Every industry strives to attain efficiency and that is why technology plays a major role in making businesses lean. Any technology should essentially be solving a problem and we at FreightBro constantly strive to leverage technology to solve issues in forwarding at the grassroots level.
Have you ever pondered on how difficult it is to negotiate for better rates? Let alone finding a suitable rate and quoting to customers?
A sales coordinator in a traditional freight forwarding set up is stuck in a loop. Well, so is pricing!
The Sales team receives a query and reaches out to the Pricing to procure rates for a certain pair of ports. The pricing team arranges multiple carrier rates and gives them to the Sales. The Salesperson further quotes the same to the customer. In an ideal scenario, the customer may right away agree to ship at provided rates or request a better rate. Or the customer may request for better rates, a widely used term in everyday forwarding.
Under such a scenario, the Salesperson gets back to the procurement to negotiate further on the rates available. The procurement goes back to the Liners to accommodate the requests. They then transmit the same information to the Sales who finally quote to the customer.
The bad news though is that this can go on and on and also might result in losing the customer and hence a chance to sell completely!
In a real-life case, a 20 container shipment from Mundra in India to Pasir Gudang in Malaysia required as many as 120 email exchanges throughout the entire voyage starting from quoting to final tracking update. Normally these emails involve multiple stakeholders across the entire shipping process.
So, what exactly is the problem?
Lean philosophy clearly states that wasted time is one of the seven deadly wastes which can significantly lower efficiencies within processes.
- Loss of productive man-hours: A lot of productive man-hours are lost while most of this communication takes place.
- No Value Addition: The wait time doesn’t add any value to the product or customer, whatsoever.
- Reduced Efficiency: A Salesperson is essentially able to cater to only a handful of customers.
- Reduced responsiveness: Time wasted in coordination also affects your responsiveness and thus the ability to deliver an exceptional end-user experience.
- Uninformed Decision Making: A lot of critical data is lost when most of the communication happens offline over emails or chats or phone calls. We are referring to data like the number of queries raised, the number of quotes generated, the number of quotations won or lost etc.
Inquiry Management is the GameChanger!
At FreightBro, we believe as a critical link to global trade, executing shipments for a forwarder should be a cakewalk. Hence, we came up with Inquiry Management-our newest addition to the FreightBro digital platform.
Inquiry Management intends to digitize negotiations between the pricing and sales departments. In forwarding, negotiating for a better rate undeniably becomes a bottleneck in cross-functional communication.
Inquiry Management as a feature can help under two scenarios:
- When Rates are not available for a certain pair of ports as per the query raised by the customer.
- When the customer is not satisfied with the quoted rates and has requested a more competitive rate.
Benefits of using Inquiry Management on the FreightBro platform
No, we are not blowing our own trumpets but these are tried and tested results of using the feature on the platform.
Inquiry Management can help you directly:
- Boost Sales by 25%
- Reduce Operational Time by 30%
- Save additional Costs by 20%
- Digitized negotiations: The negotiations that essentially happen over calls or emails between departments can now be done on the FreightBro platform. Through a single click on ‘Create an Inquiry,’ the sales team can notify the pricing team when rates for a pair of ports isn’t available or a competitive rate is desired.
- Increased Quote Conversions: Any requests raised on the platform is received instantly. As soon as the sales create an inquiry, the procurement transmits the information online through the platform. With enhanced responsiveness, a significant hike in quotes won is guaranteed.
- Increased Visibility: The sales can always get insights into the trend of rates earlier received from pricing and compare results.
- Dashboard based Analytics: The dashboards within Inquiry Management can enable data-driven decision making even cross-functionally. Critical data such as the number of quotations generated, the no. of quotations won or lost, the kind of rates quoted etc. The same data is useful to assess function-wise performance and the responsiveness with which they address the issues.
- Increased queries addressed: Sales can now cater to multiple customers. The time dedicated to follow-ups is significantly reduced to less than half. This further translates to significantly increased sales.
- Enhanced efficacy to quote: On receiving a request, the pricing team gets notifications in real-time. Such real-time notifications help them to respond better to the queries and the response time decreases considerably.
- Dashboard based Analytics: The dashboards show consolidated reports to monitor your performance based on quantifiable metrics.
- Streamlined cross-functional communication: The amount of communication is significantly reduced with departments generating and addressing requests on the platform.
We believe Inquiry Management is a game-changer addressing issues that seem minuscule on a day to day basis but have a larger impact on the way shipping functions. When we start addressing such issues at a grassroots level the impact is manifold and can be visible only once it percolates across the system.
Still, have questions on Inquiry Management? Want to know more? Give us a call or schedule a demo.