With 2020 finally being hindsight, we’ve been carefully letting our optimism for 2021 progress and grow. With vaccines on the move, economies slowly but surely and safely reopening, and a new Neil Young album, 2021 is looking to be a quality year.
Here are 10 things we are especially excited about this year.
In Transportation & Logistics
1. A more people-centered industry
We’re excited to see the growing focus on and investment in people. Beyond building better training programs, we see companies developing their people beyond their current job functions. We see more managers working with their teams to solve problems collaboratively. We see businesses improving their compensation structures to better motivate their teams. All of this contributes to healthy company cultures, which is great for the current and future state of transportation and supply chain.
2. New technologies that allow everyone to compete without building their own software
TMS can have a significant impact on your business. We get it! However, we cannot stress enough that a “TMS-first” mindset is not tech strategy. New software companies are providing additional solutions in the transportation process that mean you don't have to rely on a just TMS for everything. For example you can buy a best-in-class rating or billing system that integrates to your current system. You can buy the best software for your organization for each component that you need.
3. Smarter compensation structures: aligning comp with output
News flash: You are over-paying some of your employees. News flash part 2: You are under-paying some of your employees. Whether your compensation structure just needs an update of roles & responsibilities or a total overhaul, let 2021 be the year you focus on improving the state of your compensation.
4. Smarter capacity strategies
With all the new technology we’ve already alluded to, businesses can now make smarter decisions with different types of data. Tech is also enabling better process automation. This means reps have more bandwidth to focus on underdeveloped lanes, loads that need more effort, etc. We see smarter capacity strategies leading to an increase in margin per load, an upgraded carrier experience, and stronger relationships with customers.
5. More business de-risking by moving from monolithic architectures to cloud-based microservices
It’s time to move from inflexible monolithic architectures to cloud-based microservices. This makes your organization more nimble and focused, and eliminates the unneeded extra weight that often came with older systems. We’re thrilled that many companies are already taking steps to modernize their systems. This is on our list because we don’t want anyone’s tech to cause them to fall behind.
In Supply Chain
6. A shift to consumption-based planning models
The sales & operations planning process is pivotal to a supply chain’s success. We’ve all learned a lot about how quickly consumer demand can change. Historical planning models won’t be sufficient in these rapidly changing times. We see 2021 as the year to reinvent your sales and operations planning process.
7. More data transparency
With so many factors changing around the supply chain function, now is the time to make sure your foundation is stable for modern times. This is important in order to continue growing responsibly and profitably. We see data transparency as the key to this.
8. More resilient supply chain functions
It has been impressive to see so many companies rapidly test new ideas and supply chain strategies to figure out the best way to recover from the disruption of the pandemic. We think this will be beneficial as we work to help minimize the impact of future unforeseen challenges that come at our industries.
In Our Own Business
9. CarrierDirect turns 10
2021 marks our 10 year anniversary! We first started business in October of 2011, and it has been quite an adventure ever since. We've evolved our capabilities over this time to better serve the industry's needs, and we're thrilled to keep solving the hard problems in transportation and supply chain . Whether we are able to party in person or have another virtual event of sorts, we definitely plan to celebrate our 10 year journey.
10. Seeing YOU in person again
For many of us at CarrierDirect, traveling to work with so many of you has always been a highlight of our jobs. We’re glad we were all able to pivot successfully in 2020 to virtual methods of work, but we are very much looking forward to seeing you at industry events, business meals, and client meetings again soon.