Russell Goodman interviews Mike Riegler of One Network Enterprises on 3PL 4PL challenges and opportunities.

The Top Opportunities for LSPs and 3PLs in Today’s Challenging Business Environment

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Russell Goodman (SupplyChainBrain) interviews Mike Riegler (One Network Enterprises) on the top logistics and supply chain challenges he sees today, and how 3PLs and Logistics Service Providers can use them to profit and grow.

Mike Riegler on how today’s challenges present big opportunities for 3PLs and Logistics Service Providers.

Russell Goodman 

Facing the Challenges of 2023. Well, joining us today to speak about that Mike Riegler, senior vice president global LSP at one network. Mike, it’s great to see you once again. Welcome.

Mike Riegler 

Thanks Russell, for having me.

Russell Goodman 

Mike, let’s just we’re not that far into 2023. And I think it’s probably good if we could talk to an expert like yourself and kind of identify and define some of the challenges that you see going forward in this year challenges that people are going to be facing pressures that are going to be dealing with, you know, in logistics and supply chain. So walk us through some of that, if you would, Mike.

Mike Riegler 

Thank you again for having me. When I look out for the global logistics service provider industry to the LSPs, the 3PLs, the 4PLs, and what we see now in the first half of 2023, are the rates for transportation going down.

Now, people can find themselves getting lulled to sleep. And without remembering what they went through the last two years, where there was chaos, there was disruption, people were exhausted, and they were anxious with the uncertainty and unpredictability of everything.

Well, we see it for the three pillars of the LSP, this is a perfect time to go run to those chief supply chain officers (CSCO) at the enterprise, to be able to present them with optionality. Optionality is, I can create more options for you so that your competitive advantage is not a thing of the past, it doesn’t go out, it’s more of a persistent advantage. So, considering that, it’s a really a great time to be a logistics service provider.

"This is a perfect time to run to chief supply chain officers (CSCO), and present them with optionality. Optionality means: I can create more options for you so that your competitive advantage is not a thing of the past, it doesn't go out, it's… Click To Tweet

Now key things that you asked for.

Number one, we see that the the disruption, the chaos, it’s going to happen, it’s here to stay. And what we see are the LSPs being there at the epicenter of all supply chain networks. So, they have their hands on a lot of things. This means they can actually go to their enterprise customers with options and be able to say, “We can handle things, we can handle more things for you, at a network level, not a point A to point B.” That’s one key thing, the chaos is here to stay. That chaos really creates more opportunity for the LSPs to be more valuable.

Number two is an offshoot of that, it is the increased focus on end-to-end supply chain orchestration. That is on the minds of a lot of the chief supply chain folks, because it’s about what the networks can do. And certainly, the LSPs are positioned there, physically, from a process, and from a technology perspective, to do more.

"One big trend is the increased focus on end-to-end supply chain orchestration. That is on the minds of a lot of the chief supply chain folks, because it's about what the networks can do. LSPs are positioned there, physically, from a process, and… Click To Tweet

Three, we see that sustainability is one of the key themes that is emerging, and certainly from our friends across the pond and in Europe, who are really driving it with conviction and with budgets, to be able to answer not just the financial outcomes, but sustainability outcomes.

Number four, risk management. I see is that, well, we’ve got all of these things that are happening, yes, it’s easy to see them. But how do I bring them into, you know, some simulation environment, some sandbox environments, so we can change policies and work with our customers to do more and to be able to move that into production environments very quickly.

And then number five, what we hear, and what you’re probably hearing every single conversation, is the talent management crisis. The talent has been exhausted, they’ve been anointed been anxious, they’ve been really just tired of a lot of the disruption. So now the enterprise customers and enterprise shippers just don’t have the workforce.

Well that represents an opportunity for the LSPs to go in and say, well, we’ve got these business process outsourcing solutions, we can go take on a lot of that and bring that expertise to you. That’s going to sell very well for that customer base with those challenges.

But the one thing that’s going to be interesting, for the 3PLs, one of the key talent tasks out there is solving problems. And that’s where technology can rise to that challenge and help that process, it can collect and assess data, and then imagine different solutions. That technology (prescriptive analytics) is really coming forward.

So those are the five big themes that we see out there for the for the market. And with the opportunities these present for LSPs, it’s a great time to be an LSP.

Russell Goodman 

Okay. Now a question. During the pandemic times were difficult. Has capital been freed up? Because for instance, the kinds of technology implementations that we’ve been talking about that are necessary to meet some of these challenges, cost money. The opportunities, as you see is there for LSPs to go to people and say, we can help you we can fix you, your situation, etc. Let’s get busy. But you’ve got to hire them, you’ve got to have a contract, you’ve got to pay for the LSP services, etc. So, has the money been freed up? Are we in a situation where especially given you know inflationary pressure right now that we’re able to do business?

Mike Riegler 

That’s a fantastic question. I think people respond to this situation in two different ways.

One, they can be motivated by the fear and the risk. So they’ll put solutions around the status quo, a moat, if you will.

On the other side of the coin are the people that are motivated by gain and growth. And as you’re looking for, you know, bigger value to be created, that’s where they see this competitive and persistent advantage. Those are the guys that we are looking after. And I think that that’s where the LSPs are finding their growth. So the guys that want to put a moat around the status quo, go ahead. But I think the time really is still there to manage that and run to the fire, if you will.

Russell Goodman 

Interesting. Now, I’m looking now for a kind of a laundry list of greatest opportunities right now for 3PLs and 4PLs, what are they?

Mike Riegler 

So I think from a risk management standpoint, to be able to go in and say, what about the deviations, and manage the exceptions, that we otherwise wouldn’t know. So that’s one aspect. How do you make sure that the right product gets to the right place? That’s what we call exception management.

The Top Opportunities for LSPs and 3PLs: A conversation with Mike Riegler @onenetwork and Russell Goodman @SCBrain … Click To Tweet

But then you’re looking at risk, and you’re seeing, well, hey, I’ve got product caught in typhoons in Shanghai. I’ve got port strikes. I’ve got all the other kinds of things that are slowing down and causing disruption. How do you look at it across the network, so that you can actually match demand with supply, and do effective planning and execution? That’s a big one, that’s real value. That’s bigger value and bigger opportunities.

Russell Goodman 

Final question to you, Mike. It occurs to me that maybe somebody out there isn’t entirely familiar with ONE. Tell them a little something about the company what it does, but more importantly, how is it helping customers meet and overcome the challenges that we’ve just been talking about?

Mike Riegler 

For sure. The hint is in the name, network, a single network. Well, that takes supply chain planning and execution, demand and fulfillment, all on the same platform. That enables us to deal with it at a network level, and not just dealing with the transactions one transaction at a time. It’s about network value. I think that that’s where people are looking for something more from an ecosystem perspective, that really going to stand out and be more and be a lot bigger. So that’s where I think that that’s, that’s that’s the big play right now for us. And it we’re doubling down on control tower type solutions, and bringing that there so that we can enable these these full blown networks to rise to the occasion.

Russell Goodman 

Great, great stuff. terrific information. Thank you so very much.

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