Bridging The Gaps with Thomas van Merode, VP & Head of Solutions and Partnerships of Cargobase

From forging win-win partnerships to developing cutting-edge solutions, Thomas van Merode, plays a key role in Cargobase's growth and innovation as the VP & Head of Customer Solutions and Partnerships. Let's delve deeper and explore the strategic thinking behind the man himself!

In your experience, what are the most common challenges that shippers encounter when implementing Cargobase, and how do you help shippers overcome them?

Thomas: The most common challenges revolve around change management, data quality/accuracy, and also understanding their own processes. But, every implementation to help solve those challenges is unique in its own way. Fundamentally, we work with them to understand and map their current processes. Then we can advise them on the changes they need to make to adopt the new system.

It’s not as simple as configuring software for the shippers. It’s the whole package of consultancy, understanding their business and setting them up for success. We don’t see ourselves as vendors. We see ourselves as valuable strategic partners that are invested in our customers success.

According to you, how much of a difference does a good customer success team contribute to an overall TMS user experience?

Thomas: I’d personally like to call it a customer experience team - includes Solution Implementation, Customer Success and Support. A good customer experience team is the key differentiating factor between a TMS software provider and a strategic partner. A partner is committed to the client’s success and cultivates a long term relationship with the client.

To us, a holistic customer experience goes beyond delivering 24/7 support. We also look into helping them with user adoption, ensuring user satisfaction across the company, maximizing their ROI and supporting them with continuous improvement.

How do you intend to enhance the customer experience through Cargobase?

Thomas: We are already starting to place more emphasis on elevating customer satisfaction as we want to retain long lasting working relationships with our customers.

One of the strategies we came up with is to split the customer experience team into 3 divisions - Implementation, Customer Success, and Customer Support. In this way, the team can be more focused and dedicated to enhance the existing relationships with our customers.

How does Cargobase differentiates itself from other TMS implementation processes and solutions

Thomas: Aside from delivering a more holistic customer experience, I’d say we managed to develop the software in a way that doesn’t require a long implementation period because we are a lean and fast team. It can easily be done in as little as 4 weeks and this enables our customers to start driving change quickly.

How important are strategic partnerships in today’s supply chain landscape?

Thomas: They are indispensable for navigating complexity and mitigating risks, while driving innovation and growth. These partnerships enable Cargobase to leverage expertise, resources, and networks to optimize costs and expand market reach.

How does Cargobase leverage strategic partnerships to offer a comprehensive and seamless shipping experience?

We strategically partner with transportation providers, customs brokers, and technology firms to offer a comprehensive TMS solution. It could revolve around enhancing features such as a live shipment tracking function. We recently partnered with a large Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) provider to further enhance our TMS capabilities on the frontend, to become more flexible and easier for our customers. We want to be a differentiator in the logistics industry, so partnerships are extremely important.

How’s the future of logistics going to be and are there any trends you are witnessing?

Thomas: It’s going to be shaped by technology-driven advancements such as automation, robotics, and predictive analytics. There’ll also be lots of emphasis on how these new technologies can help streamline operations and enhance efficiency.

Sustainability will be a key focus. The need to develop eco-friendly transportation modes and supply chain optimization practices to reduce carbon footprint will be increasingly important to shippers and providers. With our upcoming product releases, Cargobase is playing into the initiatives and is showing that they are ready for the future!

Looking to boost your freight perfomance and efficiency? Be sure to contact us to schedule for a FREE consultation and find out how Cargobase TMS can unleash the full potential of your supply chain!

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