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Commentary: Adventures in big data wonderland – Don’t get lost in the rabbit hole | American Shipper

Chasing the elusive white rabbit. Today, 3PLs and brokers are stuck in a cycle of chasing loads, agreeing to fixed-price contracts with shippers, and getting burned when capacity tightens and rates rise. Margin compression is a daily concern, and the key to a failsafe pricing strategy remains just out of reach.

In addition to pricing challenges, the traditional sales process is time consuming and involves several steps: prospect a customer, analyze their needs, research cost, research sell rate, respond to the customer, source the load, etc. Efficiency and revenue per employee are stagnant, and turnover is rampant. What if brokers could buy and sell in a more efficient and accurate manner? What if sales reps could talk to more customers per day, with fewer phone calls, mouse clicks, and keystrokes? Even shaving off seconds per rep, per day could have a big impact over time.

Many see data and technology as a potential solution, but few know how to effectively aggregate, analyze, and monetize it.

There is no magic pill or potion. Many business intelligence tools and platforms promise big improvements to your bottom line, but it is important to remember that a product is useless without a clearly defined challenge to overcome. Too often, business executives end up with an expensive IT solution that is in search of a problem.

Companies must start with the problem and work toward a solution, not the other way around. Once a problem is identified, what is the end goal? Decrease the time it takes to book a shipment?Increase revenue? Acquire more customers? Not taking the time to strategically establish desired outcomes before purchasing technology leads to wasted time and resources and subpar results.

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Commentary: Adventures in big data wonderland – Don’t get lost in the rabbit hole.

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