We recently interviewed Mike Mortson, founder of Supply Chain Game Changer, about the trends he sees in shipping and the freight industry. He says digitizing supply chains is a significant trend.
Mike is an industrial engineer with an extensive background in all facets of leadership, from supply chain management, procurement, manufacturing, ops, and I.T., to global operations, distribution, logistics, reverse logistics, and commodity management.
Mike has helped several companies evaluate and overall their supply chains. His experiences led him to begin Supply Chain Game Changer, a website and blog aimed at sharing experiences and expertise and curating content and resources to help everyone from industry experts to supply chain professionals globally.
Mike says the website, in its third year now, has been a tremendous experience and has quickly gained readership, participants, and industry accolades, including a recent interview by Oracle.
Mike told us that the fundamental trend in shipping and freight is a growth in electronic connectivity across an entire enterprise or business. This connectivity, or digitization, is primarily done through a Transportation Management System (TMS).
He says unfortunately, small to midsize companies lack the resources (time and money) to take advantage of implementing a TMS. He says typically, implementing a TMS involves the time-consuming challenge of connecting vendors to systems and business processes. This challenge prevents them from seeking out a TMS solution.
Mike says TMS solutions that are doing well in the industry right now are highly customizable, to where they can present information to a customer in a meaningful way to their particular business. These solutions provide a ready made solution, including pre-establish electronic connectivity with carriers and suppliers, and can also include rates, transit times, and more.
He says those TMS providers who provide a complete plug-and-play out of the box solution will become embedded in the very business processes of their customers and become part of a company’s DNA – a real invaluable component.
We also asked Mike about how, in our opinion, it appears the industry is not doing a good job of incorporating digitalization across modes and workflows. For example, a freight forwarder might put on a digital front end and offer some services around that, but at the end of the day, they are not an actual TMS. They are not offering a true digitized supply chain. They are still just a freight forwarder.
Mike says he shares our view and believes there will be a further development of what he calls Supply Chain as a Service (SCaaS). He says much like how Software as a Service sees the outsourcing of certain expertise, a TMS that offers plug-and-play connectivity will do well servicing small and medium-sized companies. He says he believes we’re going to see a more significant proliferation of supply chain services that you can outsource, whether it be logistics management, procurement, or forecasting and planning.
Mike says if you can offer small to medium-sized businesses a TMS backed by engineers, I.T. experts, and logistics professionals that requires minimal investment, that TMS will excel. He says offering this type of value to small and medium-sized businesses allows them to focus on their core competency and not worry about logistics where they do not have expertise.
He adds that these types of companies are often too busy figuring out their day-to-day problems. Making implementation easy for them, will improve their uptake of TMS solutions.
It was heartening to hear Mike’s experienced observations as it validates what is at the heart of FreightPOP’s offering. We give small and medium-sized business plug-and-play connectivity. And this helps explain why we have been able to achieve the growth and retention rate we have.
There has been a real craving by shippers for what we offer. You can view our story here, but our business tagline sums it up well – we are: The Easy TMS, Built by Shippers, For Shippers.
We encourage any shipping and freight industry professionals to check us out for more information.