Top 5 signs it is time to switch carriers:
1. Financial Warning Signs
With many carriers reporting first quarter losses in 2012, now might be a good time to check the financial health of your current carrier. While a one-time quarterly loss isn’t a reason to immediately run for the exits, a string of quarterly losses most likely has deeper considerations than just the state of the global economy.
2. Uncompetitive Rates
Let’s face it, it is always easier to stick with an incumbent provider than bringing in a new partner. The reasons are many, including I.T. connectivity, customer service and sales familiarity, and knowledge of your business to name a few. However, if your current carrier is simply not market competitive it might be time to either have a rate conversation or take your services out to bid. The term uncompetitive will largely be defined within your own corporate culture and how much you are willing to spend to remain with a company that provides good service is a personal decision. It is not always about the lowest rates…just market competitive rates for a fair competitive service.
3. Service Standards
With many carriers offering similar services (ie moving boxes from A to B), one huge differentiator is the level of service that is provided by your carrier. If the level of customer service offered by your incumbent carrier has slowly deteriorated over the course of your business dealings, it might be time to shop for a carrier that is eager to provide you with stellar service. Also pay close attention to the level of support you are offered from a commercial perspective. There is something to be said about having consistency in sales support.
4. I.T. Dark Ages
In today’s modern world, knowledge is power, and no more so than in today’s competitive supply chain environment. The days of monitoring your supply chain via spreadsheets are over. If your carrier does not have the tools necessary from an I.T. perspective to assist in managing your business on a day to day basis, then it is time to take a look at alternate options. One of those options might be to research I.T. connectivity methods with your carrier through a third party supply chain platform.
5. Internal Changes
As your company (hopefully) grows, it is important that your existing carriers grow with you. If you have outgrown the service capabilities of your carriers, whether it is in I.T. requirements or shipment volumes, then now is a good time to start identifying any current shortfalls. Once identified, start looking for ways to address those needs in preparation to take your supply chain to the next level and increase your competitive advantage.