Community is a big word. It represents an affinity in any number of dimensions– neighbors, friends, locations, capabilities and other measures of connection. That affinity through connection is almost always positive. And so it is in the business context too.
Companies in the logistics industry rely on other companies to achieve their business objectives. They can be called vendors, trading partners, service providers and maybe even frenemies if they are in coopetition– that grey area between cooperation and competition common in the “small world” of logistics.
No matter what they’re called, interaction between parties is easier if they’re already “connected.” In logistics and international goods transportation, this connection is most useful if it means integrated by data, standard technology or common process shared by several stakeholders, say serving common customers. The connection can be leveraged to serve existing customers more efficiently; or to acquire new customers more quickly. The mirror image works too: being connected makes it easier for your vendors to work with you, or, on-boarding new vendors is made more efficient if they’re already connected in the community on behalf of someone else. Nowhere is this truer than when considering a community of connected motor carriers. In different markets or at different times, one side may have more “leverage” than the other. But being connected through common process, by data integration or over a shared portal ensures benefits of collaboration are delivered beneficially to all.
IAS has connected a community of over 3000 service providers and motor carriers in over 46 countries. They interact on behalf of our mutual customers via the IAS Dispatch suite, according to their capabilities– by web application or data integration or both (as is quite often the case if they find the IAS Dispatch capability in a particular function is better than their own). The underlying business processes are standardized, and the customer’s needs are understood, transparent, and efficiently met. All by virtue of a connected community.