How fast does your team react to available data?
In Supply Chain24/7’s news yesterday, the headline read diesel prices decline for the 12th straight week. “At an average of $2.615 per gallon, the price is down 0.2 cents compared to last week, with prices dropping a cumulative 29.9 cents going back to the week of May 25, when the average price was at $2.914.” What will you do with this data?
The challenge for the procurement and logistics teams is translating this data into cost reductions. There should be a parade of transportation companies eliminating surcharges and reducing cost, but I’m guessing suppliers aren’t coming to you. Your team should be acting on their plan for value enhancement now. One of the key characteristics of a good cost manager is to constantly monitor the suppliers and the supply markets. While there is no doubt that the fuel cost structure for for all freight companies is declining, they’re probably constructing arguments for other areas where costs have gone up. Customers should be prepared for this and be sure that their cost structure reflects the market changes.
Astute supply chain practitioners realize that, if unchallenged, the logistics suppliers will have the opportunity to significantly improve margins, while their costs are essentially remaining the same. The savvy purchaser will:
- Know the impact of fuel on the pricing structure
- Ask for the appropriate decrease
- Shake up the market with a competitive bid (if suppliers are unwilling to pass along the lower cost)
- Develop a longer term hedging strategy
- File away the lower fuel price impact data for use in the next negotiation.
What is your plan?