In their December issue, Inbound Logistics magazine discusses some results from a recent survey by Barkleys / BOD on the state of logistics confidence. What they found is that larger companies have generally found it more difficult than smaller ones to adapt quickly to changing market conditions we had in 2020. Customer service and resulting business relationships have moved to the forefront of operations.
In 2020, COVID-19 relationship disruption, the explosive growth of e-commerce and the reconfiguring of global supply lines are trends that bring customer service front and center. Smaller forwarders and providers do hold the advantage over the larger multi-national forwarders on this topic. Larger providers are not as agile and much slower to react to moving customer requirement targets. Smaller providers can provide more high-touch personal service. Keeping in constant contact with customers, when many work in a distributed personal environment, leverages the human side of business relationships. We have seen how large logistics companies are splitting into smaller entities and the assumption is that they are looking to be more agile and responsive to customer demands.
As we have all seen, technology solutions are rapidly evolving and becoming more important in this environment, helping companies to improve their customer service. The evolution of IT with improved visibility and more comprehensive functionality is undercutting legacy IT investments. This has made it possible for smaller, mid-tier forwarders and providers to adopt newer and cheaper logistics technology solutions that directly improve the customer service they can offer.
Opus9 has been following the same trend and we have experienced first-hand how the combination of a comprehensive digital platform with hands on customer service can improve the retention of our customer base. We are seeing more shippers come back to us for their freight booking needs based largely on the end-to-end shipping service that we offer. This year, we have improved the functionality of the Opus9 platform with more options on rates, the addition of a carrier load boards and improved algorithms to get the most current rates for our shippers.
One thing is sure, this year has painfully taught many shippers that they need to diversify and re-evaluate suppliers, including their supply chain solutions. This will only help to prepare for future business disruptions.
The team at Opus9 wishes you a Happy New Year and we look forward to supporting your shipping and logistics requirements in 2021.