5 supply chain management workflows 3PLs should implement to stand out in a crowded marketplace

Jacob Vasquez

Jacob Vasquez,

Senior Product Marketing Manager

4 April 20230 min read

Read on for workflows to increase your operational efficiency

The logistics and transportation industry is experiencing a digital revolution. In the face of a labor shortage and needing to do more with less, 3PLs are looking to technology to increase agent efficiency and move more freight. Front’s customer communication platform streamlines shipper and carrier operations for more than 500 3PLs, including Priority1, Sennder, and Estes Forwarding Worldwide

With Front, 3PLs save thousands of hours per month, manage more loads, and deliver world-class customer service. Below, we share five supply chain management workflows that will increase your operational efficiency without hiring more brokers.

Automatically categorize, route, and assign incoming requests

For 3PLs who want to win more business, this is a must. Front’s tagging, routing, and assignment capabilities enable you to design communication workflows that streamline your shipper and carrier operations. The result? More daily shipments managed per agent.

Tag, route, and assign using:

  • Keywords like Tender, Order, Urgent, Hot Load, and more

  • Custom fields like Account Manager, geographic region, or service

  • Round robin or load balancing 

Set up escalation workflows that alert relevant team members

Did your direct report comply with the service level agreement? How many emails is each teammate handling? Who is owning the follow up? If the answer to any of these questions is "I’m not sure," you’re in a similar boat with most logistics companies - email is not designed for collaboration or customer service. The vast majority of 3PLs struggle with unclear ownership and bumpy handoffs, leading to a poor customer experience. 

Fronts SLA rules, manager visibility, and customizable escalation workflows give 3PLs a toolkit to put supply chain management processes in place that ensure prompt, comprehensive replies.

For example, you can create escalation workflows that notify teammates when:

  • Messages do not receive a reply after a certain amount of time

  • Emails contain certain keywords or come from a certain sender

  • Internal comments or tags are applied to a conversation 

Save common responses and centralize necessary information

Logistics is a speed game. The fastest replies win business and foster strong relationships with shippers and carriers. Too often, 3PLs waste time typing a similar response to common requests and searching for relevant information across multiple windows like your TMS, Teams app, and email inbox. 

Fronts message templates, comments, and integrations help you:

  • Create saved replies for common inquiries as a starting point

  • Send internal chat messages in the same place as your emails

  • Add a link back to your TMS to increase efficiency

Integrate your TMS for comprehensive, fast replies

Information silos slow your team down. Front’s platform is an open ecosystem, so you can build integrations for any system with an API. Bring all of your relevant customer and TMS data into Front to automate manual supply chain management processes.

By integrating your TMS with Front, you can:

  • See relevant shipment information alongside your email communications

  • Route messages to or notify the right teammate based on information from your TMS

  • Automatically pull information like shipment ID, load status, pickup time into a reply

Measure team performance and customer satisfaction

You can’t improve what you cant measure, and email can be a major blindspot. It doesn’t provide insight into message volume, response time, and other key team performance metrics. Tracking customer satisfaction either requires another tool or worse, doesn’t happen at all.

Front’s customer communication platform offers pre-built reports for team performance, SLAs, customer satisfaction and more.

Use analytics to:

  • Identify the busiest time of day and staff accordingly

  • Highlight top performers and reward their efforts

  • Discover how customers feel about your service 

Streamline your shipper and carrier operations today

Optimizing and automating your supply chain management processes is key to stand out in a crowded marketplace. 

Front’s customer communication platform allows 500+ 3PLs and transportation companies to deliver fast, accurate customer service at scale. We transform three fundamental business operations so you can:

  • Categorize and route messages to the right person automatically

  • Respond with speed and personalization

  • Measure and improve team performance and customer satisfaction

Get started with Front and implement these 5 supply chain management workflows! You can expect to move more loads per agent without sacrificing quality service.

Written by Jacob Vasquez

Originally Published: 3 April 2023

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