Michael Rogers Shares How Small Businesses Can Use Logistics to Compete with Corporations

Michael Rogers, President and CEO of 4WL Consulting, was interviewed on Mission Matters Business Podcast by Adam Torres.

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Michael Rogers has been a small business owner for more than 40 years, during which time he saw time and again how underserved the small business community was by carriers and third-party logistics providers. To help them compete against larger businesses, he’s helping them use logistics to their competitive advantage.

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The future of logistics 

Of the logistics industry, Rogers says, “The pandemic, the extreme climate changes, and lack of talent is predominant.” He notes that as of a few years ago, the average age of truck drivers was 57 or 58, and they’re beginning to age out without anyone coming in to take their place aside from autonomously-driven vehicles. 

Supply chain shortages due to lockdowns and other factors are creating imbalance, and people are spending money on products rather than services. So, Rogers says, until some balance is restored, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the market, driving prices up by as much as 400 percent. 

Why should C-level executives care?

C-level executives usually have their teams in the warehouse and/or those in charge of shipping who generally handle whatever’s happening, Rogers explains, but with the way prices are going up, budgets are skyrocketing. This means C-suite execs need to be more involved in implementing strategies. Like major corporations, he says, leaders of small and mid-sized companies should set their sights on the horizon and get involved in what’s going on. 

When asked about the biggest mistakes companies make while devising a logistics strategy, Rogers says, “Large companies benchmark their rates, and then see how they compare. In that way, when they negotiate, they have an idea of whether they’re getting market rates or not. In the case of smaller companies, they’ll get rates from a few companies, but are unaware of how they compare in the marketplace, because they have not looked at having a benchmark analysis done.”  This, he explains, is one reason smaller companies find it tough to compete against their larger contemporaries.

What does 4WL Consulting do? 

4WL Consulting started as a 3PL provider and offered services like LTL, truckload, and international solutions. 4WL’s Trans$aver Spend Analysis, a benchmark analysis for the small to midsize companies primarily with LTL and parcel, helps clients see where they stand in the marketplace and offers big-picture clarity to C-level executives to help them implement better micro-level strategies. 

4WL’s Trans$aver Spend Analysis is a three-step process, first learning more about the current business processes, next appropriate data is collected which is analyzed by the 4WL team, and the third step is a presentation through which Rogers and his team share insights on where the company compares to the market and areas that can (and often should) be optimized. 

Where to learn more from Mike Rogers about logistics

“I created the Manufacturing Success podcast as a way to talk to successful C-level executives and give them not only a platform to talk about what they’re doing, but also explore trends and things that are working in the industry to share with other executives in manufacturing,” Rogers says. “I’ve always been on the logistics side, so getting to hear from leaders on the other side of the table is enlightening.” Check out the Manufacturing Success podcast on iTunes and Spotify. 

Mike Rogers’ book, Return on Logistics, is another great way to learn about logistics strategies. “When you don’t have the expertise in house to help you strategize your logistics, the book can be a great partner in helping you keep your costs down,” Rogers says. “(Optimizing logistics) lets you focus on your core competency, which is manufacturing and selling your product, and not having to move product.”

To learn more about 4WL Consulting, check out https://4wlconsulting.com/