3 Steps to Resilience in Transportation & Logistics

How to transform your business while keeping freight moving and people safe.

By: Taimur Khan
GM, Vice President - Travel, Transportation, and Hospitality, Salesforce

The pandemic has disrupted global trade in unprecedented ways. With the transportation and logistics industry paramount for delivering food, medication, and critical PPE, the entire ecosystem was forced to develop new ways to communicate and collaborate and to make supply chains resilient.

Learn how to reimagine operations to meet today’s needs, all while keeping employees safe.

While carriers and logistics providers never stopped working at the height of the pandemic, the industry is experiencing further change. This includes evolving consumer behaviors, a shift from global to local, and an emphasis on direct-to-consumer sales that require reimagined operations.

As you consider where to begin your company’s transformation, this article will introduce the solutions to put in place in order to increase capacity utilization, find operational efficiency, and keep employees safe and freight moving.

Step 1: Digitize operations to adapt to new work practices

For decades, the transportation and logistics industry has struggled with legacy infrastructure, siloed and inaccurate data, disconnected customer experiences, and high driver turnover — which hit a staggering 97.5% in Q3 2019.

The current health crisis is forcing the industry to evolve as customer expectations increase and regulations change. Digitizing operations is now an imperative for the new ways of working. Here’s how Salesforce can help you get on track.

Power intelligent logistics

Suppliers were able to quickly pivot to supply critical PPE with a single-source-of-truth (SSOT) for customer data. Analytics with Logistics 360 can help you connect data and teams across your ecosystem to enable better collaboration, communication, and decision-making and create growth and success. Furthermore, you can deliver the experiences customers want, expect, and need.

Win new shippers

Managing operational capacity data is no longer enough. Transportation and logistics companies need to proactively adjust to real-time market trends, analyze signals to identify high-propensity shippers, and predict supply and demand trends. In other words, you need to respond to signals from your best customers and prospects immediately and constantly iterate to outperform competitors. Marketing Cloud can help you identify these signals and find new shippers based on customer demand.

Recruit, train, and retain drivers

Drivers are the engine that keeps the supply chain moving. As experienced drivers age out — the average driver age is 54 — transportation and logistics companies must reach a wider demographic of younger drivers, including millennials and Generation Z.

Doing so requires better recruiting practices, improved training programs, and retention efforts. To start, focus on digital channels where younger drivers are more likely to spend their time (for example, social media). With Marketing Cloud, you can reach the right audiences with hyper-targeted ads based on demographic data, track qualified candidates, and prioritize those who meet your requirements.

From there, digital learning tools like MyTrailhead streamline onboarding and training with a gamified approach. Qualified drivers can meet knowledge requirements for laws and road safety and earn certifications for important skills with customized learning paths.

To combat turnover and boost employee satisfaction, invest in a retention strategy. Offer continuing education, including courses on how to enhance interpersonal skills. Encourage good behaviors with incentives. Ask employees for feedback. Use your data to predict attrition.

Discover how Salesforce can help you improve every part of driver engagement. Learn more.

Maximize engagement with frictionless experiences

The Supplyforce Bot for Supply Chain Resilience helps you connect in real time with drivers, couriers, and cargo operators anywhere. Share information on upcoming pit stops or details on a destination, such as if it’s a high-risk area for COVID-19, via SMS or WhatsApp. In the event of a problem, drivers can also flag the need for assistance.

Dispatchers can monitor drivers from anywhere with built-in dashboards. The data visualization helps them determine if backup drivers are needed or if drivers are entering high-risk COVID-19 areas through color-coding. They can also zero in on a situation and determine if a shipment is in jeopardy. This helps to ensure delivery is on time and meets customer expectations.

Put the customer at the center

Historically, transportation and logistics companies focused on the freight. While this remains critical, customer-centricity is more important than ever. The Deliver a Seamless Shipping Experience solution ensures that every touchpoint — direct or indirect — positively impacts the shipper and buyer experience.

The key is putting customers in control. So, when a customer requests an immediate quote, you can respond to inquiries with real-time price updates. You can also optimize business based on tender response times and your best carrier rating and build a connected supply chain from order to delivery. Customers can use self-service channels (for example, chatbots) and omni-channel capabilities to stay up to date on their shipments.

Collaborate with partners

Transportation and logistics companies rely on a complex network of partners to keep the supply chain in motion. To source, ship, and deliver PPE at scale, pre-built supply chain management solutions extend customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities. Salesforce partners like Neurored provide a trusted supply chain network for suppliers to procure PPE by placing orders with trade networks.

For example, Kaelis Group was able to quickly pivot to sourcing and supplying PPE for its customer base of airlines and railway companies.

“The situation in March was very challenging. We had to completely turn around the business in order to survive and help save lives as the shortage of PPE was critical. We redirected our capabilities, knowhow, and technology — mainly Salesforce and Neurored with the support of S4G Consulting — to sourcing and supply chain management of PPE with excellent results.”

Federico Heitz
CEO & Board Member Kaelis Group

Step 2: Keep your employees safe with a healthy work environment

Supply chain resilience starts by keeping people safe and ensuring that their work environment is safe. Cue Work.com for T&L to make the best and safest decisions for your workforce. Consider these solutions:

Launch a command center

Use your command center to make decisions and take actions. Visualize internal applications, employee surveys, and public data from a single hub. Trigger workflows and disseminate employee communications as well.

Conduct contact tracing

A contact tracing capability gives you a holistic view of employees impacted by COVID-19. Monitor and engage those who were potentially exposed to the virus with automatic outreach. Include information on what they should do to minimize spread.

Optimize shift management

Use a shift management dashboard for visibility into capacity and plan schedules accordingly. Employees also have control over their availability, so you can assign shifts based on their needs and wellness.

Monitor employee health and wellness

From your control center, gather data and assess an employee population’s suitability to work. Create and deploy employee health surveys, integrate workflows that trigger follow-up actions based on wellness status, and make informed decisions around employee wellbeing — while ensuring employee health data is always safe and secure.

Offer virtual learning resources

As you hire new drivers, agents, and other employees, use digital learning tools like myTrailhead to provide access to learning from anywhere. This way, you can maintain and evolve your training program in the absence of face-to-face learning. Create custom learning modules with pre-configured content kits with best practices. Then, monitor learning and training completion stats from your dashboard. You can also use myTrailhead to educate your shippers and carrier network about new procedures as they become relevant.

Supplyforce Bot is a perfect solution for seamlessly connecting with your workforce for safety-related information, to ask for help with a live agent, and to self-triage in the event of exposure to the virus.

Step 3: Reimagine business processes with expert guidance

As circumstances change, we’re all in this together. Reimagine your business processes with trusted resources:

  • Business roundtables. The Business Roundtable and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) teamed up to offer a forum for business, health, and government leaders to offer insights and recovery stories as well as data-driven analysis and best practices. Learn more.
  • The COVID-19 response playbook. Discover a versatile framework for leading, building resilience, and accelerating change. Download the playbook.
  • Customer stories. See how fellow leaders throughout the transportation and logistics industry are navigating the health crisis. Find out how CitySprint leads same-day delivery service and DG International Group provides supply chain management solutions to source and deliver PPE to customers.

With the right tools and access to helpful resources, transportation and logistics companies can manage through any unexpected event — and build a resilient supply chain for the future. Salesforce experts are ready to keep your workforce safe and help you adapt to new business practices. For more information about our industry-specific solutions, contact us.


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