April 11, 2012 by Frank Peditto
When asked the question, “What are the key criteria that companies use when selecting an auto transportation supplier?” I think many would assume that the number one response would be price. Of course, price is always key in most decisions around services and products, but it’s not the only factor. Interestingly enough, we have found that our clients are equally concerned with service and together service and price determine the overall value that they and their transferees receive.
So, what are the key criteria for companies today when selecting a transportation partner?
- Overall client responsiveness - Experienced account management is key in today’s business environment and having the right people on your team leading this function is critical to your success. Clients need to feel that their account manager is working on their behalf and is an extension of their relocation or human resources department. Your team leader or account manager needs to know the client’s policy, key performance indicators (KPIs) and service standards, and their culture.
- Client communication – Again, the team selected for each account is critical. Both the account manager and relocation coordinator(s) need to ensure that they are effectively managing the transport and keeping both the client and transferee updated regularly during the process.
- Technology – As the relocation industry continues to mature in terms of its reliance on technology, having a sophisticated operating system is more and more important. And, these systems must offer automation benefits, including workflow, and self-service portals for both the client and the transferee.
- Reporting – Statistics are key to a successful client relationship and reporting is imperative. Ten years ago reporting was limited to transactional reports, but today, customers expect more detailed analytics and also customized reporting to provide them with an additional tool to use in their day-to-day reporting within their organization.
- Performance – Customers today expect key performance indicators to be met or exceeded and, in the auto transport industry, carriers are evaluated on numerous indicators including, but not limited to, on-time pick up and delivery percentages, low claims frequency and expedient claim settlement times.
While some still work based on the adage of, ‘You’re only as good as your last move’ we develop true business partnerships with our clients to support their customers and the transferees. To do that we know that while price is always important, having a proven account management structure, experienced and dedicated counselors and making continued investments in technology will provide us with the foundation for success in exceeding our existing customers needs and building new client relationships in the future.