled by technology.

Julian also brought up that this divide is not solved by one solution. You do not have to have millions to spend, time to build, and hire the people needed to build an internal solution. Companies like Logixboard have provided answers for forwarders that are missing that technology piece to compete and win in the new forwarding marketplace.

To ensure your forwarding company is shifting to the necessary category of “digital forwarder,” the next question is whether to buy or build your solution.

Buy vs. Build?

Introducing new technology solutions always brings up the “Buy vs. Build” debate on whether to build internally or buy pre-made solutions that integrate into your existing systems. This panel of speakers overwhelmingly agreed though that for this industry, in these changing times, the benefits of deciding to “Buy” outweighs building.

The struggle to take time to build internally while also staying updated with the current technology in the industry is a strong point of contention for building your own solution argument. Not only does this take time to implement to customers and lead to possible loss of potential customers, but it can lead to an outdated solution that doesn’t result in a return on investment.

Cargowise and Descartes are both used commonly by logistics providers for their transportation management systems. Logixboard is a white-labeled platform that empowers these companies,  increase their sales, retain their best customers, and exemplifies the success that buying your tech solution can lead to.

The digital transformation of the industry is here and evaluating whether you will be buying or building your tools is a question that needs to be examined.


Watch the full webinar!

We invite you all to watch the complete webinar and reach out with any questions on Digital ROI.

Unlock the full webinar here.

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