I enjoyed your "Plugging Leaks" article in the current issue. For those in procurement, sifting through supplier-driven buzzwords about "stages," "tactical," "strategic" and "leverage" is no less daunting than their day-to-day struggles to gain internal respect, technology resources and structure for centralized authority and compliance.
I have spent over 35 years in transportation, and I am still amazed that, for the vast majority of shippers and receivers, their buying practices have essentially not changed even in the face of a deregulated transportation industry that is in denial about being a commodity.
The independent research firm Aberdeen Group says there is over $134 billion in missed supply chain savings for midsize firms due to inadequate sourcing competencies. My belief is that freight sales, traffic and purchasing personnel are endangered species — not just because of a lack of effectiveness, but because technology has progressed more quickly than they can afford or manage, they lack the respect of their senior management, and they have no leverage to make changes.
This is essentially why transportation management business process outsourcing companies are the fastest growing segment in transportation. Instead of plugging leaks, smart manufacturers/distributors have decided to outsource the plumbing. An interesting future article might share insights from both sides of the desk as to why transportation professionals generally lack respect, both internally and externally.
Thanks for writing and listening.
Harry Gorden, President, Transport Management Services, Inc.
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