Freight management companies take responsibility on behalf of their customers, for transporting their freight by air, land or sea securing space with carriers at a much lower price than their customers could negotiate for themselves. They also handle all of the paperwork. Also contract logisitics like local transportation and management of distribution center operations. This is where reliability and speed play a big factor for customers.
There is always value added through better planning versus execution. Examples from the case include Exel creating a management program for Haus-Mart where the responsibilities and roles of employees were divided up and made clear. Also bringing trainers to regular assess the employees' skills. They reduced costs for Haus-Mart by restructuring the organization of the staff and its work; others came from implementing more efficient work practices. Exel also improved pick accuracy as well. All of these examples show how the planning helps to produce a desirable outcome; but without planning first execution will be poor.
I say yes deep understanding of supply chain execution and stronger capabilities in execution help make better planning decisions, because understanding your desired outcome will help in deciding which way to go about planning to reach those desired outcomes, so the deeper the knowledge the more beneficial. I believe Exel's current situation with Haus-Mart is in the right track and Haus-Mart will be a good customer to initiate the planning and execution effort with. First they have to come to an understanding so neither party is jeopardizing their independency. Exel doesn’t want to be out of a job if all their techniques are shared and later their talents become no longer needed to Haus-Mart.