Outsourcing Inbound Freight


Purchasing and sourcing product is a dog eat dog world...and some days you're wearing the bacon pants - am I right? Even after years of ordering the same stuff from the same vendor it can still chew up an entire morning to complete an order you've done hundreds of times. Well there is good news: executing a purchase order doesn't have to take up any more of your time. With the right broker and process setup you can free yourself from the legwork and the headaches of inbound freight without spending any more money (Freight Brokers save you money) or sacrificing an ounce of quality. Download the free routing letter and keep reading this post to learn how to outsource the entire process and even save money while doing so. When we're done you'll know exactly how to evaluate a broker and outsource the entire process to make yourself more productive and maybe actually take a lunch break this week! Sound good? Let's do it!

1. Find a freight broker you trust and vet them

If you don't already know a broker you like ask a friend in a similar position for a recommendation. Businesses who find the right broker rarely leave and will be happy to tell you about their all-star who is not even on their payroll. Check out their vitals if you need further proof of their legitimacy. How long has your freight broker been in the business? What LTL carriers do they use? How stable is their company? Do you like dealing with this person & will they be there if there is an issue? Are they knowledgeable about freight? Ask them on the phone if you can talk to their other clients and gauge their reaction (whether or not you want to actually vet them this deeply).

2. Setup an account and test the pricing

Reach out to establish the relationship and compare the pricing to recent shipments. Let your broker do the legwork but make sure you double check the numbers and ask questions until you are satisfied with the comparison. This is the first real test for your broker. How does your freight broker respond to criticism of their work? Are they helpful and happy to help? Keep an eye out for any red flags from the get!

3. Migrate your vendor list into your broker's TMS

Send your broker a list of your most frequent shipping vendors with contact names & numbers. Request that these be uploaded into their Transportation Management System to clear a path for smooth communications between the parties.

4. Inform your vendors of the change

Ask your broker for a routing letter stating that they will be handling your inbound operations until further notice. It should include all their contact information and some quick FAQ’s. Then send the letter to all of your regular shipping vendors.
Monitor transit times as you go and check the rates after 2 weeks to make sure there are no issues. Check with your most trusted and honest vendors to see how the process is working after 1-2 orders. Other than that you are now officially free from inbound logistics duties while your broker is hard at work for you!

Last, but certainly not least, make sure you have a viable backup at the ready just in case something happens. Then you're ready to oversee the process from afar and work on other things (ask for a raise, find new clients, etc.) while your inbound process takes care of itself! Next time you add a product line or new client the added work will not even affect you.:)

Want help setting this system up? Contact me to help put everything into place!