It’s no secret that the transportation industry is heavily dependent on supply and demand. Every year holds uncertainty from consumer trends to the ups and downs of the market; however, there is always a forecasted plan for the seasons of freight. Like fall, winter, spring, and summer, the transportation industry also has four seasons. Below are the four seasons to the to freight shipping.
January – March
It’s a new year; the holidays are past us, and freight volume is on the decline. Not to mention these months are the peak of winter, the frigid temperatures and snowy roadways are not shipping-friendly. Typically during these months logistics companies are recovering from holiday shipping. Freight volume will start to progress as the months approach the spring season.
April – July
With the arrival of spring, the produce season begins. Freight volumes will increase, and carriers have more loads to choose from allowing them to pick and choose different loads. With carriers being pickier, finding trucks become more challenging, and rates increase. In certain parts of the United States, the capacity and shipping rates change significantly for non-produce shippers, as carriers are massively switching to high-paying produce loads.
August – October
Produce season has come to an end; however, the hecticness doesn’t stop here. It’s now time to prepare for back to school season and to start planning for the upcoming holidays. During these months, sales are typically up, and companies are rapidly shipping products in and out of their facilities to ensure all inventory is ready for the holidays. Rates are still climbing, and freight volumes are towering.
November – December
Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year again; companies are rushing to complete last-minute purchase requests before the holiday closures. The new year is rapidly approaching, and no one wants to leave freight behind and drag it into the new year. The roads start to get busy with people taking time off for long weekends, holiday gatherings, and vacation time. It’s a time that needs to be carefully planned as last-minute items can pop up, and delays are likely.
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Our team is continuously on top of marketing changes and forecasted trends. Knowing the four seasons of transportation freight is just the beginning of our expertise. Let us be your transportation advisor. Chat with us!
There are several advantages companies can receive by outsourcing their supply chain management to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider. As companies begin to grow, they may realize an in-house logistics team will lack the expertise needed to manage complex logistics operations cost-effectively. On the other hand, larger companies can find they don’t have the workforce required to handle a high shipment volume. A Deloitte study shows that 79% of businesses with highly efficient supply chains enjoy more significant than average revenues than others in their industries. Companies with such optimal supply chains have 3x faster cash-to-cash cycles.
Crafty businesses outsource supply chain management to professionals to gain several significant benefits and, thus, position their business for success. A trustworthy third-party logistics provider will take over the trouble of running your supply chain network, allowing you to:
Generate new ideas
Build better products/services
Strengthen customer relationships
Design and develop future strategies
What’s more — outsourcing to the right service provider not only allows you to focus on your core business, but you also enjoy the competitive advantage that comes with hiring supply chain management experts, including their access to resources, capabilities, technologies, skills, and networks. The following are the top advantages of partnering with a 3PL.
A 3PL’s network of transportation providers is a significant resource for any company with freight to move. Searching for proper equipment, insurance, and other qualifications can be a considerable undertaking—however, a 3PL vets their carrier network to include only qualified and reliable service providers. 3PLs can also leverage carrier relationships and volume discounts, which results in lower costs and faster service. Ultimately, choosing a 3PL allows businesses to benefit from capacity they would be hard-pressed to find in-house.
Save Time and Money
Outsourcing logistics saves a considerable amount of time and money for any organization. Using a 3PL can eliminate the necessity to invest in warehouse space, technology, transportation, and staff to execute supply chain processes. 3PLs also save time for their clients by handling day to day functions like booking, billing, and training; leaving companies ample time to focus on their core competencies.
Scalability and Flexibility
A benefit of using a 3PL provider is the ability to scale space, labor, and transportation according to inventory needs. Businesses with seasonal periods can enjoy stress-free transitions between industry ups and downs, having the ability to utilize more space and resources when needed. Using a 3PL provider allows your business to grow into new regions without barriers.
Businesses can have confidence knowing reliable and experienced professionals are meeting their supply chain needs. A 3PL can share vital information tied to regulations, the freight market, and industry insights. A 3PL will often work with the same receiver locations for multiple clients, allowing them to share information on receiving preferences. Understanding customer requirements and communicating them to carriers can make a massive difference in performance.
3PLs have the expertise to help navigate manufacturers through new security regulations and can provide counsel on best practices to improve security policy and procedures. In many cases, 3PLs can manage the implementation of a supply chain security program, from facility and asset security to security monitoring services and training.
Providing All Services Under One Roof
When all your freight, distribution, eCommerce, warehousing, etc. services are managed under one roof, it will save time and money, and probably give you comfort to know that everything is taken care of. Plus, when all logistics are connected, you as a business owner will have more control and better visibility, which means a smoother operation for your business. A solutions-based 3PL will have the labor, resources, infrastructure, and capital deployment to bring all the required services under one roof. Whether you need warehousing, value-added services, customs clearance, international freight forwarding, domestic transportation, or even IT-support, you can rely on a third-party logistics provider to take care of your business.
The value a 3PL provider can bring your business includes better rates, services, expertise, and a vast network of industry partnerships all along the supply chain. Many companies come to this understanding quickly and understand the benefits of outsourcing. Choosing the best 3PL, one that is well suited to your needs, will take a bit of effort upfront but will bring long-term benefits. A 3PL with core competencies that are the right fit will mean a long-term partner interested in generating growth for your business. If you are looking for help managing your logistics and supply chain, we would love to hear from you. Please send us a note to connect about how Taylor Logistics can help your company.
As a supplier or manufacturer, you may need to manage regular demand, seasonal spikes, and special promotions with strategies that allow you to meet your customer’s in-store requirements without burdening your inventory pipeline. Custom displays, created in the warehouse just before shipping, are a proven working strategy. Not only do custom displays help with your inventory pipeline, but they are an essential marketing tool for several suppliers on retail floors.
A lot of displays have come through Taylor’s facilities across a variety of industries and a wide range of customers. From temporary projects to those that are more permanent, and they range in size from large pallet and floor displays to small counter-top displays. To evolve with special project demands, Taylor has launched a new team, the ISDT team or In-Store Design Team. This newly organized unit was created to be solely designated to the operation and building of point-of-purchase (POP) display units.
Along with the creation of the ISDT, Taylor offers other unique warehousing and fulfillment capabilities. Taylor has created a non-siloed operation system comprised of top of the line logistics services for their customers. Taylor’s transportation group, in alignment with their brokerage department, can manage inbound and outbound transportation using the most efficient modes. Taylor aligns all processes with design and technology allowing them to be there for you throughout the entire process to the retailer.
CINCINNATI, Sept. 14, 2020 — Taylor Logistics Inc. (TLI), a Cincinnati based third-party logistics company, today announced plans to open a new fulfillment center just outside Cincinnati later this month. The new location, at 10095 International Blvd in West Chester, Ohio, will be the companies second public multi-client warehouse in Ohio. Their first location is positioned just down the street at 9756 International Blvd.
“Our customized solutions, time-sensitive scalability, and our technology have proven we are not merely a vendor for our customers but a partner,” said President and sixth-generation Owner, Rex Taylor. “This second building on International will be home to our eCommerce hub, Cincinnati’s ever-changing industry landscape and proximity to the consumer makes 10095 the perfect spot for our customers.”
The new 80,000 square foot warehouse located on International is conveniently positioned next to two major interstates, rail ports, and cargo hubs. The new facility will house Taylor’s full suite of value-added services, including pick & pack, kitting, eCommerce fulfillment, packaging, product staging, and special projects.
About Taylor Logistics Inc.
Taylor Logistics Inc, the nation’s most progressive family-owned logistics company, specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services. All of which are customizable and technology-driven. Their 170 years in logistics experience have proven that they are not merely a vendor for your company – they are an extension of your team with a clear understanding of their responsibility to replicate your organization’s strategic business goals. Taylor is a Safe Quality Foods (SQF) certified provider for all food logistics needs. For more information, visit www.taylorlogistics.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supply chain management for food, beverage, flavoring, and pet food products is arguably one of the most critical and challenging logistics sectors. Proper handling, storage, inventory control, lot tracking, and transportation are essential to providing a safe, quality product for the consumer. In this blog, we are going to take a bite into Taylor’s food supply chain management.
Our WMS Synapse can track lot numbers from the time the product arrives at our fulfillment center docks through the warehouse to the delivery destination. We can quickly isolate products for QC or recalls within minutes of notification.
Food packaging manufacturers use Taylor to store and distribute their products for just in time delivery to the processor. We understand when the processors are ready to run the next batch, Taylor must be there on time with the packaging.
Flavoring & Ingredients
Whether in totes, bags, barrels or cartons, Taylor stores and ships ingredients in bulk and individual units. Common ingredients in our warehouse are used to produce pet foods, vitamins, foods, and supplements.
Need a place to store your seltzer, beer, wine, sports drink? No problem. Taylor’s advanced packaging capabilities, such as beverage variety packs, allow you to postpone final product configuration until just before shipping.
Annual audits and inspections by Safe Quality Foods Insitute ensure our customers that Taylor 100% compliant with our facility and food facility documentation.
The COVID-19 Crisis has highlighted the importance of keeping preparedness supplies on hand for future emergencies. Taylor’s network allows us to reach 70% of healthcare providers in the United States within 24 hours from our 400,000 square feet of warehousing space.
Shipping Solutions That Fit Your Needs
Low Unit of Measure shipping (LUM) provides PPE customers with products in the lowest unit of measure—typically an “each.” This shipping method is for clients that want to decrease total supply chain costs by having orders picked and packed for a specific location.
Taylor recognizes its critical role in the healthcare supply chain during crises such as natural disasters and pandemics. To prepare for an emergency or disaster, our team will help to develop a plan for emergency orders, prepare surplus stock items, and determine pre-approval for substitutions for critical supplies and custom packaging and kitting.
Full Suite Of Values Added Services Ready To Assist
The opportunity in food and beverage eCommerce is vast from convenient access to a wide selection of products to subscription-based services. To excel in this complex environment, retailers and food and beverage companies need to improve their eCommerce fulfillment capabilities. Here are some things to consider when venturing the eCommerce landscape.
Optimize Distribution Network
For efficient eCommerce fulfillment, products should be positioned as close to your customers as possible. Strategically located fulfillment centers can help to reduce transit costs and transit time. Utilizing two or more centrally located distribution centers can help meet consumers’ delivery expectations – often using two-day ground service.
Leverage Valued-Added Services
As in any industry, value-added services can offer many benefits for the manufacturer, retailer, and consumer. For the food and beverage companies, seasonal or promotional kitting, subscription boxes, and custom pallet displays can diversify your product offerings and increase sales.
Anticipate Space and Staffing Needs
eCommerce order fulfillment typically demands three times the labor of conventional warehousing operations. It’s crucial to plan accordingly to ensure capacity for maximum potential volume.
With inventory distributed across multiple locations, it is critical to understand where products are and how they move. A comprehensive view of stock across all fulfillment locations, physical stores, warehouses, vendors, and in transit is critical for optimizing your eCommerce. Since inventory must be immediately available and accessible, it is vital to identify fast-moving items to prevent stock-outs and back-ordered items. Not to mention if a product is out of stock in one location, having a single inventory view helps determine another potential source from which to fulfill orders.
How can we help?
Food and beverage eCommerce comes with an added layer of complexity. That’s why so many food and beverage companies turn to tech-enabled solutions partner like Taylor to help with eCommerce fulfillment and logistics. Here’s how our solutions can help your company:
SQF-Certified Fulfillment Centers
A benefit of outsourcing your fulfillment to Taylor is working with a company that already holds a Safe Quality Foods certification. Taylor has a network of SQF-certified fulfillment centers granting our teams as food safety experts.
Established Distribution Network
Ready access to our conveniently situated facilities moves products closer to end customers to save time and money.
With flexible staffing and food-grade warehouse space, Taylor can accommodate fluctuating order volumes without a permanent overhead investment.
Taylor offers more food and beverage supply chain solutions that just fulfillment. Utilizing our multiple service offerings can help increase efficiency and streamline your processes.
Taylor’s warehouse management system and fulfillment automation allow us to provide real-time visibility, efficient order routing, and better accuracy. Our WMS also integrates with several eCommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
As we continue to see an increase in food and beverage eCommerce businesses and as more consumers begin relying on eCommerce food and drink deliveries, optimizing your supply chain is becoming more important than ever before.
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Learn how our solutions teams can help your food and beverage eCommerce while you grow your business. Fill out the form below:
We are pleased to announce the hiring of a key member John Morrow to Team Taylor! John has taken the position of National Account Manager for Taylor Logistics; he will be working closely with our operations, warehousing, quality, marketing, and brokerage teams. Here are some quick facts about John:
Over 25 Years of Multi-Faceted Management Experience Including:
Supply Chain Development Warehousing Transportation Strategic Business Development
Operations Management Large Account Implementations Intermodal & Drayage
Annually, National Logistics Day™, on June 28th, promotes appreciation for the critical role the logistics industry plays in both our national and global economies! Personally, we think this is the greatest day ever so to honor the day of logistics here are some logistics facts about the Nation’s Most Progressive Family Owned Logistics Company.
Taylor Logistics Has Been Family Owned & Operated for Seven (yes 7!!!) Generations
We’ve Been in Business for 170 years, since 1850. We’ve Grown. We’ve Evolved. We’ve Progressed.
Throughout the Years We’ve Altered Our Business to Better Suit Our Customers. Offering a Wide Rang of Services Like:
For eCommerce startups, fulfillment strategy is a shifting target. If you start small, your first warehouse could be your garage or even a spare bedroom. As you grow, you might rent warehouse space and hire staff to pick, pack, and ship your orders. Eventually, you’ll probably outsource your storage and shipping to a third-party logistics provider.
When you choose your fulfillment provider, an important consideration is the location. You need fulfillment warehouses close enough to your customers to get your products delivered quickly. But you don’t want to spread your products among too many warehouses, or your inventory cost can go up. Here is a guide to help you develop your fulfillment warehouse plan.
Where Are Your Customers?
The strategy for where to locate your eCommerce fulfillment will largely depend on where your customers are. Map where your eCommerce orders are being delivered. Are your customers centered in certain areas or spread out evenly across the country? Answers to these questions will help you determine the best fulfillment warehouse locations for your business.
We’re in the age of two-day shipping to even the same day in a lot of our nation’s cities. If your e-commerce site delivers through Amazon or eBay or competes with those platforms, fast delivery is a must. eCommerce is moving closer to offering consumers the satisfaction of getting a purchase right away. As usual, Amazon leads the trend with one-day and even same-day shipping. In the future, an Amazon drone may drop off your purchase within a couple of hours.
Our Location Strategy
At Taylor, we’ve established our warehouses and fulfillment centers in the prime area of Cincinnati, Ohio. The strategic placement of our warehouses and fulfillment centers allows us access to large and rapidly-growing consumer and customer bases. The proximity of the many interstates and expressways branching from the city of Cincinnati is incredibly advantageous for moving both national and international freight. 70% of the US population is less than 24 hours’ drive.
Cincinnati has three interstate highway systems I-75, I-74, and I-71 as well as two interstate connectors I-275 and I-471
Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is a key cargo destination with nine carriers
Amazon’s Prime Air Hub is located at CVG
Cincinnati is the nation’s largest inland port handling 220 million tons of cargo per year
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Fulfillment may not be the most exciting part of your eCommerce business plan, but it’s one of the most important. When your e-commerce supply chain is running smoothly, so is your business. Please chat with us today!
The annual Atlantic Hurricane forecast, published a couple of weeks ago, shows an abnormal active season to arise in the upcoming months. When a hurricane or tropical storm is on the horizon, it can be challenging to prepare your business for possible supply chain disruption
As businesses and operations scale, they need to examine the accuracy of their inventory management and forecasting processes. Demand forecasting goes beyond simple estimates of product demand, looking into intricate patterns overtime to produce more accurate and timely predictions. Through better demand, an organization will be able to manage inventory better, increase revenue, and improve customer support. As businesses and processes scale, they need to investigate the accuracy of their inventory management and forecasting processes.
What is Inventory Forecasting?
Inventory forecasting involves mapping and maintaining stock levels required to complete customer orders. You do this by estimating how many products you’re likely to sell over a specific period. Managers use past sales data – taking into account future promotional campaigns, various external factors, and holiday items – to accurately predict inventory levels.
Advantages of Forecasting in the Supply Chain
Current forecasting technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help companies plan. Instead of having to adjust your inventory based on customer needs manually, you can use past samples of inventory data to determine consumer demand patterns. Even models such as holiday purchasing can be accounted for, helping modify your projected demand based on previous years as well as current market trends. It can be challenging to perform such forecasting manually, as large amounts of data need to be taken into account. A specific product or SKU may presently be in decline but may see a boost every holiday season. A manual or traditional model of inventory management may be limited to the past few months, and therefore recommend that you cut back on supply. An inventory management system digs deeper and will realize that the product’s demand will likely boost during the holiday season even though it’s currently in decline. While a business owner will be able to recognize these types of trends over their highest profit or most notable items, it’s unlikely that they will be able to notice those trends over hundreds or thousands of inventory items—and that could result in lost revenue. Advanced forecasting makes it possible to capture these insights, even over the most significant amounts of inventory and particularly complex inventory chains.
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Don’t turn a blind eye to inventory forecasting. Without proper inventory management, you could miss on the many cost-saving opportunities and benefits that come with inventory forecasting and supply chain management. Talk with Taylor today!
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.
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.
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.
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?
As the drive towards sustainability in logistics continues, those involved in manufacturing and shipping, particularly shippers, must understand why this trend is taking place, its potential costs, obstacles, and benefits, and what it means for the future of production and logistics.
Use Recycled Products
Depending on your package volume per month, you could be unintentionally contributing to the global crisis. So, how can your business help to break this vicious cycle? If you are using boxes – target environmentally friendly suppliers. There are a variety of certifications for the eco-friendly packaging. It will usually indicate the recycled content and ensure that no chemicals, which might be harmful to the environment, have been used.
Consider Alternative Transportation Modes
Intermodal drayage is what dramatically reduces carbon emissions because of the lower dependence on fuel. In fact, by utilizing rail transport to move one ton of freight a mile, you drop emissions by a whopping 83%. Not every load is suitable for rail, but for certain loads, it will be beneficial not only from the eco-friendly shipper perspective.
“If just 10 percent of the freight that moves by truck moved by rail instead, fuel savings would exceed 800 million gallons per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 9 million tons — equivalent to taking around 1.8 million cars off the road or planting 215 million trees.” – Association of American Railroads
Use Space Efficiently
Efficiency is key. Make sure to pack the product as efficiently as possible. This will save the materials and clear up more room on the truck or any other mode of transportation, allowing you to ship more products at once. If possible, combining as much product as possible into one load is worth considering from both eco-friendly and cost-efficient perspectives.
While these are just a few tips regarding taking your logistics green, there are plenty of other options for you to consider when partnering with a 3PL provider. By utilizing the latest technology and most efficient logistics practices, 3pl providers can devise the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly logistics solution for your business.
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
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.
Today is Halloween, and consumer shopping trends have been in full swing. According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey 2019, Halloween spending could reach $8.8 billion. With more than 68% of Americans planning to celebrate the holiday this year, and the average person spending $86.00, this equates to $2.6 billion on candy and $2.7 billion on decorations. See how the Halloween supply chain has changed throughout the years.
Average Expected Spending
Total Expected Spending
Percent of Consumers Planning to Purchase Based on Region
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.
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.
A warehouse typically refers to the establishment that a customer’s products are stored for a specified period. Warehouses generally are less high-energy than distribution centers. Sorting items, shipping them out, and replenishing stock are all a part of the daily functions. Distribution centers can act as warehouses too, but warehouses can’t double as a distribution center. Warehouses can be designed to receive goods directly from railways, airports, or seaports, and are usually equipped with forklifts and even cranes for moving and organizing products.
Distribution Center (DC):
A distribution center is slightly more complex than a warehouse in that it’s a more high-velocity operation as opposed to a static warehouse. Meaning that a distribution center offers more services to clients, whether they’re internal or external. A DC is generally thought of as demand-driven.
Fulfillment Center (FC):
A warehouse facility focused on order fulfillment in which the company fulfills its obligation to send a person a finished good. Typically refers to services of a store, either brick, and mortar or e-commerce: orders received, packaged, and shipped to end consumers.
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!
2020 is in just a few short months. It’s the year that Gartner predicted that more than 50% of major business processes will incorporate some form of the Internet of Things (IoT). Logistics companies are upon some of these major businesses. Though often disregarded, the application of IoT in supply chain management is already making extraordinary advances and improvements in the logistics landscape. From sensors providing visibility of products in transit to cloud platforms that optimize fleet management and load dispatching. Implementing IoT technology not only ensures efficient operations, but it also gives an edge on competitors and builds your brand. Below are a few of the many functions IoT provides for various logistics companies.
1. Tracking Capabilites
An essential IoT function in the supply chain is tracking and visibility. A Forrester study concluded that 77% of surveyed organizations consider locating objects, containers, and drivers as the top primary functions of supply chain IoT. With RFID and GPS sensors, operators can trace a product, truck, or container in real-time. These technologies also monitor vital details like time spent in transit and temperature control. This data allows operations managers to improve and get a firmer grip on quality control and on-time deliveries.
2. Fleet Management
To efficiently manage fleet operations, there are now GPS and other tracking technology capabilities that gather data in real-time. These IoT functions are essential for a fleet operations team, so they know the location of the trucks, weather conditions, traffic situations, driving patterns, and average speed. This real-time data helps logistics operators make more efficient routes, manage headcounts, save on fuel cost, and ultimately optimize their fleet.
3. The Ability to Predict Maintenance
Supply chain management is typically an asset-intensive business process. From warehouse equipment to delivery vehicles, these assets need to be continuously monitored to ensure that they are still that processes are running as efficiently as possible. Through the capabilities of smart sensors, operators can determine if a particular asset needs to be serviced. Thus resulting in reduced asset downtime and asset failure, which overall saves money.
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.
The information below represents average container sizes and limitations for steam-ship line equipment. There could be variances in the dimensions between some containers and the numbers below. Additionally, these numbers represent the containers’ limitations; in many cases state laws further limit the weight capacity of these containers for over-the-road transport.
Taylor Logistics the Nation’s most progressive family owned logistics company announced that they increased their freight broker surety bond through the Transportation Intermediaries Association from $100,000 to $250,000, further confirming its commitment to protecting the freight and transportation community against fraudulent behavior
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:
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
To learn more about our warehousing options and services talk with a Taylor Representative today.
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.
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.
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.
Many merchants don’t necessarily have a physical shop to store their products, requiring the use of a warehouse to store them. Normally, 3PL companies will be able to provide warehousing services that include either a shared or dedicated warehouse for storage, along with all of the required technology to handle and transport products throughout the warehouse. Because of the many companies that might use the same warehouse for storage, you can save money with a split overhead cost.
2. Order Fulfillment Businesses
need to be able to fulfill orders effectively, or they can’t survive. Unfortunately, many e-commerce companies often suffer from invalid order fulfillment, but a 3PL service provider can make sure that customers receive the right goods on time and in good condition with every order.
Another service that most 3PL companies offer is consolidation, wherein e-commerce suppliers send small goods to the same location, consolidating these goods into a single shipment to lower prices.
4. Supply Chain Management Services
To make each order a success, companies need to effectively maintain their supply chain. A 3PL company can help manage all or part of your supply chain, taking care of your inbound freight delivery specifications.