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How to Create a Competitive Advantage with Logistics

Logistics are seen as a cost centre. But it shouldn't be that way.

06th November 2023

Written by

Alistair Lindsay

Chief Operating Officer

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If your customers rely on Just-in-Time (JIT) deliveries, they have no margin for error. Service levels, lead times and on-time delivery rates aren't negotiable, and your ability to provide certainty is a competitive differentiator.

87% of shoppers say shipping speed is a major influence on whether they’ll buy from a business more than once. Unreliable supply chains are bringing pressure to your customers and your business can’t operate effectively.

In volatile markets experiencing disruption, driver shortages, and rising fuel costs, your ability to deliver consistently and quickly is what will grant you leverage in your space.

This observation was central to founding Zeus Labs. We saw that logistics was being treated as a commodity, rather than as a value-add. And we knew that a technology solution that can help businesses better manage their supply chain systems was central to changing that image.

We built a multimodal solution and HVO Haulier Network of more than 15,000 HGVs based on the principles of speed, visibility, and consistency. Central to our success is Freight Command, a platform we designed to coordinate the web of logistics software used by our partners to provide end-to-end planning and critical automation missing from transportation management.

Here, we're going to explain how we used Freight Command to transform our logistics operation from a cost centre into a profit centre, and how you can too.

What gets lost when your logistics are disconnected

Businesses are trying to get their processes “back in sync”, and that includes recognising the strategic role logistics plays in supply chains, rather than being purely about transactions.

But what’s coming in the way of all businesses successfully seeing that through?

Generally, it’s because of poor visibility and integrations within broader supply chains. A lack of management and transparency over the entire process — from purchase to delivery — will only lead to frustrations for all parties involved. Customers don’t receive their orders in the timely fashion they expect, transport providers are left in the dark, and your business loses out on sales.

The solution is to ensure that the platforms within your logistics and broader supply chain are connected to each other via an integrated system, rather than being treated in isolation.

Otherwise, disconnections between core platforms like your TMS, CRM, and Warehouse Management System means that there’s critical information getting lost in the mix. Information that can be utilised to better match customer demands and adjust to disruptions. What’s more, this data can be difficult to address at a manual level without slowing down operations and leaving too much room for human error and misinterpretation. You ultimately risk facing:

  1. Missed efficiency gaps: Without a unified, holistic view of your overall performance, you miss out on any operational gaps that need to be filled.

  2. Little to no real-time visibility: Disparate supply chain systems can often lead to a lack of real-time visibility, meaning you miss out on making timely and well-informed decisions based on critical information.

  3. Ineffective inventory management: A disjointed system can result in poor inventory management, leading to either stockouts or overstocking. Both scenarios are financially problematic, through lost sales or bloated working capital position.

  4. Damaged customer experiences: Without integrations between your supply chain tools, you risk hurting your customer experience. For example, any delays in delivery due to lack of coordination between warehouse and transport stem from ineffective integrations — ultimately costing you customer loyalty.

The benefits of rethinking your logistics

When you adjust your logistics operations to address the above issues, you then set yourself apart from the competition. That comes down to delivering:

  • Consistency: Accurately forecasting and planning for changes in demand so that you can ensure service levels and customer expectations are always met. This also relates to keeping inventory levels lean while ensuring you can always meet surges in demand, leading to more efficient use of resources and capacity.

  • Speed: Anticipating spikes in demand also factors into speed of delivery, as it allows you to allocate capacity and resources accordingly. A streamlined order-to-cash cycle means more satisfied customers and quicker payments, leading to enhanced customer loyalty and improved business liquidity.

  • Sustainability: Customers are more prioritised with buying from environmentally friendly businesses than ever before. 90% of Gen Z buyers are willing to spend 10% more on sustainable options. Tactics like multimodal transport, identifying more sustainable routes in terms of fuel consumption and alternative fuel types, and maximising transport unit utilisation help with this.

This is where automation comes in. Getting visibility over how your existing supply chain management can hit the above goals is easier said than done without the right technology. But an automated solution that consolidates all of your systems together can help you:

  • Forecast demand through analysing historical and real-time data, enabling more efficient planning and deliveries.

  • Enable better ways of working between your sales and logistics teams via a centralised hub that gives all parties access to real-time data and one version of the truth.

  • Improve carrier relationships through optimised routing, planning, and delivering against contractual volume commitments.

  • Give greater visibility and transparency to customers orders, ensuring improved speed of delivery and customer loyalty.

  • Decarbonisation solutions that enable more sustainable, environmentally-friendly practices.

How Freight Command delivers for us (and can for you too)

At Zeus, we faced similar challenges in meeting growing customer expectations amidst a global supply chain that was going through constant change. In response, we formed our landmark solution, Freight Command.

Freight Command immediately fulfilled what we, and any other business need in order to improve efficiency of delivery: better planning and visibility. Over time however, we added more capabilities to the platform to make way for further automated operations, including:

  • Automated slot management: Accelerating the process between an order being received and a shipment being placed with transportation by automatically assigning loads anchored to the delivery slot, allowing for much improved customer service delivery.

  • Customer portals: Providing customers with simple and easy access to track deliveries and know when their shipment will be collected and delivered, optimising resource planning, improving relationships and providing peace of mind.

  • End-to-end planning: Transparency over order, transport and slot management to improve projections and simplify relationships with carriers, reducing reliance on ad hoc loads and delivering better service levels.

  • Live reporting & dashboards: Arming sales and logistics teams with the information they need to set customer expectations and deliver against requirements (and be able to set those expectations high.)

  • Sustainable options: Renewable diesel and managed multimodal solutions that can help you achieve up to 84% less carbon emissions.

Our trusted client Apollo Tyres saw immediate results from utilising Freight Command, helping them complete more efficient deliveries to their customer base:

“At Apollo, we saw a 71% reduction in order to invoice periods due to Zeus Freight Command. For us, that means many millions clearing faster. This is due to Freight Command’s innovative end-to-end slot automation and integrations with customers and transport providers." — Hizmy Hassan, Chief Digital & Supply Chain Officer, Apollo Tyres.

Our team can help you see the benefits of this solution within your own business — granting you the competitive advantage you need in today’s ever-changing markets. Book a live demo of Freight Command today.


  1. Keeping Up with the Customer: How Evolving Customer Expectations Impact Supply Chains
  2. Why Europe’s driver shortage isn’t just a personnel problem
  3. Rising petrol prices are creating a supply chain domino effect - PwC UK
  4. State of Logistics 2023: The great reset - Kearney
  5. 3 Ways Consumers are Driving Change in Retail Logistics for 2023 | Entrepreneur

You'll be impressed.

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