Where a company is in its maturity cycle has a lot to do with how it approaches logistics technology purchases, says Joseph.
"It is important for us to understand how transportation is viewed within a customer's company - is it an expense to be managed or a strategic initiative?" he says. "Is this their first piece of technology supporting transportation management or are they in a mature cycle and looking to move to an even higher level? If supply chain and transportation management are considered strategic advantages and core competencies of the company, that turns the technology purchase into an investment, not an expense," he says.
Where companies fall on this curve can be seen in their approach to other technologies as well. "You can see it in the way companies use big data," says Joseph. "Do they just have a bunch of data or are they using the information to work smarter? Are they pulling data from multiple business applications within their organization and bringing all that information together to create analytics and benchmarking and reporting? It all goes back to the level of maturity of their supply chain and whether supply chain and logistics are strategic core competencies."
This concept also applies to collaboration, Joseph says. "When we talk about collaboration, the first thing that comes to mind is a perfect round-trip or continuous move between a carrier and shipper. What we don't see much of, except in mature companies, is a broader view of collaboration, which includes sharing information, not just data, and sharing technology platforms as well as equipment."
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