by Mike Starling

Now you are ready to put the Transportation Strategic plan design on paper. You have decided whether to do it yourself or to engage outside professional help. You are now ready to take an honest look at current operations with an open and objective mind. In designing the plan, it is critical to consider all aspects of the end-to-end supply chain, AND how Transportation Operations contributes to or detracts from a) required service-level requirements and b) budgeted operating expense guidelines. One way to make this work is to start with a review and assessment of the following points to ensure your transportation plan design’s success.

The KEY to a successful Transportation Plan Design is ensuring that it:

1.  addresses all service level requirements, inbound and outbound.

2. addresses all transportation requirements, domestic and international.

3. addresses all transportation requirements, current and anticipated.

4. integrates all tactical operations requirements to facilitate centralized control.

5. has built-in redundancy at the tactical level to ensure operational effectiveness.

6. It provides the roadmap for operating expense optimization.

7. considers and supports the plans of other departments within the organization.

8. directly supports key strategic objectives of the company.

9. takes into consideration the current resources available to execute daily ops.

10. takes into consideration your experience and capability to accomplish the plan.

At the STRATEGIC level, the design must focus on the optimization of the collective operational tactics employed to accomplish the daily transportation requirements. Specific attention must be paid to finding the right mix of tactics that accomplish desired service levels, while minimizing operational expense. The key here is not to let one tactic overshadow the need to ensure seamless integration of all tactics being utilized.

On the other hand, if we are designing a specific TACTIC to be employed, special attention should be paid to benchmarking your current operational execution process with current industry trends AND how to exceed the service level requirement while minimizing operating expense. Care should be taken to ensure the solution integrates well with the rest of the current transportation strategic plan and does not detract, disrupt, or create unintended consequences for other supply-chain activities up and down the end-to-end supply chain.

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