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.
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.
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
22% It’s when they like to start their holiday shopping
National Forklift Safety Day is Tuesday, June 9th. The day encourages safer behavior in warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants. Download Taylor’s guide to forklift safety by clicking the image below.
The beauty industry is a $532 billion sector of the economy that is experiencing rapid growth. This increase is mainly due to the rise of e-commerce and omni-channel sales, with projections reaching $390 billion globally by 2024, according to Forbes. From a vast number of SKUs with LOT tracking requirements to hazardous goods storage and handling compliance standards to shipping bulk orders to big-box retailers to the demands of B2C e-commerce, order fulfillment has never been more critical to one of the fast-growing and most competitive industries. A qualified third-party logistics company can utilize its warehouse network, technology, and transactional cost models to provide effective fulfillment solutions to health and beauty brands.
Compliance and Experience
Unlike technology products, which may only launch a new product one time a year, cosmetic brands usually release new products seasonally, plus exclusive holiday campaign products. Meaning you have a tight margin for keeping your customers happy without being left with an excess of out-of-style inventory. Understanding what is required in each stage of the fulfillment process and your precise brand needs should be a top priority. Due to the purpose and composition of these products, your logistics partner must have the appropriate local, state, and federal licenses, permits, certifications, training, and facility infrastructure to store, handle and ship health and beauty items correctly. Accurate, efficient, and reliable fulfillment and delivery are essential in maintaining the integrity of your brand in this fast-growing industry.
Inventory Management & Visibility
Products need to be ready to ship at the right time; brands and their 3PL partner need to think about the future. As stated earlier, health & beauty companies and their growing revenues show that demand is being generated, typically through new products and consumer trends. Brands want to make sure their products are readily available while they’re still popular. It’s this constant battle between supply and demand. A 3PL can make sure a company’s inventory remains uncontaminated and relevant once a company has developed its inventory. The best part is that the right 3PL can track all aspects of the supply chain in real-time. With reliable transportation and fulfillment, a 3PL partnership will make a cosmetics brand inventory much more manageable.
A supply chain is a sequence of tasks that must be undertaken to distribute a commodity. When a company needs to gauge its supply chain performance, it uses a range of different supply chain metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Each KPI provides a slightly different vision of one slice of the supply chain. You might be asking, “What Key Performance Indicators should I measure to improve my supply chain? Here are the main KPIs in both the transportation and warehousing realms that are the most commonly reported for our customers.
On-Time Delivery: Shows the carriers ability to deliver successfully on time to their scheduled required arrival date or to the appointment time. Having an accurate on-time delivery is critical for your client to avoid fees, as they may be subject to fees from big-box retailers.
Cost Management: Optimizing a transportation budget through KPI use is more than just tracking costs and expenses. KPIs are essential factors to discuss during freight contract negotiations and help determine if service levels are being met. This metric puts focus on these charges and helps to pinpoint the recurrence of key incidences. Problems or issues may be monitored and resolved swiftly to avoid any unnecessary fees and ultimately lower your transportation costs. A robust audit process can help save many dollars. The more error-free your freight bills and payments, the more you save, and the more net profit gravitates to your bottom line.
Cost Per Pound: Measures gross net with total weight moved each month or quarter to show customers’ buying and usage habits. This KPI will help improve your customer to continue to buy optimal amounts. These trends can help them save money but not over or under buying products.
Inventory Accuracy: Every warehouse manager knows the inventory in their warehouse costs them. Quantifying these specific carrying costs — including capital costs, inventory risk, inventory service costs, and obsolescence — help a warehouse manager make smarter buying and forecasting decisions, leading to higher inventory turnover.
On-Time Shipping: This KPI shows the percentage of shipments that left the warehouse on-time. A lot of products have tight deliveries with small windows. If a shipment is missed, your client can be hit with delays and even late fees.
Order Picking Accuracy: An incorrect order can result in an increasing shipping time per average order, inventory being put back on shelves, rate of return, etc. Lean fulfillment and warehousing practices reduce waste and streamline picking processes – and help maintain a high order accuracy rate.
Given this year’s unique circumstances, many of us are celebrating Mother’s Day at home or even away from the women — moms, grandmas, aunts, you name it — that we love most. For that reason, some Mother’s Day traditions like spa days and brunches won’t be possible. However, the tradition of buying flowers is still booming. Because of the ease of doorstep delivery and social distancing protocols in place, it’s no surprise that flowers are amongst the most popular mother’s day gift of 2020. The NRF reports that 64% of consumers are expecting to mail a bouquet this year. For flowers to arrive fresh to your receiver’s doorstep, there are a variety of factors that must take place to ensure optimal freshness, including the cold supply chain.
What is Cold Supply Chain?
The term cold chain refers to the transportation of temperature-sensitive products, such as flowers, along the supply chain using thermal and cooling packaging methods along with refrigerated trucks.
Most of the flowers purchased in the United States come from Europe, South America, and Africa, making the cold chain a massive player in flower delivery. The main entry points for planes transporting flowers are Miami International Airport and LAX. The stems are then kept in refrigerated rooms in the airport before making their way across the country in refrigerated planes or trucks. From regional airports, they move to refrigerated distribution centers and then on to florists. Keeping flowers at a precise temperature throughout this long journey can be a big challenge, and cold chain interruptions can cause flowers to lose as much as 40 percent of their vase life, even if they are returned to a cold environment after the interruption.
Dedicated supply chains will become more critical to control risks associated with availability, quality, and price. A single, strong facilitator is needed to make such a supply chain function smoothly.
FSMA finalized in Acpril 2017 and built upon the 2005 Sanitary Food Transportation Act (SFTA). There were concerns about the regulations for the handling and transportation of food in a safe manner, as well as a need to strengthen the food safety system. Food-borne illnesses could be prevented during transport reducing safety hazards such as:
Protecting food from contamination
Failure to keep temperature-controlled food refrigerated
Inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads
How Does FSMA Apply to Your Company?
Transportation and Logistics?
Food manufacturers and transportation companies that they work with are required to operate compliant and clean equipment, have standard operating procedures in place, training to prevent food contamination, and keep records of anything on food safety measures.
Under FSMA, shippers are the ones who arrange the transportation of the food product(s). Including food manufacturers and the freight brokers that they partner with. Shippers must understand the regulations, and work with a compliant transportation company that communicates any food safety requirements with the companies they work with. They are responsible for ensuring that vehicles and equipment are in sanitary conditions deemed acceptable by the FDA. They must specify temperature and pre-cooling requirements in writing to the carrier and ensure that their cargo doesn’t make food unsafe for bulk shipments.
Motor carriers must determine that their vehicles and equipment are sanitary. Carriers are made accountable for making sure the equipment meets the shipper’s requirements and can maintain the temperatures needed to keep food safe. Refrigerated cold storage has to work and be pre-cooled to the correct temperature as instructed before loading. Carriers need to maintain temperature records and proof of equipment cleaning for all cargo that has been on their equipment.
Training is a requirement of the FSMA. You are responsible for training all associates in the elements of the food safety plan that directly affect them. And evidence of this training must be documented and available for inspection. Basic training applies to all employees, even those who are temporary associates. When it comes to longer-term associates, the goal should be to build a culture of food safety and compliance. Training starts at the top and flows down throughout the organization. For instance, someone on your team may need to inspect a trailer to see whether it meets sanitary standards. Training and documentation must be available to workers who are making these inspections. That requires an FSMA, SQF, HACCP quality inspector in your organization who is responsible for training personnel on the various aspects of compliance.
Your Food Safety Partner
At Taylor, food safety is in their DNA. Taylor offers several logistics services, including packaging, warehousing, transportation, and freight brokerage. In every division, they serve a large number of food companies. Their food customers depend on them to use food safety best practices and to stay up to date on the latest regulatory changes. Taylor has obtained the SQF food-grade seal for the past five years for all fulfillment and warehouse centers.
Grant Taylor Named to the 2020 Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain
CINCINNATI, OHIO—March-24, 2020 — Food Logistics, the only publication exclusively dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food supply chain, has named Grant Taylor to its 2020 Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain award.
The Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain recognizes influential individuals in our industry whose achievements, hard work, and vision have shaped and attained milestones in safety, efficiency, productivity and innovation through the global food supply chain. From early pioneers and entrepreneurs to non-conformist thinkers and executive standouts, this award aims to honor these leaders and their contributions to our industry.
“The 2020 Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain exhibits the true rock stars of the industry, those that go the extra mile, so to speak, to ensure their company’s supply chains are being operated in an efficient, safe and transparent manner,” says Marina Mayer, editor-in-chief of Food Logistics. “These professionals are a true example as to why today’s food and beverage supply chains are in position to curtail tomorrow’s consumers’ demands, and why today’s youth should consider the supply chain and logistics industry as a possible path of employment.”
Recipients of this year’s 2020 Food Logistics Champions: Rock Stars of the Supply Chain award will be profiled in the March 2020 issue of Food Logistics, as well as online at www.foodlogistics.com.
About Food Logistics
Food Logistics is published by AC Business Media, a business-to-business media company that provides targeted content and comprehensive, integrated advertising and promotion opportunities for some of the world’s most recognized B2B brands. Its diverse portfolio serves the construction, logistics, supply chain and other industries with print, digital and custom products, events and social media.
Lean relates to reducing waste of any form in any industry. For the logistics industry, that’s the waste of materials and products, order processing, and employee time as well as loss of sales throughout the supply chain, but is there a way to apply lean principles to your home life? We promise not to turn this blog into some Pinterest lifestyle content, but a recent conversation amongst some colleagues sparked an idea. Everyone at Taylor has practiced the art of the lean business approach – and for a good reason. It helps companies decrease costs and cultivate leadership qualities in team members. After talking a bit about it, we discovered that many members of our team had implemented lean principles to life outside of Taylor. In some cases, we didn’t even realize we were doing it; lean is simply taking over.
5S is a workplace organization method common in lean companies. It is used to create and maintain an organized, clean, and safe workplace through the following five steps: sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain. What might this look like at home?
Sort: Remove clothing and other items that you don’t frequently use so that you will have easy access to the things you do enjoy.
Straighten: Keep items close to where they will be used.
Shine: Immediately clean and carefully store small appliances and cooking equipment after use.
Standardize: Have a set day for tasks like changing the sheets or vacuuming the upholstery.
Sustain: Reassess your success concerning the above regularly.
Focus on Value
Lean doesn’t just dictate what companies do; it also tells them what not to do. Everything that doesn’t add value to the customer is considered waste and is eliminated. Consider your activities and commitments. Are there things you do out of habit or guilt that don’t enrich your life? Maybe arts and crafts with your kids will be a more valuable use of your time than your usual
Eliminate Work in Progress
Just like in professional settings, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of work in progress you have at home. It’s critical to avoid having a dozen half-finished tasks. For example, if the dryer buzzer dings, don’t stop the task you’re working on to fold the clothes. Wait until you’ve completed that project, then move on to folding the laundry and putting it away. Again, this streamlines processes and ensures tasks are completed rather than being left half-finished.
Lean organizations look for ways to eliminate waste by identifying processes and resources that add value, those that don’t add value but are necessary under current conditions, and those that don’t add value and should be eliminated. Doing this at home can simplify your life and save you time and money. An overcrowded fridge is an example of the waste of inventory. You may let food spoil because you didn’t know it was hiding in the back. The full fridge may be due to making more food than your family can eat, or in Lean terms, overproduction. Once you have an eye toward waste reduction, you’ll likely be surprised by how much you find.
Pick-and-pack is a form of value-added service that is an integral part of supply chain management. Pick and pack fulfillment is the process that occurs after an order is placed from an online store. Picking is using a pick list to find the proper quantities of each product from its respective location in the warehouse. Packing is the placing of the items into the appropriate box, along with packing materials and documentation before the package is labeled and shipped to the eventual destination.
To reduce the cost of e-commerce fulfillment, the pick and pack processes need to be as streamlined as possible. For picking, this means reducing the labor required to choose the right products for an order. Fulfillment centers that do pick and pack have a few different ways to do this:
orders will be done in batches all at once instead of one at a time.
is when an employee handpicks each product for an entire order, as they come in.
Many fulfillment centers will have a warehouse management system (WMS) that can detail which box will be the most appropriate choice for the order at hand. A good warehouse combined with a great WMS can turn around pick and pack orders quickly and with a high accuracy rate.
When you become a Taylor partner, you gain access to all of Taylor’s logistics management services and supply chain experts. Taylor’s core business model is designed to save your company time and money so you can focus on your core business.
Along with being a problem solver and a delegator being a fleet manager entails much more than ensuring your fleet is up to par. It requires you to be an excellent communicator, a multitasker, a mechanical expert, an administrator, and a negotiator. If an obstacle arises, it is the fleet manager that finds the solution. If a driver has an issue, the fleet manager delegates the task. For some, embodying all of these characteristics is challenging. For others, combining all of these skills into one job title is nearly unattainable. But, there is always room for improvement in the world of management; our team compiled a list of tips for successful fleet management.
Safety, Safety, Safety!
Truck driving requires a lot of focus, good health, and defensive driving practices, when you’re on the road for long hours at a time, the risk for an accident rises. When factoring in weather conditions and traffic, and it’s clear that drivers need to stay alert no matter the circumstances. It’s up to the fleet manager to stress the importance of safe driving. By rewarding safe driving practices, scheduling regular safety briefings, and creating/updating protocols, it will help drivers stay mindful.
Embrace New Technology
Having the latest and greatest technology had become all the more critical than ever. ELD mandates, driver safety, and changing laws are just a few reasons why it’s crucial for fleet managers to welcome new technology. Efficient fleet managers not only accept the change, but they also embrace technologies and welcome whatever new challenges come with it.
Keep an Eye on Cost
Staying on track of all fleet management costs helps to control budgets. Fleet management operates with costs such as fuel, drivers’ salaries, vehicle maintenance, wages, and various other business costs. For an effective fleet manager, it is crucial to look for possible savings and avoid unnecessary losses across the business. Fleet managers should look for alternative ways of saving money, for example, optimizing driver routes to increase sustainability and cut fuel costs.
A safe warehouse is one where safety is ingrained in the company culture, where everyone feels empowered to recommend safety improvements, and where frequent audits take place. The following warehouse safety tips can help you evaluate various areas in your warehouse operation to make employees safer while working on and around your warehouse equipment.
Here’s a Checklist One Might Add to a Routine Warehouse Safety Audit:
Ensure outlets function.
Install and maintain high-visibility lights.
Avoid slip and fall hazards by cleaning spills immediately.
Clear aisles to remove tripping hazards.
Make sure all work areas are kept clear of clutter.
Are staff Wearing the Right Gear?
Protective and high-visibility workwear should be worn by staff when working in the warehouse. For specific tasks, additional safety gear may be required, such as protective eyewear, gloves, earplugs, and hard hats.
Clearly mark all exits.
Remove all fire hazards.
Make sure extinguishers are easily accessible and up to code.
Make sure exits are free of obstructions.
Adequate Safety Signage?
Signage acts as a constant reminder for staff to wear the appropriate safety gear and to abide by the warehouse safety procedures. Signage can also highlight any potential dangers throughout your facility, helping to avoid serious injuries or incidences in the warehouse.
Hazardous Material Safety
Clearly label all chemicals.
Make sure eyewash stations are in working order.
Make sure the MSDS for all chemicals are readily available to all employees.
A stable logistics safety program goes way beyond a set of policies and procedures. It’s essential is to develop a pervasive, operations-wide culture that understands that safety is simply smart business and that it applies to absolutely everyone.
Shippers handle numerous transactions; the use of EDI integration within a TMS can save millions of dollars due to early payment discounts. Aside from the financial benefits, there is a multitude of advantages from implementing EDI. Exchanging documents electronically improves transaction speed and visibility while decreasing the amount of money you would spend on a manual process. Here are several examples of EDI transactions within a TMS.
What is EDI?
Before addressing EDI in transportation, it’s crucial to understand what exactly EDI alone is. Electronic Data Interchange or EDI is not only used within the logistics/ transportation industries. EDI is the computer to computer exchange of business documents in a standard electronic format between business partners. It was developed in the 1960s EDI was created to speed the process of shipping and transporting documents. EDI replaces postal mail, fax, and email. While email is also an electronic approach, the documents exchanged via email must still be handled by people rather than computers. Having people involved delays the processing of the documents and also has a higher risk of errors. Instead, EDI documents can pass straight through to the appropriate application on the receiver’s computer, and processing can begin instantly.
Examples of EDI Transaction in Transportation
Carrier Load Tender
Used by shippers or 3PLs to tender an offer for a shipment to a full truckload motor carrier
Freight Details and Invoice
Electronic invoice complete with shipment details
Bill of Lading
Electronic bill of lading which states shipment date, reference numbers, shipper, consignee, and shipment contents
Delivery Trailer Manifest
Allows carriers to provide consignees with the contents of the trailer
Shipment Status Message
Provides shipments statuses including shipper information, consignee information, current shipment location, dates, proof of delivery, and shipment description
To no great surprise, predictive analytics have become a staple of nearly every industry. The concept of using data to make better decisions holds water across several business types. However, predictive analytics platforms feature tools and designs specifically for logistics. Advanced analytics works by analyzing real-time data, predicting future situations, and prescribing complex, money-saving decisions on the spot. Fully leveraging the spectrum of predictive analytics is a must for current and future successes within the logistics industry. However, understanding how to quickly and frequently to act on insights from advanced analytics is becoming just as crucial. We will introduce you to the power that predictive analytics packs for the logistics industry.
Let’s define predictive analytics:
Predictive Analytics uses forecasts and statistical models to judge and provide recommendations about what could happen.
We all understand that there are two sides to every story. But in the end, input from your consumer holds a lot of value. Predictive analytics platforms can create and review customer profiles, gather more insights about that customer, including their shopping trends, demographic data, and additional KPI’s that allow you to fine-tune your marketing, sales, and supply chain operations to suit their needs.
Improving the Last Mile
Shippers spend most of their time and resources trying to find creative ways of improving the delivery experience for their customers. Predictive analytics allows shippers to discover inefficient operations, procedures, or performance; review the data, and recommend a series of changes.
This type of real-world information gathering is essential to improving last-mile logistics. Collecting data from GPS systems on delivery vehicles, instant information from mobile devices, and input from the customer directly and analyze all this information and predict future performance.
E-commerce generates a vast volume of supply chain data, which can be used to create near-real-time forecasts and accommodate sudden changes in demand. This information can leverage existing and real-time data to identify future trends, as well. In addition, order fulfillment can impact so many departments across your company — not only your warehouse but also sales and marketing, customer service, finance, and other teams. Any business intelligence you can use to streamline and improve those processes can save your business a lot of money.
Increased On-Road Efficiency
One of the most critical areas for shippers to focus on is on-road efficiency. Predictive analytics allows shippers and delivery companies to review their on-road performance with real-time visibility. It will enable you to review this data in multiple, customized reporting functions, and make changes along the way.
Omnichannel distribution is a multichannel approach taken by companies to give customers a way to purchase and receive orders from several sales channels with one-touch seamless integration. Omnichannel solutions provide seamless integration across all channels to provide a superior customer service experience. For example, giving consumers the flexibility to ship items from e-commerce sites to their homes or stores, which then creates supply chains that have strategic value, improving sales, and encouraging repeat purchases among consumers. Below are three beneficial omnichannel marketplace strategies in distribution and fulfillment.
In the omnichannel sphere, shipments from store locations are sometimes required to protect the quality of the customer experience. But every item that is shipped from a retail location depletes that store’s inventory and places additional strain on brick-and-mortar operations.
Omnichannel success begins by creating a unique view of stock across all stores and distribution centers. To satisfy customer needs, retailers must quickly deliver merchandise to customers—regardless of where those customers make their purchases.
Omnichannel return experiences require retailers to support returns at any location. So, regardless of where the order originated, you need a logistics strategy that allows your customers to return the merchandise at retail locations as well as distribution centers.
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:
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.
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:
Subscription Box Programs
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:
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.
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.
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.
Change in consumer habits can lead to disruption, and if a company hasn’t planned, they could suffer a potential loss in sales. Let’s begin by unwrapping a few key variables for planning your supply chain for the busy holiday season.
Traditional forms of warehousing are not able to keep up with the ever-shifting retail landscape. Today’s consumers can review, compare, and purchase items faster than ever. New retail trends have led many consumers to expect low-priced — yet astonishingly fast — processing, shipping, and handling. To achieve this new level of speed for customers, warehouses today look much different than they have in previous years. For instance, the size of the warehouses has increased significantly over the years. E-commerce has required businesses to not only stock a more extensive selection of items but also have additional space available for the technology and equipment facilitating the various high-speed processes taking place. Warehouses today also require much taller interiors to allow for vertical integration of storage, conveyor systems, and so on.
A New Way of Picking Orders
Warehouses used to be able to ship vast quantities of items to other businesses for sale. However, the model has shifted drastically as the new point-of-sale is in consumers’ palms — in the form of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices — rather than brick-and-mortar locations. For warehouse management, this means trends in purchasing are more challenging to predict, and now warehouses must stock more items. Furthermore, those employees and robots working in the warehouse must be able to efficiently pick and package individual items rather than load the entire pallet.
Manage All Order Types Under One Roof
There is no longer this notion of splitting up different order channels amongst various distribution centers (DC). In the past orders from different retailers came from one DC, all while online orders came from another center. There was even separation from small parcel shippers that operated using less-than-truckload to those who were shipping out entire palettes. Now with the use of a sophisticated warehouse management system, all the different functions of an e-commerce operation can be handled under one roof. Thus improving customer’s efficiency as well as overall cost.
At Taylor, it is our mission to exceed customer expectations by diligently working harder, smarter and longer than any logistics company while ethically serving our employees, our carrier base, the environment, and the motoring public. As a service provider, our most crucial goal is to provide the highest level of service for our customers and our customer’s customers. With thousands of other logistics company in a very competitive industry, customer service is the nucleus for how we conduct our business.
The foundation for excellent customer service is relationships. One of the most valuable relationships as a third party logistics company is the relationship we build with our carrier base. Without a go-to contact base comprised of best in class carriers, it would be impossible to meet delivery schedules, keep up with customers volume, and stick to rate benchmarks. We also leverage our transportation management system (TMS) to optimize carrier loads and reduce costs across truckload and less than truckload.
Carrier relationships are not only important on the brokerage side, but it is also crucial at our distribution centers. Our warehouse managers use data to improve loading dock visibility, coordinate live and staged trailers, and manage docking time to enhance the efficiency of our carriers and shippers.
Another essential aspect of developing a successful carrier relationship is communication and feedback. Open discussion based on facts builds trust, integrity, and respect. Understanding and respecting the value that each party brings to the relationship makes the relationship grow even stronger. In a great partnership, carriers will have the opportunity to run their business more smoothly, and shippers will have the power of data to achieve higher levels of efficiency in their operations all while reducing costs.
is an essential key to the success of your organization- it’s a fundamental way
to set your business apart from the competition. Employees who feel their
company is invested in their careers are likely to stay longer and work harder.
On top of employee satisfaction training allows your employees to become more
versatile and bolsters the value of that employee. There countless benefits to
the importance of employee development, such as– a more competitive workforce,
increased employee retention, and higher employee engagement.
At Taylor Logistics, we make sure all staff members in any role are equipped with the tools they need to succeed. We have memberships to many professional logistics, warehousing, management, and quality organizations that allow our employees to benefit from their classes, webinars, and discussions. Organizations such as The Resource for Warehouse Logistics (IWLA) which offer various course offerings throughout the year. A number of our staff members have attended IWLA courses including their Essentials of Warehousing and Rate Class. All classes are closed with a course exam and upon a passing grade are complete with a certificate adding value to that employees’ career.
classes, our upper management will send several employees a year to various
conferences in our particular fields. It’s a part of the Taylor model not only
to learn and grow from these opportunities but to gain a new network from them.
Through these various organizations and conferences, we have expanded our
industry contact list, which allows for continuous brainstorming and
have to be as complicated as sending someone to a class for a certification or
to a conference but can be a tutorial on creating a PowerPoint Presentation or
on Adobe InDesign formatting. If there is an area an employee is looking to
improve in, we try and provide the tools necessary for their success. The
importance of training our employees – both new and experienced – cannot be
overemphasized in our organization.
Other classes, organizations, conferences, and certifications our staff attends:
Working in a warehouse at times can be repetitive, demanding,
and labor-intensive. How do you keep warehouse staff engaged
and motivated in such an environment? One of the most important resources is a
motivated team. How staff are treated and how they value the company has direct
impact on our overall success and competitive advantage. With our warehouse
team being such a critical part of the company Operations Manager Randy Newman
in Bellevue, Nebraska came up with a creative and innovative way to keep our
love a little friendly competition? Internal rivalry is an effective way to
ignite motivation as well as boost performance and productivity. To avoid
stress and hostility, great managers must know effective ways to help
competition benefit the workplace. Randy has successfully implemented a friendly
competition that has our warehouse staff excited and motivated for work each
day. He came up with a monthly awards system that are given out to warehouse
staff. Awards such as monthly picking winner, receiving winner, putaway winner,
loading winner, and most improved. These awards are based off
of three different criteria accuracy, efficiency, and teamwork. It’s not all
about who gets the job done fist but who does it with these three things in
mind. It’s human nature to thrive on success. We simply love it when we meet a
target because it’s proof of our hard work and achievements. All awards are
complete with bragging rights along with a WWE style belt that can be worn for the
shift or simply held for a picture to be added to our warehouse board.
Since the implementation of Randy’s award system, we have had a great response from both warehouse staff and management. Healthy contest has made the team stronger than ever. Even though the awards are given out individually it’s teamwork that makes them possible. All in all, the awards have encouraged team members to use the competition as an opportunity for personal growth, to learn from each month’s winners, and to be more motivated. It’s creative ideas like Randy’s that are what makes Taylor’s workplace an environment for all to succeed.
Is it possible to utilize your warehouse space by over 100%? A Taylor warehouse location in Monroe, Ohio has over 13,000 locations, capacity and pallets with nearly 570 staged inventory. This warehouse is solely dedicated to one customer with two different types of products (cans and bags). During the February facility utilization report printed on 2/13 Operations Manager Shaun Fehr found a shocking figure that the space utilization was 101.15%.
How is this possible? Due to the high demand of the customers products it was a high priority for our operations team to figure out how to add more inventory with limited space. They came to the conclusion to put two pallets into locations that would normally just have one pallet. The below chart shows capacity as 13,158 and total palettes as 13,309 with this new configuration we are able to store 151 more pallets of product.
We continue to refine our practices in order to produce seamless and efficient work for our customers. It is important to us to focus on reducing cost and increase service throughout the DC network for our business partners.