As a manager in one of the UK’s many haulage companies, do you ever wonder what customers see when they look at your business? Or what makes them choose you over your competitors? |
Well, the truth is that when prospects are choosing between haulage companies there are some key factors that always play a major part in that choice. Identifying what these are is what will put you ahead of the crowd in the market place as you’ll know exactly where to target your marketing to secure more business.
Keep an Eye on KPIs
Put yourself in the place of your customer for a moment: you know that cost, service and punctuality are important to them, but what else might they be looking for? The answer is that most companies will consider a range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) when considering which of the many haulage companies they want to work with, so it’s worth making them part of your marketing strategy.
Knowing which KPIs will be important to each specific customer is tricky as each will have their own needs, but there are key common metrics which most clients will be looking at.
Cost is always going to be a huge factor in contracting haulage companies and the metrics clients will be using to determine your competitiveness in this important field are likely to include:
• The cost of freight per pallet transported • The cost of outbound and inbound freight as a percentage of net sales and purchases • The number of damage/delay claims as a percentage of freight cost
As well as cost, your prospective clients are going to want to assess how efficient your business is in terms of how it operates. The key metrics they will want to consider here are:
• Time in transit • Invoicing accuracy • Amount of truck load used • Fleet time utilised • Handling points • Last time at which orders can be processed for delivery • Traceability of shipment • Punctuality
For more and more clients, the environmental credentials of haulage companies is becoming a factor in choosing which ones to work with so it’s worth looking at what claims you can make in this area. Key environmental metrics clients are looking for are:
• Position of distribution centres • Number of distribution centres • Fuel saving schemes • Age of fleet • Tyre maintenance • Route selection • Driver training • Load planning to prevent ‘empty load’ journeys (haulage exchange schemes work well here)
If you consider these metrics when you approach a potential client, or compile marketing material, you’ll find that you have already answered many of their questions before they’ve even been raised, leaving the way clear for a positive on-going relationship.
It’s also a good idea to reassure potential clients that these detailed KPIs will be scheduled and reports given on a regular basis so that they will continue to be informed on the performance and efficiency of their transport provider going forward.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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