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Operations, Processes, Sustainability, Third Party Logistics

It’s important for our business to invest renewable energy technologies and sustainability in all aspects of our logistics business. Importantly, when using road transport, we plan each journey to establish the most efficient route so that we can reduce the number of miles traveled and avoid empty trucks on the road. Taylor has implemented a Green Logistics program for several years; by doing so, our team reduces fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions by:

Optimizing Routes


Until electric and other more sustainable vehicle options, route optimization is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and distribution. Artificial intelligence can work with GPS devices to optimize local, national, and global shipping routes. Advanced analytics update routes in real-time, to take account of congestion and other issues.

Simplifying Supply Chain Processes


Supply chains can be improved through significant changes, but it’s more common to see results through small, iterative improvements. Useful analytics and reporting combine with machine learning to continually improve processes throughout the supply chain. Every change that reduces waste speeds up delivery or enhances quality makes an incremental improvement to sustainability.

Monitoring Existing Environmental Risks


Climate change and other environmental factors already impact many supply chains. Issues such as wildfires in California, rising sea levels, water scarcity, and lower agricultural yields have a profound impact on the efficiency, quality, and speed of the supply chain. Supply chain technology helps to predict these risks and allows supply chain managers to mitigate their impact and put contingency plans in place.

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Operations, Processes, Third Party Logistics

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), more than 185 million people are expected to shop over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. This time can be a stressful time for retailers and the transportation industry, and the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically the peak period of the rush. Massive volumes of e-commerce purchases are putting more and more pressure on business and logistics managers each year. Whether your business manages your supply chain in-house or uses a 3PL partner, supply chain planning in peak seasons like this requires the use of supply chain industry best practices.

The Origin of Black Friday 

The term “Black Friday” was first associated with financial crisis and shopping sales. Jim Fisk and Jay Gould, two wall street financiers, bought a significant amount of US gold in the hope of the overall price soaring and turned to be able to sell it for massive profits. On Friday, September 24, 1869, in what became referred to as “Black Friday,” the US gold marked Crash and Fisk, and Gould’s actions left Wall Street barons bankrupt. In the later years, the post-thanksgiving period became associated with the name. 

Although this is the origin story, there is one black Friday tale that also attributes to its name. When stores recorded their accounting details, they noted profits in black and losses in red. The story goes that many shops were “in the red” throughout most of the year. Still, they later “went into the black” the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers bought a significant amount of discounted merchandise for the holiday presents.

Supply Chain Best Practices for Holiday Shopping 

 Use your 3PL’s Value- Added Services


Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the times of year that your third party logistics provider will become an extra benefit to your business. Using value-added services such as kitting and packaging to prepare high-demand items ready to go, and kit pre-package many of them in preparation for holiday shoppers. A 3PL can typically also provide temporary storage overflow inventory for the peak seasons. 

Take Care of Your Employees. 


The holiday season is the worse time to lose employees. Due to to the high-stress environment of a warehouse or fulfillment center and the longer holiday hours, this time of year is at high-risk for employee turnover. This is not a time to slack on your promise to company culture. Try and keep the work environment as light as possible and maintain open communication by having conversations with employees to make sure they feel appreciated during such a critical time for logistics.

System Integrity 


Peak season is not the time of year when your system can go down; all systems must be running up to speed. During the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period, your order management, distribution, allocation, replenishment, and financial systems will be subject to a level of transactional activity that can be many orders of magnitude higher than ever before.

Training 


Employee training throughout the year is critical so that they can jump into whatever role might be the most in-demand during the holiday peak season. Not only does routine training empower your workforce, but it also improves team morale. 

Focus on Customer Experience


While optimizing supply chain efficiency with standardized processes and automation, supply chain professionals should focus on the customer experience. Customers gain trust in businesses that can handle the busiest of shopping days. 

Statistics/ Trends According to NRF

People ages 18-24, 88% t say they are likely to shop and particularly enjoy the social aspect. Similarly, 84% of those ages 25-34 plan to shop. That compares with 69% of holiday shoppers overall.

Of those planning to shop, there is an almost even split of people who plan to start their shopping in-store 47% compared with those who plan to start online 41%. Those under 25 are even more likely to say they expect to start shopping in-store 52%.

The top reasons consumers are planning to shop include:

65% The deals are too good to pass up 


28% Tradition 


22% It’s when they like to start their holiday shopping 


21% It’s something to do over the holiday 

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Operations, Processes, Warehousing

Kitting is a standard value-added service offered by most third-party logistics companies. However, kitting is most commonly used in the e-commerce space; therefore, those outside the industry most likely are unfamiliar with kitting. Our team created this guide to help you better understand fulfillment kitting services, best practices, and how it applies to your supply chain. 

What is kitting?


Defined, kitting is a service that combines various single items into one unit for sale, such as a subscription box containing multiple items. It is a beneficial eCommerce merchandising tool because it enables e-retailers to do more with the items in their inventory. Elaborate kits can include up to 20 different products, with the capabilities of a great warehouse management system it can accurately manage your inventory, as products morph from units to kits. Here are some different types of products that are typically kitted and assembled:

Cosmetics

Nutritional Supplements

Electronics

Subscription Box Programs

Supermarket Displays 

Promotional Items 

Benefits of Kitting? 


Kitting services provide companies with many benefits such as a reduced number of purchase orders, decreased management costs, better utilization of space, and more rapid response to customer orders. The following items are additional benefits to kitting fulfillment services: 

It can save you overhead costs

Allows you to focus on your core business 

You don’t need to hire an in-house staff

Reduces shipping mistakes 

Volume Flexibility 

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Operations, Truck Driving

You can’t detour around the numbers — our nation is facing a significant truck driver shortage. Worries about future shipping capacity have driven beyond the desks of industry experts and into the minds of supply chain professionals everywhere. Due to this problem, dispatcher-driver relationships are becoming increasingly difficult, but what can be done to address this? Our experts came up with several tips to help out your fleet communication.

Know Your Drivers


Getting to know your drivers is the key to maintaining a great relationship. With the high stress of a dispatcher, phone ringings, tons of emails all needing your attention, it’s hard to stay calm. However, if you calmly help the driver when they need you, they will respect you and help you out in return. 

Be Transparent


Transparency is vital when communicating with your drivers. No matter the situation, drivers appreciate it if you are forthcoming about the situation. Avoiding the main point will take up drivers’ time. Drivers will understand and respect your honesty about finding a mutually beneficial solution. Not only is it essential to be transparent with the drivers but also your colleagues. Sharing experiences can help problem solve and can prevent undesired situations from occurring. 

Don’t Rush Your Decisions


Problems are likely to occur in the transportation world; it’s essential to draw solutions that will ensure a good outcome. Drivers and customers expect answers promptly; don’t rush your decisions; instead, weigh out the pros and cons of each option.

Time Management 


It’s crucial to plan your driver’s start times and routes before each day. Not only is the driver’s schedule key, but make sure to plan for various weather conditions is also essential. 

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