The Need for Flexible Business Models – for TMS and Mexican Sushi

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights, Freight Broker, Trucking

Little Mexico Cantina Sushi

Little Mexico Cantina Sushi

“Honey, honey, can we like go for sushi tonight?”

“Gee, I was hoping for Mexican.”

“Look… it’s a Mexican & Sushi restaurant honey… wow!”

You can imagine how lucky this couple felt while driving around one of the suburbs of Vancouver.

The other day I was in Richmond, an affluent, and busy, suburb of Vancouver, when I came across this sign.

I didn’t know what to make of it.

There are a lot of sushi restaurants in Richmond. It is home to some of the original migrants to our province of British Columbia. In fact, Steveston was originally a Japanese fishing village. So, with generations of people of Japanese heritage living in town you often see sushi spots around the city. But the Mexican Cantina offered a nice twist to things.

It got me thinking about our TMS application here at Tailwind Transportation Software.

And it got me thinking again about our customers and how they too need to be flexible in their business model.

Markets change. One month everyone has the capacity and is looking for loads, and another month, there are lots of loads, but everyone is looking for trucks.

Some of our customers run trucking operations. Some run freight brokerages. While others run a combination of both. It could be trucking company that also brokers a few loads, or a brokerage that runs some assets.

Perhaps the biggest strength of the Tailwind transportation management software system is the way it allows companies to operate both entities out of the same application. And doing it in a way that tracks the business, administration, and details separate from the other. It tracks all the activities across both sides of the business in one place.

It also saves our customers money. They don’t have to buy trucking software and, separately, buy brokerage software. They get both in the same online application – and can use a single login to get to all that information.

And because it’s offered online and in a ‘software as a service’ format, customers don’t need to invest in servers, software licenses, and costly maintenance programs because they can buy it on a monthly basis – adjusting their investment according to their needs.

It gives them the flexibility to run a load with their own assets with their own company drivers, or some owner-operators, or broker it out to another carrier. They can move in fluidly across brokerage and trucking models.

Some business models might be stretched too far, but for many of our customers, this ‘trucking-brokerage’ thing seems to work well – certainly better than a combined ‘Mexican – Sushi’ restaurant.

As I dug a little deeper, I could see that this might have been more of a marketing problem, for there were two separate restaurants. While the Cantina was bigger and more noticeable, there was indeed a small narrow sushi place next door.

I guess they wanted to save money on the signage – not a good idea unless you want to eat sashimi with Pico de Gallo…

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