Creating the transportation strategy and developing future state solution options for complex transportation operations.

Supply chains are designed around physical operations, and all too often, the transportation operation takes a backseat to other initiatives. Due to that, processes are outdated, systems are a version behind (or do not exist), and costs grow out of line. Our team of transportation strategy consulting experts can help you overcome these challenges. During a transportation strategy engagement, we help shippers and logistics service providers define the go-forward strategy and develop solution options for the future state.

Current state processes are typically outdated and not documented. It is common for executives and managers to not fully understand how planning and execution happens throughout the transportation operation, or those processes have evolved into many manual work arounds, or have simply not changed to support the desired outcome in the operation. These broken or out dated processes lead to cost slippage and service issues.

On-premise software applications are always a version behind due to the lack of attention from an IT department, or the inability to assign resources or headcount to keep up with functional improvements as tools and requirements evolve in the market.

Transportation operations are very integration-intensive due to their relationship with many internal and external trading partners and service providers. Integration platforms and software providers are deploying solutions today that enable lower-cost and easy to maintain integration capabilities and portals to support an easier to manage integration maintenance environment.

Developing a go-forward transportation strategy, considering the opportunities with respect to physical, information, and financial flows is a daunting task that takes weeks to months of dedication resources.

Through our transportation strategy consulting services, we help our clients:

  • Understand the physical, information, and financial flows in their transportation operation
  • Document current state and future state process flows
  • Document current state and future state information and integration flows
  • Model and analyze transportation flows and pricing
  • Recommend organizational changes to support a desired future strategy
  • Recommend near, medium, and long-term change areas
  • Develop a business case for change, with a hard-dollar ROI, in order to justify systems and org changes
  • Identify operational, process, and systems improvement opportunities.
  • Design a roadmap of projects to deliver against the collaboratively developed strategy

Meet One of Our Industry Experts

Geoff Milsom

Geoff Milsom is Senior Director of enVista’s transportation strategy and consulting services. Geoff has more than 10 years of experience delivering transportation strategy, operations and systems improvements to clients in various industries.

Designing a solution to better manage transportation involves a 3-step approach:

Evaluate

In evaluating and understanding the current state of a transportation operation, we start by laying out all of its costs on a simple one-page document called a “spend diagram” which will help the transportation executives and the broader supply chain organization understand the large impact areas.

Next, we evaluate the current order processes. Transportation operations are typically where the symptoms (excess costs) of upstream or downstream order process issues arise. Documenting these current state processes in process flow diagrams, also known as swim-lane diagrams, helps people visualize, on paper, what is actually happening at the user or operator level.

After documenting these order processes, we then document the transportation-specific processes (sourcing, optimization, planning, execution, in-transit, delivery, and payment/ settlement) also in swim-lane diagrams. Once these processes are mapped, it is best practice to review them on paper with the do-ers so that everyone agrees on what the current state processes are. Lastly, we diagram the systems and integration points that impact those order and transportation processes on an integration data flow diagram. This is similar to the Spend Diagram, but instead of costs and flow, you have systems and integration points/types (automated file transfers, file uploads, spreadsheets, and emails).

Design Future State

Once that the spend, processes, and systems landscape is understood and documented, we can help you evaluate it and begin thinking about what exists in the current state that they can leverage to meet the future state requirements. The best (and cheapest) answer typically does not involve a new OMS, ERP, or TMS. We look to answer the following questions: Can we more broadly implement our existing applications? Are there integration points that do not exist today that will enable lower cost processes in the future? Do the correct people own the correct responsibilities? Or, do we have the right amount of centralization or decentralization?

Create a Business Case

These future state changes will also require some type of investment (capital expense or operating expense). To pay for this, the shipper or logistics service provider must have a business case with hard-dollar savings (or substantial cost avoidance), not soft-dollar visibility success. These business cases and hard-dollar ROIs come from proper carrier selection, maverick spend elimination, shipment/load consolidation, mode switch, strategic carrier sourcing, freight/parcel audit, and optimization. This is usually the most analytical part of the project and does require using a software application. When running the potential savings scenarios, we ensure that the assumptions are documented and validated within the transportation and supply chain departments to ensure the outcomes are valid and achievable.

Why enVista?

enVista brings unparalleled transportation experience, from assessments to designing and implementing solutions. We have a proven track record of success reducing transportation costs from source to consumption and are passionate about helping clients run more efficient and profitable operations.

We are deeply experienced in all manner of transportation analysis, including: strategic network design, carrier sourcing, carrier contract analysis and negotiation, and more. Our proprietary software solutions ensure objective, data-driven analysis and decision making. These analytics and consulting services may be project-based as needed, using experts familiar with your operations, business processes and data.