08/24/2021

Transportation Management: An Extension of our Customers’ Team

Meet the Team Making TM Operations Seamless

Enabled by technology that gives real-time visibility to transportation networks, our experts make transparent, quick decisions that mitigate costs and increase efficiencies for our customers. In this video, Darren Conner and Tanika Cobb highlight how NFI’s dedication to customer service and nimble decision-making support NFI’s customized solutions, and help our team act as an extension of our customers’ supply chain. 

Video Transcript 

What differentiates NFI’s transportation management solutions?

Darren Conner (DC): The biggest differentiator is people. NFI puts people first. And if you look at the people that we bring in, they have diverse backgrounds. We have people that are former shippers, people that have worked for 3PLs, as well as worked for carriers. It’s that unique background with everybody that allows not only to help customers run their transportation but understand their entire supply chain.

Tanika Cobb (TC): We work together great as a team. I can tell you one thing, I’ve been with NFI for 13 years and I tell everyone that comes on board, this is the best group that I’ve ever worked with. Our group works together. We cross-train together. And if someone needs help, we’re always there to help them.

DC: Everything we do with our customers is 100% transparent. That’s from dealing with the carriers and rates all the way through billing. We’re an open book.

TC: Our technology allows us to simplify and automate complex shipping scenarios, allowing us to generate savings for our customers and focus on more strategic tasks.

DC: Customers’ supply chains are constantly changing, and we have to be able to help them change and be nimble enough and pivot to be able to deal with any type of change within their supply chain.

TC: The Transportation Management operations are set up by a single point of contact. We also have in our group, you’ll have a director, an account manager, a strategic account manager, a planning logistics lead, and also a TM coordinator. So we all work together to service our customers. 

DC: Not one of our customers is set up the same way. So all of our approaches are different for every customer. Every customer that we have has different needs, so we need to be flexible, nimble, and be able to support that. Some of the TM services we offer are business process outsource, freight pay and audit is another one that we offer full service, as well as claims management, various technology platforms that we offer as well as engineering services to look at a company’s entire supply chain.

TC: Our TMS also allows our customers to gain real-time visibility into their entire transportation network. This visibility includes customizable self-service reporting and business intelligence tools, but the systems don’t replace people. We are constantly engaged with our customers at the ground level to allow us to react to change.

DC: We don’t just spit out data and send it to a customer. What we do is take the time to not only provide the data but what are the driving forces behind that data? What are the actionable items that we can take away and help drive costs out of their supply chain or improve service?

DC: We leverage technology, first and foremost, by process automation. That is key to us. We want our operators to be able to provide the value add to our customers and not doing manual day-to-day tasks. So process automation is big as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning and especially predictive analytics are where we’re going.

TC: One of the main things that we try to do is save money. We try to find the best possible mode to ship the loads and also the best cost for our customer to make sure everything is delivered promptly due to the customer needs.

DC: So one of the big critical success factors for our customers today is becoming a shipper of choice, especially in this market with capacity being very tight. It’s important for our customers really to be recognized by the carrier community as one that they want to do business with. So we work very closely with our customers and the carrier base to make sure our customers are in fact, a shipper of choice. Finally, effective carrier management is another large critical success factor for our customers. It’s important, not only just to secure rates, but to truly partner with a carrier. And that’s what we do. We work with the customers and the carriers to create true partnerships and not transactional relationships.

Darren Conner, Senior Director of Operations

Tanika Cobb, Logistics Planning Lead