The key to running a successful small business is having access to information about your business. Being able to spot trends, review customers’ revenue, and divide data into month, customer, commodity, etc. can provide powerful insight to a small-business owner.
“Landstar has always recognized that we are in the small-business business. What that means is, we’re really an information management company,” says Pat O’Malley, Landstar vice president and chief commercial and marketing officer. “So, we’re designing our systems, our scale and our support around helping small-business people succeed – that includes our customers, independent Landstar capacity providers and sales agents.”
To that end, Landstar launched a business analytics tool for agents that provides interactive access to agency-specific information. It also has improved data visualization so agents can better identify opportunities to manage their businesses and serve their customers.
“For about six months, we met with all of our agents, so that we could better understand their processes and how technology could best serve them,” says Landstar EVP Business Development and Analysis Jim Applegate. “Based on the feedback that we got from the agents, we created a strategic technology roadmap of tools that they are now using to benefit their agencies, and ultimately better serve customers using Landstar services.”
The agent analytics tool provides Landstar agents with detailed data and graphs pertaining to the agent’s specific business. Agents are able to access key performance indicators, review current data, and set goals for revenue, shipment and margin. Plus, agents can easily spot customer trends and evaluate and manage staff productivity.
“The best part of using agent analytics is that it’s very dynamic, real-time information pertaining to my agency,” says Landstar Agent Robby Stewart. “Every day, with this insight, I can help my customers succeed. Whether it’s moving an expedited shipment, or it’s finding different ways to move their freight more economically, we’re providing solutions for our customers – and it’s not just moving freight,” adds Stewart.
“By better serving our agents, we are delivering to Landstar customers. If you take a look at what shippers expect, it’s information. And Landstar agents expect no less. How quickly we can provide that information and how that information is packaged and delivered really sets us apart from our competition,” concludes Applegate.