LM Viewpoint: Collaboration, Now more than ever

Our digital world has allowed us to connect with colleagues and business partners over great distances, creating the illusion that time zones and space have evaporated between us—that we’re there in the same room at the same time.

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And for the most part, that development has been beneficial. In fact, it has allowed many logistics and supply chain professionals to stretch their networks over oceans and borders to develop successful freight transportation connections and supplier partnerships in places many have never even visited.

While every month we celebrate the advantages this level of technological implementation has brought to supply chain efficiency, we also work with our friends at SMC3 to put the spotlight on the benefits of more traditional collaboration building—where in-person, face-to-face partnering plays a vital role in meeting the challenges of the digital world.

We call it The Alliance Awards: A program that Logistics Management (LM) and SMC3 have designed to recognize how shippers and their service providers are working together to overcome challenges to critical elements of unique supply chain operations. In fact, it’s the only program in the industry that celebrates supply chain collaboration at the highest level.

And while technology is certainly the glue the binds the pieces of these collaboration success stories, we work to put the spotlight on the human element—the initial meetings, the handshakes and the moments where solutions are found and agreed upon across the conference table.

Over the past three months we’ve shared the case studies of three 2017 Alliance Award winners in an effort to not only get LM readers excited to enter the 2018 program, but also to help shippers realize that a powerful, innovative solution to a modern-day challenge can happen over a cup of coffee with an existing transportation partner.

In August, we shared BMW’s collaboration with Port of Charleston and Norfolk Southern to create a unique intermodal solution that eliminated truck moves, improved its sustainability efforts and subsequently spurred the development of a new inland port in a vital South Carolina region.

In September, we fixed the spotlight on the award-winning effort of global performance nutrition brand Glanbia. To better manage its claims ratios, cut transit times and costs, the shipper worked with its existing 3PL, Transplace, to create an innovative “embedded” arrangement that subsequently lead to an improved partnership with its primary TL carrier, Best Solution Express. In the first year, the new effort helped the shipper shave 34% off of its freight bills.

This month, contributing editor John Schulz shares how 2017 award winner SalonCentric formed a unique partnership with two of its key LTL partners, Pitt Ohio Express and Averitt Express, to lower transport costs, reduce its carbon footprint and improve service to its 565 store locations.

“What I really enjoyed in writing all three of these stories,” says Schulz, “is illustrating how old school, face-to-face collaboration is still alive and well, even in the age of digital logistics management. We even see friendships unfold amid the many conversations and site visits—and that bodes well for the future of all of these winners.”

If you’re anxious to share your successful logistics collaboration story, go to logisticsmgmt.com for information on entering the 2018 Alliance Awards program. Indeed, good, old-fashioned hand-shake collaboration is alive and well. 

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Article Topics

Alliance Award · SMC3 · All Topics
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