Customer Satisfaction. As in all industries, retaining existing clients is crucial, especially in an unpredictable economy such as what we are experiencing right now, where acquiring new clients is difficult and expensive. But what defines customer satisfaction in the trucking industry? Although price is important for manufacturers and retailers, their choice of carrier is typically driven by service-level factors such as:

? On-time pick-up and delivery
? Damage claims
? Billing accuracy
? Data quality (i.e. timely, accurate, and complete)

These factors are becoming increasingly important as manufacturers continue to adopt lean manufacturing and just-in-time models that critically depend on having predictable and reliable deliveries. This is where customer satisfaction comes in. What is the monetary value of customer satisfaction anyways? Actually, there is no straightforward answer to this question, but I am sure all companies agree that improving on-time delivery has a significant impact on the profit margin.

2. Channel Strategy. This means opening up new channel to increase market share such as having an interactive website where customers could communicate with a trucking service provider. This also means that company such as FRRB has to invest in information technology. Most companies focus on cost reduction as the primary means to improve profit margins. This is an important factor when justifying an IT investment because eliminating costs is typically a high-priority goal for trucking service providers. To justify, investment in information technology, one would just have to think on its value proposition in terms of enabling operational excellence, which implies cost reduction and profit maximization.

Through information technology, a company can establish an efficient flow of information, which generally implies using electronic data interchange (EDI), the Internet and other forms of digital communication. In...

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