The Freight Transportation Value Proposition
excellent product, at a competitive price; timely and accurate
information; and superior customer service are the essential elements
for success, why have only but a very few astute companies availed
themselves of the business discipline most capable of achieving these
objectives? Identifying those business disciplines that could best
influence corporate success and performance may not even include
transportation in the first, second or even third pass, and if
transportation were finally identified, it would probably be
recognized for only one of its many dimensions.
enormous potential of transportation’s vast resources is a critical
success factor and an achievable goal!
considered a single function, whose description is limited to that
portion of the industrial process that begins with the placement of
freight on or in a container and ending with its offloading, freight
transportation’s robust opportunities and benefits have remained well
below the industrial radar for all but a few perceptive companies.
Focusing the interdisciplinary intelligence on freight transportation
holds the promise of unleashing a powerful corporate resource whose
subsequent strength will continue to maximize the individual
departmental capabilities while driving down costs and improving
view of freight transportation may have evolved because of corporate
silos or because it has been
taken for granted; there are probably as many reasons as there are
companies. Whatever the reason, freight transportation remains one of
industries least understood and least utilized business disciplines.
Unlocking its enormous potential requires an enlightened corporate
The rich and
robust opportunities that reside in freight transportation may only be
realized if the corporate stakeholders can be presented with a
persuasive proposition. Because each of us has a different way of
looking at things, a cogent argument that can be embraced by all of
the corporate stakeholders must be framed and articulated.
Transportation’s value and its corresponding proposition may provide
the motivation for the stakeholders to begin to understand and
appreciate the importance of freight transportation.
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white paper will consider the “freight transportation value
proposition” as a means to achieve corporate recognition of the
importance of freight and freight transportation. It will also
demonstrate transportation’s ability as an enabler to evoke a
company’s potential; and its value as a key contributor to corporate
profits, performance, and success.
purpose of this white paper is to present a methodology that
will create the corporate awareness and sensitivity necessary for a
healthy and productive freight transportation environment. A healthy
environment provides the basis for transportation advocates to deliver
transportation’s enormous potential and will position all of the
corporate stakeholders as contributors by concentrating the
interdisciplinary support necessary for its huge potential to be
Michael L. Perla in his article, “What’s Your Value Proposition” that
appears on MarketingProfs.com website, a
value proposition is described as,
“an offer to some entity or target in which
they (the possessor) get more than they give up (merit or utility), as
perceived by them, and in relationship to alternatives, including
doing nothing. In terms of form, a value proposition is generally a
clear and succinct statement (e.g., 2-4 sentences) that outlines to
potential clients and stakeholders a company’s (or individual’s or
group’s) unique value-creating features”.
Perla goes on
to say that, “a value proposition has two sides, giving and receiving,
therefore a determination has to be made
regarding equality—if not equal why and for whose benefit and for what
of every value proposition is to persuade someone to act in a way that
you want them to. Making this happen requires a well orchestrated
plan and demands attention to an orderly succession of prioritized
events. Perla suggests the following events,
group and determine what they value. Knowing a particular group or
individual’s perspective is crucial in understanding their specific
Look to what
they actually do as a true representation of their values.
specific value description is a fact that must be understood in
formulating the proposition.
“fluent” in a company’s or individual’s language.
argument must be crafted that will respect the above requirements. It
must be persuasive and capable of motivating the group. A broad
platform that compliments the corporate culture; understanding its
goals, objectives and philosophy will establish the necessary common
ground. While several methods of approach are available, the typical
consulting approach has been lacking in its ability to effectively and
efficiently gather group support because it is “exclusive” in nature.
An “inclusion environment” is absolutely necessary in order to
identify and enlist the stakeholders. Additionally, “inclusion” will
immediately harness the energy and support of the group, and instantly
focus the groups’ attention. A very successful method of approach
that will achieve these objectives is TransportGistics’
“convergence practice methodologies”. Based on “inclusion” they
are well suited for the corporate behavioral change necessary to
achieve an understanding and appreciation of freight transportation
and its future role as a key contributor. A clearly focused, positive
group attitude will naturally evoke the interdisciplinary response
required for the endgame.
argument to be effective must first identify the jargon and establish
its shared definitions. Becoming “fluent in a company’s or
individual’s language” is a demand that must be satisfied at the very
beginning of the process. Crafting the argument, because of the well
entrenched singular view of freight transportation held by so many,
makes it incumbent upon the advocate to determine the relative
importance of each term they expect to use; they must then create a
corporate understanding of their meaning and influence. The resulting
common ground is the basis upon which the value proposition can be
drafted and effectively articulated.
Identify a Group and Determine What They
Because freight and freight transportation
touch every part of every company as well as providing the link to and
amongst all of the trading partners in the supply chain, potential
group members could literally come from every part of the company. To
begin the process, stakeholder values that can be best served by a
healthy and productive freight transportation environment must be
identified. For the value proposition to be most effective the group
must understand the corporate values that can best exploit the freight
and freight transportation attributes. This can be achieved by
distilling the individual stakeholder values into common values that
will be served by a healthy and productive freight transportation
environment. To satisfy this requirement, the transportation
professional can call upon their specific and relevant experience to
identify examples. Additionally, TransportGistics previous white
papers have identified and described a myriad number of
transportation’s attributes that can also be utilized. The most
prolific examples that can be gleaned from TransportGistics’ white
papers come under, “timely and accurate information” and the most
specific would address “superior customer service”.
Zeroing in on the company’s management
style will support the identification process. As an example, if
running the company by the numbers is an acceptable notion, then
Treasury, Finance, and Accounting are obvious stakeholders; and if the
need for continuous customer acquisition is an important objective,
then the Sales Department is also a qualified stakeholder.
Stakeholders that bring credibility and visibility offer collateral
support and carry the energy to sustain a healthy and productive
freight transportation environment.
A Basis for Group Value Drivers
Knowing a particular group’s perspective is
crucial in understanding their specific value drivers. Exposing
freight and freight transportation’s values and relating them to each
stakeholder’s corporate role is the basis upon which group
value drivers can be ascertained. To assure group understanding of
the value drivers, “corporate fluency” must be achieved. Shared
definitions that are simultaneously stakeholder specific and
corporately understood offer the best opportunity for achieving common
definition, “transportation” is a conveyance, and “freight” is the
product being transported. “Freight transportation” is the physical
movement of goods or products. It is at this time that a fresh
perspective, appreciation, and understanding of freight and freight
transportation can and should be developed by the transportation
professional. This vantage point should provide the opportunity for
the group to immediately recognize that, neither freight,
transportation nor freight transportation exist in a vacuum nor does
the freight transportation process begin when a shipment is picked,
staged, or loaded; nor does it end with its delivery.
Today’s freight paradigm recognizes freight at its birth. At the
beginning of its lifecycle, freight is assigned an identity, typically
described as an SKU; next, it is placed in inventory and located in
the warehouse. As part of the inventory and warehouse, freight
continues its journey into various other corporate areas and
departments while the
freight alter ego collects and appends the associated data and
information. Understanding the “freight
lifecycle” should allow the group to recognize the corporate role
that freight and freight transportation play and their influence on
specific corporate areas; Vis a Vis on stakeholder departments.
value descriptions are facts that must be understood in formulating
the proposition. Establishing a common ground for Treasury, Finance,
Accounting, and Sales is the basis upon which shared values can be
Collaboration is prominent feature of transportation.
Collaboration amongst these departments is ongoing and understanding
the department roles as they relate to freight and freight
transportation will allow the group to formulate a unified
to what these departments actually do as a true representation of
their values; we can see the Sales Department’s efforts manifested in
developing profitable sales. Transportation can supply timely and
accurate tracing and tracking information which is needed to assess
customer satisfaction and related sales performance metrics. The
financial area of the company needs to close the accounting periods on
time and transportation can meet those reporting schedules because
that information flows directly from the transaction stream. The size
of most freight transportation budgets is very capable of offering
cash management opportunities. The Treasury Department can easily
obtain the required information from transportation data.
The Freight Transportation Value
transportation remains one of industries least understood and least
utilized business disciplines, unlocking its resources will create
significant opportunities for corporate success, performance, and
profit. Persuading the company to recognize the importance of the
transportation discipline is the goal of the value proposition.
Crafting a specific freight transportation value proposition requires
a keen understanding of the corporate culture. Understanding the
individual goals and objectives are the drivers that will fashion a
succinct freight transportation value proposition.
economy has significantly increased competition; more than ever before
companies are faced with good competition and spoilers alike. To
successfully compete and gain the competitive advantage, astute
companies must recognize, understand, appreciate, and use all of their
resources. While world events have focused attention on freight
transportation and logistics, only a handful of companies have
recognized and even fewer have exploited the vast resources that exist
in freight and freight transportation.
industry’s long standing singular view of transportation has been a
formidable task. For the transportation discipline to maximize its
enormous potential, it must be recognized as a key corporate
contributor. The value proposition has been a very successful method
for achieving corporate goals and objectives. By embracing this
method of approach, the transportation professional has the
opportunity to utilize a currently successful method to achieve
corporate recognition of the importance of freight and freight
transportation. Selecting the appropriate stakeholders creates a
forceful group that is empowered by common value drivers, forged into
an alliance whose interdisciplinary knowledge will continue to
maximize transportation’s contribution to corporate performance.
TransportGistics is a global,
multi-product and services company that provides market leading,
simple, incremental solutions for transportation management and
logistics functions within the supply chain.
TransportGistics commitment to
education is portrayed through its advancement of professional
logistics and transportation programs. Its
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and logistics subjects each month, and is regularly visited by more
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TransportGistics is a founding
partner at the
Center of Excellence in Wireless Internet and Information Technology
University of New York-Stony Brook.
consider this white paper as a continuum in this subject area,
succeeding white papers will address common issues and address them
with common solutions. We encourage our readers to direct any
specific questions or comments to
information presented herein represents the opinion of the author, but
not necessarily the opinion of TransportGistics, Inc. This white
paper is not presented as a legal position or as a recommendation.
“Freight Lifecycle Management”, “Convergence”
and “Today’s Freight Paradigm” are sales marks of
copyright by TransportGistics, Inc. All rights are reserved. The
authors of the articles retain the copyright to their articles. No
material may be reproduced electronically or in print without the
express written permission from the individual authors and/or
TransportGistics, Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)