Warehousing and Fulfillment – Ways to Improve your Logistics:
The complete supply chain from creation to final delivery is a multi-step process that can be cumbersome, complex, and costly. However, the bright side is each step offers a chance to improve efficiency to save you money and time (the most important commodity). Below are 7 ways to improve your supply chain quickly:
1. Pick & Pack with Intent
Strategically place your fast movers & inventory to reduce processing time and distance to your outbound shipping lanes. This is critical for efficient pick and pack and will make a world of difference in your efficiency. Keep your employees from running into each other and ensure you shipping lanes are in a place that reduces distance and travel time to your haulers.
2. Examine your Truckload
Ensure you look at your options when selecting which carrier to use for trucking. Comparing small parcel vs. LTL truckload vs. LTL carriers gives you a healthy price range to examine. Look at your options for zone and weight price breaks. This can save you a lot of money per shipment and overall.
3. Keep your Boxes Close, but your Packing Materials Even Closer
Every step (literally every step) costs you money. Every step that an individual must make to grab a box, packing tap, bubble wrap, etc. adds to your fulfilment cost incrementally. Examine your workflow and ensure that materials are close by (but not too close as it may make your movers run into each other). Look at every step through the process of pick and pack to see where you can cut steps out of the process.
4. Zone Skip
Zone skipping allows you to save money by combining multiple packages and orders into one truckload. Instead of now shipping individual packages and orders across multiple zones, a shipper consolidates to one full truckload and the savings is passed on to each supplier. This spreads the cost over multiple packages and orders – saving each supplier money – as one truckload is transported directly from zone starting point to zone ending point.
5. The Power of your WMS
In today’s digital world – this is of vital importance. Having a WMS that can measure everything (inventory quantities, fill rate, demand forecasting, tracking, and inventory turnover) is vital to create a more efficient end-to-end supply chain. You cannot improve what you cannot measure – ensuring that you are measuring these critical KPI’s is critical for each business owner and supply officer. A good WMS provides enhanced efficiency and distribution center / order fulfillment center performance.
6. Track Everything
From receiving and storage, to tracking inventory quantities (real time), and final delivery to end customer – tracking is a baseline requirement in today’s marketplace. The end customer wants to know when their product or stock will arrive and expects it to be accurate and on time. Ensure you have the tracking in place to offer this to your suppliers and vendors so they can provide it to their end customer and improve the customer experience.
7. Automate where possible
The more that your workforce writes down or inputs data by hand, the higher the chance of human error. Use RF barcode and RFID systems to eliminate the chances of human error and allow for enhanced tracking through the supply chain. This also allows for real-time tracking updates as well as inventory management which is a must in today’s eCommerce world.
The term “logistics” is thrown around a lot. Many companies simply search for logistics partners without knowing what their specific need is. A good 3PL company offers a full service offering from point of origin to point of consumption. As you know, there are many destination points along a supply chain – knowing where you have the biggest problem can help you identify solutions to improve efficiency.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We offer the best practices in warehousing and order fulfillment. We are strategically located in the heart of the west and offer industry leading facilities and customer service for any logistics need.