What data can freight agents use to drive the growth of their businesses? Katie MacDonald, Landstar Transportation Logistics vice president, agent development and sales, shared this insight in the April issue of Inbound Logistics.
Freight agents rely on technology to maintain the daily operations of their businesses. But how are they using data gathered from technology to drive growth? There are many different technology-focused tools available – some are widely used in the transportation and logistics industry, some are unique to the company a freight agent operates under – but all compile different datasets. If that data isn’t being utilized properly or is challenging to understand, freight agents could be doing a disservice to future customers and limit their company’s growth potential. This is especially true for independent agents who own their businesses.
Forecasting & Planning
Every freight agent could benefit from using a business analytics tool that provides detailed data specific to their company’s trends and performance metrics, ultimately giving freight agents the support needed to provide their customers with the best service. This data should help freight agents position their resources, review trends, identify opportunities to mature existing accounts, manage staff and set tangible goals for new business. Additionally, it should be presented visually to make it as digestible as possible. Having the technology to collect and present the right data in a manner in which it can be quickly used is key.
Quick, Accurate Quoting
The process of developing a shipping quote for a customer can be very tedious for some freight agents. Several third-party sources have to be checked to give the most accurate pricing, unless the freight agent has access to a pricing tool that pulls all of that information into one place. The less time a freight agent spends gathering and compiling pricing data to provide an accurate quote, the quicker the agent can develop a solution for the customer and get the shipment in transit to its destination.
A busy freight agent should be able to access the company’s business tools anywhere, anytime. If ever in a situation where a customer has an immediate or emergency request, a freight agent should not have to worry about how to provide the best solution at a moment’s notice. No matter what technology a freight agent considers investing in, or has access to through the transportation provider they work with, it should be as mobile as they are.
More Time to Focus on Your Business
Technology is supposed to make life and business easier, especially in a competitive market like the logistics and transportation industry. The less time a freight agent spends navigating numerous tools and trying to decipher complicated datasets, the more time they can spend focusing on the growth of their business and the needs of their customers.
The data-driven tools a freight agent uses should be quick, efficient, user-friendly and, most importantly, serve the needs of their business and customers. Whether operating on their own or independently under an agent-based company like Landstar, freight agents should know what technologies are available to them and how to use data to support the growth of their business.
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