3 Trends from Manifest: Future of Supply Chain Recap You Should Know

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Las Vegas recently hosted the Manifest: Future of Supply Chain 2024, a spectacle of innovation that transformed the desert landscape into a melting pot of supply chain evolution. 

With over 4,500 attendees, including 1,500 shippers, the event was not just a gathering but a bold statement on the future of logistics and supply chain management. 

We attended for our second year and had the opportunity to meet with many freight brokers and carriers, attend sessions, and network with partners. 

From our conversations, we took away three trends:

1. High Customer Expectations Across the Supply Chain

Consumer expectations are being felt from top to bottom of the supply chain. And Amazon is setting a high benchmark to follow. 

Amazon set a new standard by delivering a package in 15 minutes via drone in College Station from click to door. "Amazon has set the bar for customers, and we have to figure out how to meet it," said Itmar Zur, CEO & Co-Founder of Veho

The ripple effect? Speed is now a basic expectation, reshaping the entire supply chain.

Farrukh Mahboob, CEO & Founder of PackageX, provided a solution: shippers must diversify their carrier mix. This approach aims to meet evolving customer demands. 

Brokers and fleets use this as a selling point. Showcase your diverse carrier network and educate shippers on why they need various options at their fingertips. Speaking to shipper's customer needs is a sure way to make a lasting impression and provide more value to their business. 

2. The High Cost of Bad Data

The industry is bleeding money due to insufficient data. The loss? A staggering $1.3 trillion, according to Sarah Barnes Humphrey, founder & host of Let’s Talk Supply Chain

Getting data is only half of the problem, but molding it into actionable insights is where the real problem lies. Coby Nilsson, CEO & Co-Founder of Enveyo, said this was top of mind for his brokerage, "Getting data aggregated and digestible is something we are still working on." 

When developing a successful data strategy for your organization, you must step back and reflect on potential blind spots hindering your progress. One helpful piece of advice from Cody, who is currently addressing this issue within his own company, is to begin. By taking that first step, you can better identify areas for improvement and start making positive changes towards a more effective data strategy.

Peter Coratola Jr., CEO and president of EASE Logistics, added the importance of technology and internal processes. "The problem is workplace adoption inside our walls. The key is to keep it simple and not let it get in the way of customer experience."

An easy way to encourage adoption and ensure data is moving smoothly across your technology stack is to only work with providers with an open API or integrate with your customer technology stack. Solutions that mesh seamlessly are not just nice to have; they're essential for survival.

3. Overcoming Cash Flow Challenges

In 2024, many brokerages and fleets are looking to grow their businesses. However, they face a significant challenge due to cash flow issues. The problem arises when they must pay carriers while waiting for payments from shippers. Factoring emerges as a viable solution to overcome this challenge. It helps support growth and ensures that carriers are paid on time. 

According to Lexi Farris, Senior Sales Manager at Denim, business owners' perception of factoring has changed recently. In the past, factoring was considered a "dirty word," but now, several brokerages and fleets explicitly ask for factoring. Business owners have realized the benefits of factoring in this market. Farris believes that a healthy cash flow is essential for growing and sustaining momentum in business. 

The logistics industry embraces factoring as an emerging trend, and more businesses recognize its value. Leveraging factoring has proven to boost a company's ability to take on new projects by ensuring steady cash flow.

2024 Will Be a Big Year for Supply Chain

According to Itmar, "2024 will be the biggest year of the supply chain. The last two years have been all about cost reduction. Those that will win are marrying cost with customer experience. Winners will start to emerge as the economy starts to shift." 

We're really excited about what this means for all of us. Providing the best customer experience is a cost worth investing in. Businesses that get this balance right are the ones we'll be talking about next year.

We believe this is the perfect time to think about how your business can jump on this opportunity. That's where factoring comes in. It's like a superpower for your cash flow, giving you the flexibility to invest in what really matters – your customers and your growth.

Curious about how this works? Let's chat! Request a quote today, and let's explore how we can help supercharge your business growth.

And hey, if you're heading to TIA Capital Ideas in April, we'd love to see you there. It's going to be a great place to dive into these ideas together.

So, here's to 2024 – a year full of potential. We can't wait to see where it takes us all. Let's make it a great one, together!

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