Gaining successful support from your stakeholders

July 25, 2023

Communication between stakeholders is not always a straightforward process. Although your interests are connected, getting a counterpart to act with urgency in a time of need can be challenging. How can a transportation company guarantee support from a fellow stakeholder when it matters most? Many have found success with supply chain visibility platforms such as FourKites. But even in light of their benefits, the choice to adopt a tracking platform can be complicated for some companies.

“Realistically, it all comes down to timing,” offers Nathan Helms, an Operations Executive at the food brand Organic Valley. “Is there money in the budget, and what is the justification for it to be in the budget?”

Proving return on investment is the key to selling stakeholders on the value of supply chain visibility platforms and other mutually beneficial systems. With some careful research demonstrating value, the choice to adopt these systems should be simple.

“What can we get out of it? What’s the ROI to make this something other than an expense?” Helms asks of the decision-making process that went into his company’s choice to adopt the FourKites platform. “Yes, there’s initial expense, but it allows us to fight our deductions and penalties while also being proactive with our customer notifications.”

Through careful research and consideration, Helms and his team determined that the benefits of real-time tracking were a net positive to their bottom line.

What are the keys to success when pitching a new platform to fellow stakeholders? Watch the latest episode of the Stay In Your Lane Podcast to learn more.

“After the initial expense of implementing the program and getting it up and running, we are now seeing that ROI,” he says. “We have improved our customer service, which is the number one thing.”

FourKites more than pays for itself in Organic Valley’s implementation of the platform thanks to the savings it provides. This undeniable value makes for an easy sell amongst the brand’s network of stakeholders, who also benefit from improved customer service and reduced loss from deductions. Whether choosing FourKites or some other system, communicating the value of a platform to stakeholders upstream is essential for successful adoption.

Aside from simply proving value, other hurdles exist that can prevent stakeholders from integrating your preferred tracking platform. Sometimes existing software implementations can stand in the way of trying something new.

“When you’re working in a single silo, obviously you have a lot more control,” says FourKites GM of Network Collaboration Glenn Koepke. “But when you think of enterprise software or any integration you may touch, you have a lot of cases where there are just competing priorities.”

Many IT teams are already spread thin. Adding a new platform to a company’s ecosystem can be a daunting task for a department that is bogged down with never-ending bug fixes and in-house concerns. Considering challenges to your IT team is another crucial factor to be weighed when deciding to adopt these platforms.

Another hurdle is simply finding the appropriate time and place to pitch a new system to the stakeholders in your network.

“It’s figuring out what you should be considering that you are not today. One of the best ways to handle that is through your executive business reviews with your existing partners,” says Koepke. “Don’t make it so transactional and tactical. Talk about what they’re seeing in the market and where businesses are heading.”

Supply chain logistics is a team sport. No stakeholder can succeed without the contributions of their partners. In choosing to implement any change that will affect your network, taking the time to discuss decisions carefully and providing the space for your partners to share their concerns is crucial.

With the right timing, careful budgeting, and strong research proving ROI, your organization can implement the right systems to benefit your bottom line and improve relations with fellow stakeholders. Join us next time as we offer more keys to success in your stakeholder relationships and subscribe to the Stay In Your Lane Podcast from Triple T for all the latest industry news and trends.

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