Driving The Supply Chain


4 Steps beyond Metrics To Ensure Your Company Logistics Program Delivers

Jan 12, 2016 9:30:00 AM

Using metrics to measure success is important in the trucking industry. When it comes to logistics (and many other industries), “what gets measured, gets improved.” This is important to consider – businesses can spend a lot of time developing metrics for their business, but are they the right ones? Do the metrics that you’re using having a significant impact on your overall business in a positive way?

What are some important metrics to speak with your customers about? All clients have different needs and requirements based on their business, but there are a few common metrics that are discussed when developing the best potential outcomes. Many companies want to measure logistics services in terms that sometimes, have no impact on their overall business. A common question posed to logistics companies is “what’s your cost per mile?” While this is a valid question, and definitely deserves consideration, it’s not necessarily the most meaningful measurement for customers. It is simple to give clients a cost per mile, but it would be more beneficial to the customer to develop the best logistics plan based on their overall business goals - not based on how many miles your trucks will cover.

  • On-time delivery: do our drivers deliver the said product on time, to the desired destination on a consistent basis?
  • On-time pickup: are the drivers arriving to pick-up product at the required destination on time, on a consistent basis?
  • Cost per mile, per kilo, per delivered pound: do our services meet the desired objectives of our customers based on which of these metrics fits their needs? Are we doing this consistently?

In addition to these common ways of measuring results, working very closely with each of your customers to develop a specialized logistics plan based on their needs will help drive results. By working hard to develop a relationship with your suppliers and shippers, you can establish measurements that make sense and have meaning. 

In fact, in many cases the three measurements mentioned above are not enough, but by working through the following points you can deliver additional value for customers.

  1. Identify Metrics with Impact for Each Customer: The biggest goal as we’ve already mentioned, is to work closely with each customer to find metrics that impact their business plan. What are the “must haves” for their business…is it finding the shortest route possible? Is it a combination of using a dedicated carrier and their drivers? When working towards a mutually beneficial solution, you will find that each metric is unique to each business, and can be changed as goals are met or outcomes improve. 
  1. Metrics Evolve Overtime: Communicate this important message to customers - metrics are always evolving. At any time during the life of a business, different things are important. Maybe a plant has added new capacity for a customer, or maybe traffic in and out of the plant presents a problem. If it’s a traffic issue, for example, we start measuring how quickly our drivers get in and out of a facility to find the standard; let’s say the goal is getting trucks in and out within one hour, and we find that it takes drivers 90 minutes. Our next step is to discuss options and problem-solve to find ways to meet that one-hour standard, and measure accordingly. 
  1. Give Metrics Context: Metrics are built and developed in a context that customers understand. Asking an electrical engineer to measure the number of “likes” your web page receives doesn’t make sense, and is definitely a waste of their time. When we build metrics we put them in a context that makes sense to our customers. Most manufacturers have some volume context to work with - cost per gallon for example – and we want to attach measurable numbers to that item. If company X measures with kilograms, we work to be sure metrics make sense, are understood by all involved and impact the whole business…not just the logistics function of the business.

  2. Understand Customer Goals and Strategize to Win: Work to fully understand customer goals as an organization, and if possible, impact their larger vision. If the company’s goal is to grow their overall business 5% in the next year, what does this mean from a logistics standpoint? It may mean a 3% reduction in the logistics function, saving XX amount of dollars. With a trusted partnership, we work to find ways to efficiently manage the logistics to create a 3% cost reduction, while at the same time keeping in mind the larger goal of a 5% increase in revenue. By tying these metrics together, we are not only impacting our small section of the customer’s business, but also impacting overall, larger business goals.

An area where we at Dupre´ Logistics are proud to share with our customers is our quality of service through the experience and professionalism of our drivers. Nationwide, driver turnover is 100% but at Dupre´ we experience a very low 25% driver turnover rate. As we work with businesses on developing appropriate metrics, we take this into account…our expectation of success increases greatly when we know our drivers are experienced, professional and have a vested interest in serving customers to the best of their ability. This creates positive outcomes for Dupre´, but more importantly, for the clients we work with.

There is not one metric that always works – there is no magic metric. When working with clients it is a good idea to pick a small group of 3-5 metrics that measure different aspects of the business and encompass a service, cost, productivity, safety and asset utilization and efficiency component. But what those metrics are specifically, depend completely on your customers. It’s something far more meaningful and impactful than just cost per mile.

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Topics: Enhancing Predictability

Highlights from the Tank Truck Marketing Analysis

Jan 5, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Earlier this year, the National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. (NTTC) announced the availability of its Tank Truck Industry Market Analysis publication, authored by American Trucking Associations’ Chief Economist Bob Costello and his team. For those of us in the tank truck industry, this was a long-awaited document – it’s the first time that our industry has taken the initiative to create a systematic approach to calculate the amount of freight – and the types of freight – moved by tank trucks.

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Topics: Logistics

Increased Economic Growth in late 2016, 2017 & 2018 - Dupré Logistics Hosts 14th Annual Client Colloquium in Houston

Dec 16, 2015 9:00:00 AM

November 19th, Dupré Logistics, LLC hosted its Annual Client Colloquium featuring a presentation by one of the country’s most informed economists Dr. Alan Beaulieu.  Dr. Beaulieu presented his informed projections on the future of the economy and predicted increased economic growth in late 2016, 2017 and 2018.  Preceding the dinner, some of the attendees also participated in the first annual round table discussion on the trends that are impacting Dupre’s clients across their multifaceted logistics business. The panel consisted of industry experts from across Dupre’s client base and added a tremendous value to the attendees.

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Topics: Dupre' News

American Trucking Association Recognizes Dupré for Highway Safety

Dec 15, 2015 10:52:50 AM

The American Trucking Association (ATA), the national image and advocacy organization for the U.S trucking industry, has recognized Dupré Logistics for their safety performance.  The ATA's Annual Safety and Human Resources Conference awards ceremony was held on November 4, 2015 in Little Rock, AR.  Dupré Logistics was presented with 2 awards based on their 2014 safety performance.

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Topics: Dupre' News

New Safety Rule Helps Prevent Crashes For Future Drivers

Jul 10, 2015 1:29:00 PM

On June 3 of this year, the U.S. Transportation Department announced that electronic stability control (ESC) systems will now be required on heavy trucks (truck tractors) and large busses weighing more than 26,000 pounds (FMVSS No. 136). But the initiative doesn’t stop there: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is attempting to expand the requirement to target medium-sized vehicles between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds as well. The rule is representative of widespread efforts to utilize technology for greater safety and efficiency on U.S. roadways.

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 136 was put forth and finalized by NHTSA, and compliance with the new ruling will be carried out over the next four years, providing enough time for manufacturers to make necessary alterations. For most heavy trucks, compliance will be required in August 2017, but buses larger than 33,000 pounds will be given three years for compliance, while those weighing between 26,000 and 33,000 pounds will be given four years. The ruling comes as no great surprise, but indicates a positive focus on safety in the trucking industry.

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How To Increase Efficiency In Your Logistics Process

Jun 25, 2015 4:03:00 PM

The following is an excerpt from our white paper The Design of Logistics: Eliminating Costs to Strengthen Your Competitive Position.

As the owner or manager of a business with significant logistics operations, you’re always looking for ways to control costs and enhance productivity. While this is no easy task steps can be taken to simplify operations for your employees and your business as a whole. Here are four things to consider as you analyze your logistics process.

4 Components in Controlling Cost and Enhancing Productivity

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National Safety Council Recognizes Dupré Logistics for Excellence in Safety

May 26, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Recently, the South Louisiana Chapter of the National Safety Council (NSC) presented Dupré Logistics, LLC., with three awards during The Clem Buckman Occupational and Fleet Safety Awards Banquet at the chapter’s Annual Meeting. The company received two traditional awards and was given a National Average Achievement Award, a new award for the program.

“In an effort for continuous improvement, our team is committed to safe service every day, every mile,” said Dupré Logistics Director of Safety and Training Al LaCombe. “This recognition amongst our peers and clients means a lot to our team.”

The National Average Achievement Award winners were compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics total recordable incidence rate by their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The winners for this new award achieved less than half the national average compared to their respective NAICS code. Dupré was also presented the Award of Honor for the 2014 Fleet Safety Contest Truck Category (1,000,000+ miles driven). Additionally, the company was recognized with a Certificate of Participation for the 2014 Occupational Safety Contest (2,000,000 – 4,000,000 hours worked). 

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Topics: Dupre' News

BP Lubricants USA, Inc. Recognizes Dupré Logistics for Safety

May 22, 2015 2:00:00 PM

BP Lubricants USA, Inc. recognized Dupré Logistics with the BP Safest Bulk Carrier Award for 2014. Presented during the BP Carrier Conference in Naperville, Il. The award recognizes carriers for their safety and performance record.  The company was also one of the top three carriers considered for BP Bulk Carrier of the Year Award.

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Topics: Dupre' News

Recruiting Younger Drivers to an Aging Workforce

May 14, 2015 8:30:00 AM

It’s a familiar story: the increasing driver shortage in the trucking industry is capping capacity and slowing potential growth. In a December 2014 Commercial Carrier Journal’s (CCJ) survey of 255 owners, executives and senior managers, the results were startling clear: 57.3% of for-hire carrier respondents believed that driver shortages would be their biggest concern in 2015, as it has largely been since 2011. How exactly carriers can find, train, and retain drivers remains a significant business challenge that impacts not only the trucking industry, but shipping and manufacturing as well. Most shippers rely on truckers to deliver their products, but without enough capacity to deliver products on demand, the driver crises resonates throughout the supply chain. Ultimately, there may be empty shelves in the grocery store because the industry cannot keep up with demand.

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When Will Alternative Fuel Become an Option for the Logistics and Trucking Industries?

May 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Fleet owners have a variety of motivations for acquiring hybrids, electrics, and other alternative fuel-powered vehicles, but they face a number of challenges in doing so, like cost of acquisition and infrastructure availability. The focus on fleet sustainability has been building over the past decade as alternative fuels become more prevalent and available, but whether alternative fuels are worth the cost and effort remains debateable. The Environmental Protection Agency has been advocating alternative fuel and sustainability through its SmartWay program, which champions fuels such as liquefied and compressed natural gas, propane, alcohol, Dimethyl Ether (DME) and electricity. These fuels are attractive to government agencies because of their potential to offer a clean-burning, domestically-produced alternative to imported petroleum. 

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