A broker is only good as their network of carriers.
Unfortunately, many brokers underutilize their existing network and struggle to understand how to expand their relationships with quality carriers leaving them with a high load-to-carrier ratio. When data is often difficult to obtain, siloed within numerous platforms, and generally hard to interpret, these factors lead to missed opportunities.
For successful freight brokers, a procurement platform not only helps them to understand their data but enhances it in a way that allows them to effectively make strategic decisions to pre-book more freight and expand their carrier base.
What is a Procurement Platform?
A procurement platform provides brokers with a centralized way to better manage carrier data and pricing decisions while improving carrier engagement and facilitating better relationships.
Brokers have access to a wealth of data about carriers. From publicly available information to proprietary data collected by individual users, carrier data is everywhere. However, when data is raw or not properly recorded it's hard to digest and interpret. As a result, brokers can leverage this data to make informed decisions and solve problems they’re after, which stands in the way of developing an effective carrier network.
A procurement platform gives brokers a way to maximally develop their carrier base while having the accessibility to actionable information for more effective and targeted engagement. This flexibility and depth are what brokers need to succeed.
Benefits of a Procurement Platform
- Adapt Quickly to Change - To be successful as a broker, you have to be as fluid as the market. A procurement platform helps brokers adapt quickly to change, especially when s*** fits the fan. Having a platform that takes your data, enhances it with information that matters, and helps you find those repeatable patterns within your carrier network will lead to greater flexibility.
- Collaboration & Visibility - A procurement platform provides brokers with a way to not only manage their own, proprietary, carrier data but also have visibility into their team’s data. Every day, brokers receive information about their carriers - contact information, what lanes they run, current rates, etc. However, there’s often either no place to store that information or it’s entered into individual spreadsheets, where it’s siloed from the rest of the office and difficult to actually use. A procurement platform gives users wall-to-wall visibility regardless of role, inspiring collaboration and parallel communication instead of isolated practices.
- Targeted Sourcing - Finding carriers can be a daunting task and when your carrier network is underperforming, a procurement platform gives brokers accessibility to carriers outside of their network. Procurement platforms aggregate publicly available carrier data providing a more data-driven approach to sourcing. Now, rather than haphazardly calling carriers who may or may not be a fit for their freight, brokers can see if they are a good fit before picking up the phone. Seeing information you usually don’t get until you’re talking to the carrier (like the lane data, frequency, number of trucks, location, etc) helps generate a more targeted list of carriers to connect with for a specific lane.
- Improve Carrier Engagement - The brokerage environment is still full of manual processes that take up a lot of time, but with a procurement platform, many of those tedious tasks can be automated. Specifically, both matching carriers with the best loads and the subsequent outreach for quotes can be incredibly time-consuming processes. When you’re able to automate something, you’re freeing up your team to work on something greater. Procurement platforms give brokers the automation tools necessary to have real conversations with carriers, start to pre-book, and procure the right carriers for your freight associated with manual processes.
- Better Pricing - Traditional pricing tools often rely on delayed data that isn’t representative of changing market conditions and isn’t assigned to specific capacity. Procurement platforms can use actual carrier data to provide more real-time and realistic insights into rates. First, having visibility into recent transactions will lead to better forecasting and a better handle on market activity. Second, having visibility into rates submitted by your carriers gives you a better idea of what you’ll actually pay. After all, a market average doesn’t do you much good if you don’t have the carrier base to support it.
The C4 Experience
Your freight isn’t one-dimensional… your tools shouldn’t be either. Cargo Chief’s C4 Project and Procurement Platform help brokers pre-book more freight, expand their carrier base, and automate where it counts. As a result, C4 customers have seen a 46% increase in carrier engagement on day one of using our platform.
C4 gives you and your team:
- Access to a powerful database to expand beyond just your regular carriers
- A centralized location to organize and manage your carrier base/portfolio
- Visibility into lanes you never knew you had coverage on, giving you more options
- More insight into real-time pricing to help you forecast what the true cost will be
- Easier ways to streamline your carrier outreach while increasing engagement rates
At the end of the day, we help you efficiently and cost-effectively expand your carrier base, find capacity, price accurately, and bring everything together with automation. The result is a more consistent and highly engaged carrier network that helps you pre-book more freight, improve service levels and increase profitability.