Highlights
  • Supply chains need to adapt to changing consumer demands
  • Personalisation and differentiation of services is key
  • Technology can help make services more profitable.

As consumer demand fluctuates, maintaining margins in lean months can be challenging. Telstra transport industry lead Charlie Macdonald explains how some companies are adapting their supply chain to stay competitive.

Mix it up

The Transport industry is notoriously competitive. But as consumer demands evolve, the nature of the competition is changing. We chatted with Charlie Macdonald about what’s happening in this fast-paced industry.

“We’re seeing big changes to supply chains as companies adapt to demand,” says Charlie Macdonald, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics Industry Executive at Telstra. “The rise in digital retail for instance, means we’re no longer just talking about pallet loads of deliveries. We’re talking about item picking and as such, a personalisation of services.

“And it’s not confined to consumer supply chains. Changes are happening holistically across the industry, as companies look to differentiate and broaden their service offering to remain competitive.”

“I believe transport companies that reposition themselves as service providers will be more successful in the future.”

Charlie Macdonald, Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics Industry Executive at Telstra

Broadening your service offering doesn’t have to mean investing heavily in new equipment or capabilities. Charlie is seeing many companies use technology cost-effectively to deliver different and more profitable services.

“A good example of this is FreightExchange, a company Telstra has recently invested in. It’s an online service, hosted in the cloud, that lets companies book spare capacity of freight carriers. Everybody wins – the company making the initial delivery gets some help towards the cost of the shipment it was going to run anyway, and other companies get to send smaller deliveries at a fraction of the usual cost. It’s opening up a lot of opportunities for people and shows how using technology effectively can realise some pretty big cost savings.”

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