Many UK importers or exporters have pretty flat organisational structures, and very few have the luxury a full-time logistics manager or supply chain manager to call upon.
Of course, most customers manage, but over time, they lose control of their freight costs, their service levels slip and they just don't have the time to manage this area proactively. This lack of control can waste money, affect their own customers and expose them to Customs compliance risk.
What we tend to find is that in many companies, logistics and compliance responsibility is usually passed to finance, administrative or purchasing staff, who do their best, but in truth, they don’t have the expertise in this specialist area, nor do they have the time, and this leads to several common problems:
This is why it's so important that this area of your business is managed professionally, and what we’ve seen is that over 90% of customers who engage us for a Freight Review, having worked with us a year, then transition to our Freight Management service, and indeed our very first customer is still on board today, 8 years later!
These customers sit within our freight portfolio which means their freight costs are being closely managed, any service issues are nipped in the bud, and they have direct access to an unbiased and expert opinion on anything from fuel surcharges to Customs regulations.
Many customers also ask us to manage their Customs compliance which means that every single Customs entry is checked for accuracy and errors are corrected before HMRC spot them. If they do then receive notice of a Customs inspection, they have peace of mind, as they can demonstrate robust compliance, complete and accurate record-keeping and solid verification procedures.
"After meeting with Andy to discuss our requirements, we were impressed with his professional yet friendly approach as well as his confidence that he would be able to cut our freight costs” Louise Maoudj, Operations Director, Peak Drink Dispense
"What really surprised us were the resulting financial benefits (+£100K saving on freight costs) and in addition, there was also a significant improvement in service levels, and the shared savings model was particularly liked by senior management” Jim Hickey, Procurement Manager, Magnesium Elektron
"Not everyone has the time to scrutinise freight invoices to check the costs are correct, especially when the freight forwarders try to bamboozle you with trade jargon to disguise the hidden costs” Neil Barlow, Director, New World Air Brake
"I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Straightforward Consultancy if you are looking for better service and rates from your carriers, and maintenance of those in the longer term” Paul Critchlow, Managing Director, Distinctive Medical
"In summary it’s clear that Andy’s extensive knowledge has added a great deal of value to our supply chain and it’s a pleasure to have him on our team” Steve Gaskell, Supply Chain Manager, Mast Group
"We engaged Straightforward Consultancy as we could see that our air freight costs had risen over time and service levels had dropped, however we didn’t have the time or expertise to carry out a review ourselves” Steve Goldstraw, Managing Director, Staffordshire Hydraulics Services"
"The project has realised significant savings for us and we continue to enjoy pro-active support to ensure that these benefits are maintained” Kevin Bradd, Supply Chain Manager, Otter Controls
"Attention to detail, full knowledge of the shipping business from the sides of both the freight forwarder and customer ensure Straightforward Consultancy offer real added-value to our company” Mark Daintith, Purchasing Manager, Middleby UK