New Joint Research with Procurian: Logistics Summer 2013 Market Analysis and Perspective

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Earlier this week, Spend Matters and Procurian announced a new joint category focused research series: Category Watch. We’re excited to release the second research brief in this ongoing series today, Logistics Category Perspective: Strategies and Trends in Trucking and Intermodal (free, registration required). The first brief in our Category Watch series was largely data, price, and forecast driven analysis of the trucking and intermodal market, designed to provide those deep in the logistics trenches with tactical market intelligence and sourcing recommendations.

Our second brief brings the conversation and recommendations up a level to educate senior procurement and finance leaders on the logistics category, as well as provide category managers and directors with recommendations and perspectives on sourcing and broader industry trends. We have divided this brief into five specific sections:

  • Sourcing Strategies – an exploration of category strategy tactics
  • Big Data & Analytics – perspective on the application of big data and analytics capability to logistics sourcing
  • Energy, Fuels, and CAPEX – an executive summary of key price drivers and levers in the logistics market
  • Supplier Development/Performance Management – getting tactical with supplier engagement to improve performance
  • CPO Talking Points – talking points for senior procurement and finance executives that explore hot button topics and sourcing strategies in logistics

The primary contributors to this series are:

Procurian: Ed Sands, Global Practice Lead-Logistics and Scott Youngs, Logistics Category Management Group Leader.

Spend Matters: Jason Busch, Executive Editor, and Pierre Mitchell, Chief Research Officer

We begin our executive analysis of the market by framing the importance of the logistics area, noting that the category is one of the larger spend areas for most organizations. For certain companies, it represents as much as 5% of cost of goods sold (COGS). We also note that despite the significant bottom line impact that more effective management can bring, the great majority of organizations still have tremendous opportunity to drive savings and other desired outcomes (e.g., C02 reduction) across logistics category segments.

In exploring the overall strategies and trends surrounding the logistics marketplace that are currently top of mind for leading professionals in this field, we’ve attempted to make the content relevant for those who might be new to overseeing a logistics procurement and supply chain organization – while not neglecting those with longer tenure in the area.

In exploring talking points for CPOs, for example, we observe:

Many organizations with significant spend in the logistics area today have a number of items
to consider, beyond just basic sourcing strategies. These include regulatory issues, energy, and capital acquisitions.

On the regulatory side, the most important areas of focus include energy, fuel efficiency, safety, emissions, labor concerns, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's new Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) rules.

Energy is as important a topic, and has many layers of complexity. For example, the diesel to natural gas question (compressed and liquid) is a complicated topic. And this of course ties to capital investment, especially in cases of dedicated fleet strategies. Yet the basics still matter, starting first with sourcing.

We also get tactical in the area of supplier performance management, explaining how transportation management systems (TMS) tools come up short beyond tracking basic key performance indicators such as movements, cost structure, cost per mile, etc. There are other areas to consider in context of this type of logistics information exhaust – not to mention new tools to bring all of this information together!

Spend Matters readers can download Logistics Category Perspective: Strategies and Trends in Trucking and Intermodal. Readers may also wish to download our more tactical and quantitative look in the logistics trenches, Summer 2013: Logistics Pricing Review and Outlook.

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