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Infographics, Operations, People, Processes

Forklift Safety Infographic

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.


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Processes, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc Dedicated Fleet Cincinnati OH

In the complex and diverse world of logistics, it can be easy to get carried away with all the terms and definitions. Two of the most commonly confused terms are third-party logistics (3PL) and fourth-party logistics (4PL). While both third-party logistics and fourth-party logistics act as an intermediate party that has something to do with freight transportation, there are many differences between a 3PL and a 4PL. Here’s what you need to know to understand the differences between 3PL and 4PL providers and determine which one is right for you. 

3PL


A 3PL model is when you outsource the distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment of your products. These service providers act as a middleman between your business and the carriers that deliver your products to customers. Using a 3PL provider will help you scale logistics capabilities so that you can move, store, and meet fulfillment demands as your business grows. A 3PL may also oversee packaging and crating of product, and sometimes offer additional services as needed. 3PLs are usually asset-based but may subcontract out pieces of the logistics, such as transportation. Factors like delivery requirements, shipping schedules, and market conditions all play a role in how they go about performing their role. 3PL services include:

Warehousing & Fulfillment


Contacted Services


Transloading & Cross-Docking


Freight Brokerage


Packaging


Integrating Operations

4PL


Like a 3PL, a 4PL will manage the transportation, packaging, and storage of a business’s product, but they will also give strategic direction to the company based on analytics. Often 4PLs are non-asset based and shop around for different vendors to complete a supply chain for the best value. For industrial businesses, 4PL services should include procurement, materials planning, inventory management, inventory financing, warehousing, order management, order fulfillment, returns management, and supply chain design.   4PL providers offer services including:

Optimal transfer organization


Complete vendor management and supplier coordination


Synchronized inbound and outbound logistic operations


Custom-tailored managed distribution networks


Comprehensively-integrated technology offering

3PL & 4PL Still Sounding Similar? 


The main difference would be the control and responsibility a customer would have or need to have when it comes to their supply chain. By hiring a 4PL in a contracted relationship, a logistics manager would essentially “give up” the responsibility to find the best logistics companies or carriers to take care of getting their shipments from one place to another. The 4PL would take care of all coordination of these parties behind the scenes (at a cost, of course).

Shippers who use one or more 3PLs, are still responsible for finding and managing the relationships with these providers, along with any asset-based carriers they also work with. These shippers tend to work with many different providers to obtain the best service and pricing possible for each lane and mode of transportation they need. By managing your own logistics providers, the decision is up to you – no contracts are requiring you to work with any certain providers.

Your Third-Party Logistics Provider 


Taylor has been in business since 1850 their start began with a horse and buggy delivering paper from the steamships along the Ohio river to the book manufacturers. Their 170 years in logistics experience have outstood the test of time by providing their clients with the best in class performance. Taylor has proven they are not merely a vendor for your company but an extension of your team with a clear understanding of their responsibility to replicate the strategic business goals of your organization. What started as a one public warehouse operation in Cincinnati, Ohio, has grown into several fulfillment centers in Ohio and one in Nebraska. By being the Nation’s most progressive family-owned business, they’ve learned to modify their processes with top technology as the times change. With the introduction of e-commerce, pick and pack orders, and direct to the consumer, they’ve made sure their processes can handle every supply chain function for their customers. As a third-party logistics company, Taylor knows that offering one supply chain service decreases overall efficiency and sustainability; they’ve altered their business to suit the needs of their customers. 

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While Taylor Logistics Inc fits the definition of a 3PL, we also offer 4PL services for those customers who want to outsource more of their logistics processes. Contact Taylor Logistics Inc. today to get started on the right logistics solution for your business.

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Fleet, Processes, Team Taylor, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc Dedicated Fleet Cincinnati Ohio

Operating a fleet is a complicated and time-consuming task. From hiring drivers to managing routes, payroll, insurance, vehicle maintenance costs, safety compliance, taxes, and more – it can easily interfere with your core business operations. However, there is a solution for your transportation needs—a dedicated fleet. Dedicated fleet services came into existence with a simple concept – give customers an optimized transportation service and sales channel that fits into their organizational structure like a brick in a wall.

Dedicated fleet services, also known as dedicated transportation, are services commonly offered by third-party logistics companies. A dedicated transportation team provides a company with guaranteed capacity, supply chain control, and visibility of the entire operation. In short, the company has complete control, along with the ability to brand trucks and add revenue by shipping goods for other companies when allowed. A dedicated fleet is a service that is ideal for anyone with a regular shipment to complete. Below are some of the most often-sighted reasons for choosing dedicated transportation.

Taylor Logistics On Time-01

Always Available

Whether you need just-in-time delivery or hot-shot service, if you choose dedicated transportation services, you can rely on the fleet to always be available for your scheduled delivery. Your 3PL will ensure the specialist equipment you need for this delivery is reserved for your recurring shipment.

Taylor Logistics Transportation team-01

Optimize Your Supply Chain 


Using a dedicated fleet allows shippers to continually move freight on the same routes, which helps build a steady flow of inbound and outbound shipments. Whether moving freight on local, regional, or long-haul routes, shippers can stage loads to customers or to other locations, which frees up warehouse space, making for a more effective supply chain.

Taylor Logistics Inc Cut Costs with a 3PL-01

Cut Costs 


Shippers who choose dedicated trucking also see more consistent pricing. Many carriers offer lower rates for dedicated shipping due to the predictability of the shipments, the routes, and the backhaul assistance programs in place to decrease empty miles.

Taylor logistics Inc. Brokerage Team. -01

Simplified Planning and Communication 


The world is ever-evolving, and as the transportation industry changes to meet demand, it’s crucial to be prepared for possible challenges. By partnering with a third-party logistics company like Taylor and implementing a dedicated fleet, you’ll benefit from their expertise and resources that can further improve efficiencies and savings and drive the future of your company. 

Talk to Taylor today for information on dedicated transportation or dedicated fleet services, warehousing, drayage, and freight brokerage services, etc. 

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Lean, Operations, Processes, Taylor Information, Team Taylor

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.

Apply 5S


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.

Minimize Waste


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.

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Processes, Team Taylor, Teamwork, Warehouse Awards

Taylor would like to congratulate the February 2020 monthly warehouse award winners from our team in Bellevue, NE. These awards are given based on productivity and QA points. Congrats to all!

Most Improved- Tony Watts Jr. 

Picking- Forrest Mitchell & Matt Marty

Putaway- Mike Berry

Receiving- Freddy Marquez 

Loading- Hosea Byrd

Safety Award- Mike Berry

Learn more about Taylor’s warehouse award system by clicking the button below.

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eCommerce Fulfillment, Operations, Processes, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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.

Cincinnati-E-Commerce

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:

Batch picking


orders will be done in batches all at once instead of one at a time.

Piece picking


is when an employee handpicks each product for an entire order, as they come in.

Taylor Logistics Inc. Pick and Pack

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.

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Data, EDI, Operations, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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.

Taylor  Logistics Customer Services Cincinnati Ohio

Customer Input 


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 Last Mile with Taylor Logistics Inc.

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. 

Taylor Logistics Inc. Order Fulfillment Practices

Fulfillment Practices 


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.

Taylor Logistics Inc. Increased Road efficiency

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. 

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People, Processes, Team Taylor
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

As a company, it’s important to us to build a culture of continuous improvement from the bottom-up, empowering all team Taylor members to seek opportunities for growth continuously; it’s how we find strength within our organization. Through continuous improvement, embracing change and innovation, we become our customer’s strategic partner and their competitive advantage in supply chain performance.

Taylor employs a team of Six Sigma & LEAN certified team members to lead our continuous improvement programs. All of which provide consistency training across all departments to ensure our processes are as seamless as possible to reduce costs and save time. Some ways Taylor helps to enable processes improvement are:

Employee Empowerment 


Employees should not be limited to suggestions. Instead, they have the power to test and implement changes within the organization. Process changes are monitored, talked about, and measured to ensure they provide the desired outcome. 

Ideas 


When it comes to continually improving processes on the warehouse floor and in the office, it’s the people doing the work who offer some of the best suggestions. Yes, it can be challenging to get people to question the way they have always done a particular process to make it better. That’s why we provide a comfortable work environment where all ideas are good ideas.

TLI Processes Improvement
Taylor Talk Podcast Taylor Logistics
Taylor Logistics Blog News Cincinnati

Gluing Process Improvement with Company Values & Culture  

At Taylor, our core values are as follows:


Safety

Nothing is more important than the safety of employees, our customers, our customers customers, and the motoring public. We also value food safety, food quality, and compliance, be it regulatory or our customers specifications.


Quality

Quality requires innovative thinking, dedication, effort and continuous improvement. Continuous improvement consists of incremental efforts to improve all aspects of the business no matter how small. Dedication and effort directed towards quality will allow for creative problem solving and evolutionary results. Innovation will follow and allows larger gains.


Teamwork

Business is the ultimate team sport and teamwork is the cornerstone of success. We must build on our strengths and organize to make our weaknesses irrelevant. Team working is powerful and takes sustained effort to achieve. We must be collaborative to create and maintain the company values and success.


Relationships

We exist to create lasting relationships, both internal and external.  Relationships add value and are the groundwork for collaboration, innovation and continuous improvement.


Ethics

Ethics means taking the long view. We have been in business since 1850 and must conduct our business as such. We act towards our co-workers, customers, and the business with the highest level of ethical behaviors.


For Continuous improvement programs to succeed, one must understand the role of company values and culture. If you read the above core values, what will stand out to you is that for them to actually happen, you must invest in your people. Company culture and values will generate a creative and innovative environment, which is the foundation for process improvement.

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Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Technology, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

On February 2, 2020, millions of people at home will tune in to Super Bowl LIV. Thousands more will travel to Miami, Flordia, to see the San Fransico 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs face-off (plus, enjoy the halftime performances of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira). So, how does one of the most notable sporting events in the world meet the demands of fans, players, attendees, and others?

Think about all of the various supply chains that move within the Super Bowl. From footballs, uniforms, and helmets for players to microphones and cameras for the media. There are t-shirts, and hats for fans, plus beer, nachos, and soda for attendees. The field requires materials for maintenance, paint, and signs. These are just a few examples of the many things affected by logistics at the Super Bowl.

The introduction of ELDs, lack of drivers, and rising rates have created a mixture of anxiety throughout the shipping industry- especially when it comes to timely events. Fortunately, shippers can prepare some products for the big game in advance. For instance, beverages have a longer shelf life so that they can be moved to retailers days, sometimes weeks, in advance. However, some products are time-sensitive. Staple Super Bowl snacks like chicken wings can’t move truckloads too far in advance, making visibility and real-time notifications critical. Without these things, a load might be lost and will create a loss of revenue and market share – a massive deal on Super Bowl Sunday.

Taylor can work with you to identify new opportunities in your supply chain; whether it be in your fulfillment processes, route optimization, or distribution, we can evaluate the supply chain and offer your insightful feedback to make it more efficient.

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Customer Experience, Processes, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

Some might say that 2019 was the year of customer experience (CX). In fact, according to the 2019 State of Service Report from Salesforce, 80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products or services.

Logistics Customer Experience CX

Customers don’t just buy a product or service — they buy an experience. Creating a unique, efficient, and personalized experience can have a tremendous impact on business growth. As a third-party logistics company, we have two types of customer experiences to focus on. Our customers’ experience and their customers’ experience. Acting as an extension of our customer’s team and as an integral part of their supply chain, we must focus on not only their needs but also the needs of their customers. One way we do this is by upholding brand image and expectations. Omnichannel distribution and fulfillment are ever-present in the retail industry, with a growing number of consumers taking advantage of the convenience e-commerce provides. With multiple procurement channels available, it is just as important for brands to ensure their customer experience is the same across all channels. As the ‘last touch’ before a product arrives on a consumer’s doorstep, it is the job of the 3PL to ensure all products arrive in pristine condition and create a visually appealing, ‘unboxing’ experience for the consumer. ‘Unboxing’ was born out of a combination of the omnichannel phenomenon and the use of video on social platforms. Customers may never see your trucks, your warehouse, your committed drivers and operators, or even their products. This is why leaders are finding customer service is so important — it’s what your customers will remember about their experience with you.

Taylor-Logistics-Technology-Fulfillment

The supply chain can make or break the customer experience. And to thrive within e-commerce, businesses must invest in supply chain technologies. Those that create integrated, transparent and responsive supply chains are capable of delivering exceptional customer experiences profitably. At Taylor, by combining hands-on support, technology, logistics services, and a dependable partnership, we are creating an optimal experience for our customers and our customer’s customers. 

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Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

The new year is upon us, and with the end of 2019, we reach the end of the decade. Over the years, logistics has gone through a massive transformation due to changes in customer demands and new technological innovations. Companies need to deliver their products quicker than ever before, at a low cost, in a sustainable way. Below are the 2020 supply chain management trends that will further these shifts.

Supply Chain Digitization


The implementation of new digital technology in logistics will continue to be priority. Smart, efficient supply chain systems that eliminate silos create transparency and enhance responsiveness. This ecosystem will depend on several critical digital technologies—including logistics platforms, analytics, robots, and even 3D printing. The ultimate goal for companies exploring supply chain digitization? Real-time, end-to-end visibility that provides a competitive advantage, streamlines processes and exceeds customers’ expectations. 

Taylor Logistics Cincinnati, Ohio Digital Supply Chain. Warehouse automation

Internet of Things


Internet of Things (IoT) is coming of age, as prices decrease, research shows the number of businesses using IoT devices increased from 13% in 2014 to 25% in 2019. The IDC forecasts 13.6% annual growth through to 2022. IoT enables organizations to control inventory, automate stock reordering, and keep track of deliveries, all in real-time. Sensors can foresee wear and tear on equipment, supporting timely ordering of spare parts. Untimalety IoT will increase supply chain transparency. 

Building a Greener Supply Chain


The drive towards environmental sustainability is putting increased pressure on logistics managers. Green supply chain management practices can be included in every link of the supply chain from product material sourcing, product design, and manufacturing processes after the product’s useful life. Some sustainability practices are simple – like energy-efficient lighting in the warehouse and planning delivery routes to minimize mileage & fuel consumption. But developing a truly green supply chain requires complete methodological shifts to most companies’ current supply chain practices.

The Normalization of Omnichannel Supply Chains 


In response to customer demand, businesses will make significant strides towards offering an omnichannel buying experience for customers. An integrated view of all customer channels and inventory, along with dynamic delivery and fulfillment options and seamless customer service interactions. The switch from single- and multi-channel supply to omnichannel supply requires a complete rethink of supply chain logistics.

Improving Customer Experience


Instead of thinking like operations, putting on the marketer and customer success hats and prioritize the delivery experience the customer receives – branding, UX, speed of delivery, transparency, visibility. Logistics leaders should then focus on reducing these pain points in their teams by investing in technologies that simplify staff workloads and reducing complexity that makes the customer journey as effortless as possible.


In conclusion, the 2020 supply chain management trends focus on technology bringing new possibilities to supply chain management and bringing discrete areas of the supply chain closer together. Which of the new trends will you be adopting in the new year?

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Freight, Freight Brokerage, Operations, Processes, Sustainability, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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. 

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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B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, Operations, Packaging, Processes, Value-Added Services, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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. 

Taylor Logistics Value Added Services

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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Freight Brokerage, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management

Peak Season kicks off in October and lasts through the holiday shopping season. Carriers know that this time of year offers a heavy and steady flow of freight loads to move. During peak months, there is a significant surge in the loads available. At Taylor Logistics, we do everything we can to make the process as simple as possible for our customers. Our experts comprised a few best practices to use to make freight shipping even easier. Here are cost-effective strategies you can implement to help your freight stand out in today’s market.

Establishing a Carrier Program: One of the most important relationships is the one you create with your carrier base. Carriers have compelling value propositions in the markets they serve — carriers value consistency. If you’re happy with the overall relationship, provide incumbents with an opportunity to keep that freight.


Communicate Quickly and Effectively: The faster you communicate about upcoming loads, the more likely you are to secure a truck. Talking with carriers ahead of time about anticipated surges and decreases in your freight volume can also help them plan and prioritize your shipments.


Flexibility: If possible, become flexible in your pick-up and delivery times, so you can create a larger pool of trucking companies available to move your freight. For some shippers making operational changes that allow for deliveries and pick-ups on weekends increases flexibility. Most drivers do not operate on a traditional workweek schedule, so working with receivers and shippers that offer flexible hours allows for loads to be moved more efficiently and promptly.  


Increase Efficiency: There are several ways to cut costs examine your transportation and supply chain for ways to increase your performance while saving money. Are there less-expensive routes you can use for shipments that are not time-sensitive? Would other modes of transport like intermodal or less-than-truckload be more economical than truckload freight?


 Tap Your Third-Party Provider’s Range of Services: Warehousing, fulfillment, transportation, technology—the more you can obtain from a single provider, the more seamless, scalable, and cost-effective your supply chain will be. Organizing the logistics function helps to ensure that you provide consistent service and offer better predictability and reliable deliveries. 


Taking a more strategic approach to truckload procurement helps align the business goals and outcomes of both carriers and shippers. It can result in significant savings and extraordinary service levels over time. To learn more about our freight services click here.

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B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, eCommerce Fulfillment, Fulfillment, Ominchannel, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Technology, Warehousing, WMS

Over the past couple of weeks, our operations, IT, and superuser teams have been working vigorously to transition five distribution centers into e-commerce centers. This was a massive undertaking for our team because; e-commerce granted customers can break open cases, which was an entirely new process for us. Unlike a traditional brick in mortar stores that orders everything in cases, e-commerce customers like Amazon order everything in eaches, which means that we had to completely update every item in all five warehouses to handle both eaches and cases. Due to the different variables, our team also had to update all the quantities, volumes, weight, etc. to reflect the each or case. On October 12th, after a bunch of testing from our warehouse management system partner Zethcon our warehouses went live as e-commerce centers.

Systematically with this new change, our team was able to achieve:

Sending the ASNs to all customers no matter in which way they ordered in the UOMs that they want BOLs & packing lists are in the customer ordered UOM.                                        


We are able to send a UPS tracking number with the order number to the customers that placed an order online.  


We are able to pick all orders no matter the UOM and have it make sense to the picker.             


Not for resale sticker communication to the picker when applicable for parcel orders.  


Worldship integration with Zethcon’s WMS Synapse and more.                                       

Our superuser team Scott Dowers & Nina Wilson exceeded all expectations by trial and error testing as well as SOP creation. Without help from their training program, the transition would not have gone so smoothly. Our EDI provider, Pinnacle, was also enormous as we had to re-write every single map. Not to mention, our operations Managers Randy Newman & Shaun Fehr, created packout lines that are running extremely efficiently.

One of our DC’s was able to ship out 175 parcel orders right after the implementation. Another special shout out to Jeffrey Godfrey & Jerod Brewer, who is leading the way for this implementation. Mitchell Blake & Tina Myers are fixing IC issues right on the spot, and with these changes, we see fewer and fewer errors. An outstanding effort from everyone on Team Taylor to get such a significant accomplishment completed across the entire network. 

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Carriers, Freight Brokerage, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Truck Driving

On the October episode of Taylor Talk, customer relations coordinator Rhonda Mettey discusses Taylor’s transportation logistics processes. How they’ve changed throughout the years, the bumps and hurdles along the way, and how we’ve become the Nation’s Most Progressive Family Owned Logistics Company. Click the links below to listen!


https://open.spotify.com/show/5zuY4PDq5aevnkVoIyq0v5

https://podcasts.google.com/?feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9hbmNob3IuZm0vcy84OTgzZGI4L3BvZGNhc3QvcnNz

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/taylor-talk/id1454424870?ign-mpt=uo%3D4&mt=2

https://overcast.fm/itunes1454424870/taylor-logistics-presents-taylor-talk
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Freight Brokerage, Freight Technology, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics

Before working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, it’s essential to understand the functionality of that relationship. What responsibilities can a 3PL  take off your plate, and what will still be in your wheelhouse? 

Here’s a breakdown of how Taylor Logistics freight brokerage works, along with critical points surrounding our value-added services and essential points for how we can help you. 

What is a freight brokerage? 


Our brokerage helps customers with ready to haul freight find qualified carriers to haul the load. Typically freight brokers do not provide the truck or the shipping but provide the essential service that will help the shipper find the carrier. However, In addition to our brokerage out parent company Taylor Distributing in Cincinnati, OH has a full fleet of trucks ready to assist our customers with any intermodal/drayage needs.


Shipping Expertise – This is what our freight brokers do best, working with our brokers allows you access to their knowledge of best practices and latest technology.


Communication – We can track and log each step of the journey of your product. Our team is in constant contact with drivers, and we have access to GPS/EDI technologies to maintain the status of an order.


Flexibility and Scaleability – We provide our customers more, or less capacity based on their business from industry trends to seasonality. We are also connected to service providers nationwide, and we can quickly respond to flux, linking you to resources without any added risk.


Save time, Resources, and Money – Partnering with Taylor, is like having a dedicated shipping department without the expense of your own department.  Using our freight brokerage allows you to focus on your core business.


It’s a Partnership – Taylor works for you, we put our customer’s interests first, because when you succeed, and your business grows, so does ours.


Technology  –   We have invested in the latest technologies to improve our customer relationships, efficiency, and processes. Our technologies include: 

  1. Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
  2. GPS Tracking
  3. Reporting Software
  4. Quick Pay/E-Pay
  5. Electronic Data Integration (EDI) Software
  6. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
  7. Data Analysis Tools
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Data, Leadership, People, Processes, Team Taylor, Technology

Although Taylor’s taglines have changed throughout our nearly 170 years in business, they’ve always been geared around our founding year. From “Since 1850″ to the longer ” Your Trusted Partner Since 1850″ we’ve never shied away from telling people our age. However, through recent research amongst our customers as well as industry experts, it came to our attention to rethink our tagline and our overall branding. No, we’re not getting rid of “Since 1850″, but it’s no longer our primary talking point. It’s moved to the secondary so we could talk about our processes and people first. We are thus repositioning our brand to the new era of ” The Nation’s Most Innovative Family Owned Logistics Company.”

Why the change? We asked our customers why they like working with Taylor. What sets us apart from the thousands of other logistics companies out there? Two key points stood out to us the most the first being the fact that we are a family owned and operated business, and the second being our innovation. Taylor is a mid-sized family owned business currently in 6/7th generation ownership. We provide a level of customer service that large corporations cannot. But more importantly, we are progressive; we stay up to date on our software, processes, and technology. But it doesn’t just stop there; our company culture is progressive. We rely profoundly on education and our quality program. Our quality program is a massive part of how we stay on the cusp of innovation not only is it apart of our mission, but it is also in our values. At Taylor, we have a saying: 85% on improving processes and 15% on innovation. That’s what makes us the Nation’s Most Innovative Family Owned Logistics Company.

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Leadership, Lean, Operations, People, Processes, Team Taylor, Technology

Employee education 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.

Along with 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 mentorship.

Training doesn’t 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:

IWLA, IANA, TIA, TMSA, WERC, Lean, SQF, Six Sigma

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Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Technology, Third Party Logistics, Value-Added Services, Warehousing

The automotive industry has a very complex supply chain consisting of ever-changing variables in a fast-paced environment. At Taylor Logistics in order for our automotive customers to avoid pricey in-house solutions that are difficult to manage we’ve customized our business to better suit the industry’s needs.

We help manage international loads, sorting, warehousing, overflow, and inventory reporting services so you can focus on your core business. Not only does Taylor have expectational warehouse services, but our complex service portfolio can also handle intermodal containers, TL/LTL shipments and railcar services to support inbound and outbound movement of all goods and parts. All of our services are tailored to assist in a seamless transition to the finished product.

At Taylor Logistics, upgrades come standard. Here’s quick look at our warehousing services:

  • Transferring international loads to palletized loads
  • Transferring crated products to tray
  • Dry Van services
  • Dump and Destroy
  • Cross Dock Services
  • Labeling

To learn more about our warehousing options and services talk with a Taylor Representative today.

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Key Performing Indicators, Leadership, Lean, Processes, Team Taylor, Warehousing

When storing another companies’ products in your warehouse it is crucial that your operations team has a system for sanitation and workplace organization. At Taylor we utilize the practice of 5S which stems from concept of lean management.

Here are the steps of 5S:

  1. Sort
  2. Set in Order
  3. Shine
  4. Standardize
  5. Sustain

5S: Sort

This requires all equipment and tools have appropriate areas within the warehouse. It’s important to sift through materials, keeping only the necessary items needed to daily complete tasks.

5S: Set in Order

It’s important to make sure all items have a designated location. Organize all workplace items in a logical way so they make tasks easier for employees. It’s also important to make sure each item has a specific spot to ensure that the team doesn’t put an item in the wrong place it also allows for managers to tell if something is missing.

5S: Shine

After items are sorted and set in order it is time to clean.  A clean and orderly warehouse ensures purpose-driven work place all team members. Look for potential safety hazards and hard to read labeling. Storage bins can be used for smaller items to prevent any loss.

5S: Standardize

Create a set of standards for processes and organization. For every item create rules for how and when they will be used. These standards can involve schedules, charts, lists, etc.

5S: Sustain

This step focuses on taking all of the previous steps of 5S and transforming them into ongoing habits to ensure continuous improvement. Sustaining a lean warehouse involves constant evaluation and discipline. The goal, after all, is to be as efficient as possible.

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Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Team Taylor, Third Party Logistics

Whether you’re a basketball fan or just choosing your March Madness bracket based off of mascots. Each year millions tune in to watch 68 teams compete in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. This basketball spectacle involves 67 games in 14 stadiums across 12 different states all within a 12-day period. To pull off March Madness it takes multiple resources to select arenas, reserve flights and hotels for teams, create contingency plans, and the list continues. With all this planning some of the logistics are arranged years in advance however with the one and done nature of the bracket other logistics are dependent on last minute variables.

When you think about the operations behind March Madness, it’s easy to draw parallels between the tournament and managing a supply chain. From teamwork to skill there is a lot to learn about what it takes to be the champion on the court or in business.

It’s without question that accuracy is one of the most important aspects to winning the championship title. Like any game of basketball, the way you win is by shooting baskets with great accuracy and scoring points. Accuracy is even measured from free throw shot percentage to how many three pointers were sunk. Accuracy also plays a massive roll in logistics operations. Operation managers are responsible for managing and maintaining company accuracy reports for order picking, on-time deliveries, and invoices. Data is extremely powerful when it comes to managing a logistics business and having accuracy data available for operations teams can significantly impact if your business is a “winner” or not.

Another key ingredient in winning the National Championship is knowing your competitor. Typically, teams in the bracket are facing off between teams they don’t typically play against in the regular season. It’s important to study up on who your opponent is, what kind of defense should you play? Who is the primary shooter? All of these questions are key in developing a strategy to advancing in the bracket. For logistics it’s important to understand your competition and how to differentiate yourself from the unbelievable amount of logistics companies out there. How fast can a product be delivered? How much does it cost to store my product? are questions that companies should ask themselves to set them ahead of the competition. It’s also important to make sure your company is constantly researching and educating themselves on industry trends. Combining accuracy with  knowing your competitors is the winning formula not only for the NCAA Tournament but for your logistics company.

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