The mission of transport is to execute the movement at the right time, in the right quantity and condition, to the right place, at an acceptable cost. There has to be a structured approach to the selection and subsequent monitoring and control of the providers to achieve that mission.
Previously, we have seen the selection of transport mode is based on four key criteria and operational factors which very influential in this selection.
Movement of goods or materials raises a number of issues to be dealt with. Ideally movements should be managed by a dedicated staffs or unit.
Below are the tasks that must be executed by the staffs or the unit that monitors and controls during the movement:
- Track the progress of the goods/materials and update delivery times accordingly.
- Manage the staffs involved or required in the movement.
- Deal with any issues that arise.
- Produce the required documentation to cover the transit, responsible for collecting the required documents prior the dispatch.
- Where the movement of goods/material is to an area under the control of the local public authority or Customs, a clear understanding of the requirements covering movement of goods/material must be gained from the appropriate authority prior to initiating any movement.
- Maintain an information flow between all parties involved to ensure the safety and security of the goods/material and the adherence to service promise.
- Provide input to the management as soon as possible if there are urgent matters, for example, there must be a change of route or time of delivery.
In addition to monitoring and control of the above, it is also important to measure the performance of the transport providers / transporters to ensure that they are performing to the service requirements laid down in the contract/agreement. The source documentation usually from transporter consignment notes. Depending on the nature of the contract and the ability of the transporters to provide feedback, data may be provided by them to confirm that the contract level of performance is being met.
Performance data should be collected on an ongoing basis and presented weekly or monthly depending on the requirements of the company and the level of activity of the provider. Performance data will be both “hard” and “soft”. Hard data will relate to such things as on time delivery, in full delivery, damage and costs. It may be possible to gather some soft data related to the dispatching and receiving companies’ perception of the service provided by the transporter in terms of such attributes as driver attitude, condition of vehicles and flexibility.
The report produced will act as a basis for providing feedback to providers on their performance and service delivery level. Some transporters will also compile performance reports for clients. These reports should provide the basis for regular discussion and review between the provider and the company. It is important the feedback is given in a constructive way. If there are service failures often, these will have been dealt with at the time. Discussion at review should be attempted to identify common reasons for failures and to jointly agree what must be done to prevent re-occurrence in the future. This is best done in the spirit of supply chain partnership rather than the traditional, more confrontational supplier – customer relationship. The feedback should also highlight successes and things done well.