What do your logistics contingency plans look like?

Feb 26, 2020


Growing up, my children took comfort in hearing from Mr. Rogers. But, guess what? I also enjoyed hearing Fred remind us that "it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood".

At TranzAct we live in the logistics and supply chain neighborhoods. And having attended several conferences over the last couple of weeks, shippers and carriers are experiencing some interesting things in this neighborhood.

The coronavirus shows no signs of abetting and experiences such as these or the capacity crunch of 2018 have exposed a very sobering reality: When it comes to using scenario planning and having a contingency plan, most companies are “missing in action.” That is why we are so passionate about our ebook Managing Your Transportation Spend from the Inside Out: How to Create a Transportation Spend Management Plan. It helps shippers understand why they need to have a plan that addresses sudden contingencies. It can also highlight the importance of conducting scenario planning exercises about "things" that can affect your supply chains.

As the co-founder of TranzAct, I routinely get to hear about the logistics and supply chain challenges that different Presidents and CEOs are facing. Interestingly enough, the main challenges are usually not technical, but personal. Whether it’s a lack of a common vision or a lack of shared understanding about how things are supposed to work within their supply chain, the implementation of a sound transportation plan can result in pursuing solid opportunities or “wins” and help people work well together.

I know some of you may be skeptical but a couple of years ago, we featured an interview with with Dave Venberg, who was, at the time, the Senior Director of Transportation and Logistics at Ardent Mills. Dave talked about how they used the planning process to become a shipper of choice. He the highlighted the steps his company took - steps which included interviewing / surveying thousands of truck drivers to find out what experience they’ve had at their facilities. They acted on those surveys too.

A few other examples were shared during our last webinar, Breaking Down the Silos: Sales & Transportation, which is part of a series about helping the transportation department work better with other areas of a company.

Laura Eory, Senior Manager at GAF Transportation, explained that “One of critical elements to think about is that there’s unhealthy tension and healthy tension” when working with other co-workers and departments in a company.

John Janson, the Senior Director of Supply Chain at SanMar (the nation’s largest wholesale distributor of apparel) spent extra time with sales, went on sales calls, and asked questions about why they do things the way they do.

And Dwayne Farr, the Director North American Distribution at Dayco Products (manufacturer and distributor for the central drive system) talked about the importance of sharing and explaining data.

At the end of the day, if you want to take Fred's tip to "have a beautiful day" in your logistics and supply chain neighborhood,  check out our ebook, build your transportation spend management plan and remember, at TranzAct we always respond "YES" to Fred's question: “Won’t you be my neighbor?”