As a kid, I always looked for coin operated telescopes while on vacation.  I loved fiddling with the magnification and focus and it seemed my fascination was never quite satisfied no matter how many coins my dad would put in the machine.  Whether looking out at the Grand Canyon or across a skyscape, it always amazed me how I could change the magnification to enable me to see things so far away. How could those tower viewers magnify that much? Why can’t my eyes see all these details—in focus, all at the same time (admittedly an outcropping of my Superman fantasy)! It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized those same questions would exist in the transportation logistics world as well.

From the vantage point of your own Tower Viewer within your company’s transportation logistics, what “magnification” is your telescope setting?

220x: Maximum Detail, Minimum Panorama. Just like the childhood telescope view where you see the minute details like people on the far all of the canyon instead of the overall landscape, your organization is focused exclusively on the details.  Routinely shopping every shipment to multiple carriers, arranging every movement, filling out BOL’s, calling carriers to track shipments enroute, dealing with damage claims or overdue shipments, and generally very, very busy. The problem, however, is very often employees are spending $20 in wagetime to save $10 on a shipment. You’re losing money….but you can’t see it.

50x: Details and Panorama are Both Out of Focus.  You know the critical nature of attention to detail in shipping, yet hate the idea of wasting so much employee time on those details. Employees are still touching every shipment (often multiple times) and continuing to direct every shipment. Perhaps from sheer exhaustion, some are beginning to experiment with using a broker for convenience, because they simply can’t get everything done on their own. At this stage, transportation managers are beginning to see the value of managing their transportation, but recognize the need for a true professional —a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider.

1x: The Big Picture is Clear, the Details are Covered.  In a word, Strategic. Now the transportation personnel see logistics as something to manage more than something to do. By considering a long-term partnership with a trusted 3PL, performance metrics allow your organization to manage the entire logistics function with minimal inputs. The organization is not bothered with carrier selection and execution but is instead focused on performance metrics and continuous improvement. Transportation now moves from measuring “tasks completed” to “benchmarks achieved”. And the cost-savings begin to add up.

As an TForce Worldwide agency Customodal’s ideal client is ready to dial back their “Tower Viewer” from 220x or 50x and move toward a 1x performance measurement-based model of transportation logistics.  Top managers at our clients tell us the best part of partnering with Customodal is not the hard-dollar savings they receive—although significant— but the security they feel seeing the increased visibility our TMS provides for shipments in transit, coupled with fingertip logistics controls that seamlessly support the department and company performance objectives for which they are responsible.

To learn more about managing your transportation logistics from a panoramic, or strategic, level call or email me to schedule a free Discovery Meeting where we can mutually explore goals and opportunities previously unavailable to small- and medium-sized shippers.


About The Author

Mike Eberl
Mike is Founder and CEO of Customodal. Having a nearly 30 year history owning companies which provided asset-based ground freight, parcel shipping, air freight and charter flight services, Mike harnessed that knowledge into a Top-Tier logistics company when he started Customodal.

To read more about Mike, check out his full bio here.