Chris Baum and Noelle Taylor discuss an ideal third-party logistics team, complete with packaging, shipping, IT integration, eCommerce, and transportation experts. They dive into how Taylor is different from other 3PL’s, the Taylor “sauce,” applying a fast-food business model, and strategies and trends they are seeing from their customer base.
eCommerce, eCommerce Fulfillment, Food & Beverage, Sustainability, Technology, Third Party Logistics
It’s no secret that COVID-19 has radically shifted consumer shopping habits to online marketplaces we’ve been purchasing everything from dog food to potting soil to TikTok Amazon trends and outdoor heaters. Retailers have altered inventory as a response to these shifts, and they’ve taken note COVID-19 buying patterns are here to stay. Here are the three industry trends impacting this shift.
Sustainable / Eco Purchasing Habits
Over two-thirds (65%) of consumers want to impact the environment through their everyday actions positively. This is a key reason why brands are shifting their products from plastic to eco. As temporary custodians of this planet, we understand that we have a job to make it as clean as possible for generations to come. We’ve said absolutely not to all bubble wrap in every part of our business; that word isn’t even in our vocabulary. We’ve got a couple of brands we partner with to look into bubble wrap alternatives that are sustainable. Not only is it great for our planet, but it’s also fantastic for your brand, and it’s what your customer wants! The growing awareness of our collective impact on the environment has elicited increasing demand for companies to demonstrate their sustainability commitment beyond just the end product to responsible sourcing and operating standards.
The Need for Efficiency
The hurdle we see is maintaining information accuracy in every stage of the supply chain, which can be difficult when dealing with information overload. Another risk attached to information overload is inventory overload. Research suggests that inventories are essential when creating the optimal pricing strategy for food and beverage products. At a point in your company’s lifecycle, it comes time to partner with a 3PL to optimize your business efficiencies. Focus on your core business, expanding your brand, getting into Erewhon, new products, etc. We will fulfill orders, store your product, and get it to your customers. Scaling as you scale with multiple services under one roof, like customized packaging to an eCommerce task force that can de-bug any inventory or eCart issue.
The food supply chain requires all players to adhere to strict operational practices to ensure food safety and quality from the fulfillment center to the wheels that bring it to the consumer. Food safety is our middle name, Taylor food safety Logistics. Jokes aside, food safety is essential to us and has been our business’s foundation for the last 171 years. Each year all of our food handling fulfillment centers undergo a Safe Quality Foods audit to obtain the highest level of food safety by the Safe Quality Foods Institute and are all FDA certified.
Stay Ahead of the Trends with Taylor
Our team will work with you to build scalable fulfillment, eCommerce, packaging, kitting, transportation, and shipping solutions for your food and beverage brand.
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B2C Fulfillment, Cincinnati, Customer Experience, eCommerce, eCommerce Fulfillment, ISDT, Technology
From the Taylor Talk podcast vault: Transitioning to eCommerce fulfillment with Grant Taylor, while this episode initially aired months ago, it seems more relevant now than ever.
Our operations, IT, and superuser teams have been working vigorously to transition five distribution centers into eCommerce centers. This was a massive undertaking for our team because; eCommerce granted customers can break open cases, which was an entirely different process for Taylor.
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A supply chain is a sequence of tasks that must be undertaken to distribute a commodity. When a company needs to gauge its supply chain performance, it uses a range of different supply chain metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Each KPI provides a slightly different vision of one slice of the supply chain. You might be asking, “What Key Performance Indicators should I measure to improve my supply chain? Here are the main KPIs in both the transportation and warehousing realms that are the most commonly reported for our customers.
On-Time Delivery: Shows the carriers ability to deliver successfully on time to their scheduled required arrival date or to the appointment time. Having an accurate on-time delivery is critical for your client to avoid fees, as they may be subject to fees from big-box retailers.
Cost Management: Optimizing a transportation budget through KPI use is more than just tracking costs and expenses. KPIs are essential factors to discuss during freight contract negotiations and help determine if service levels are being met. This metric puts focus on these charges and helps to pinpoint the recurrence of key incidences. Problems or issues may be monitored and resolved swiftly to avoid any unnecessary fees and ultimately lower your transportation costs. A robust audit process can help save many dollars. The more error-free your freight bills and payments, the more you save, and the more net profit gravitates to your bottom line.
Cost Per Pound: Measures gross net with total weight moved each month or quarter to show customers’ buying and usage habits. This KPI will help improve your customer to continue to buy optimal amounts. These trends can help them save money but not over or under buying products.
Inventory Accuracy: Every warehouse manager knows the inventory in their warehouse costs them. Quantifying these specific carrying costs — including capital costs, inventory risk, inventory service costs, and obsolescence — help a warehouse manager make smarter buying and forecasting decisions, leading to higher inventory turnover.
On-Time Shipping: This KPI shows the percentage of shipments that left the warehouse on-time. A lot of products have tight deliveries with small windows. If a shipment is missed, your client can be hit with delays and even late fees.
Order Picking Accuracy: An incorrect order can result in an increasing shipping time per average order, inventory being put back on shelves, rate of return, etc. Lean fulfillment and warehousing practices reduce waste and streamline picking processes – and help maintain a high order accuracy rate.
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Our current coronavirus-world has turned food and beverage supply chains on their heads, highlighting the importance of supply chain visibility and communication. The aisles and aisles of empty supermarket shelves give the appearance that the United States, improbably and alarmingly, is running out of food. However, some of the nation’s largest retailers, dairy farmers and meat producers say that isn’t so. The food supply chain, they say, remains intact and has been ramping up to meet the unprecedented stockpiling brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. To keep products fresh, on shelves, and at peak quality, there needs to be excellent communication among food and beverage supply chain partners.
Food & Beverage Challenges
Unlike other industries, the food and beverage industry face unique challenges with their shipping, such as:
Deliveries needed before expiration dates
items needing temperature-control,
Some items require extra-careful handling
These are just some obstacles you have to face when shipping food products. These challenges closely connect the food manufacturing industry with logistics and transportation partners.
Logistics & Transportation Partners
With freight transportation, communication begins right from the start. Not all freight travels the same, so setting expectations is the best way to get started. Additionally, having a partner who understands the challenges of shipping your products will prove to be beneficial. Due to this, many food and beverage companies choose to outsource their logistics with a third-party logistics company.
3PLs have experience quickly solving complex freight solutions every day. You can feel relief when working with a 3PL to arrange your freight transportation. 3PLs have a vetted carrier network with experience in transporting food products and many modes to offer you shipping solutions. You can gain the use of their cutting-edge technology to track your freight.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
If you are looking for an all-around solution to your problem of communication in your supply chain, a transportation management system (TMS) could be your answer. A TMS can help act as a communication hub for all partners in your supply chain. You can gain end-to-end visibility by working in one place, rather than across various sources.
All relationships need open communication to work well. That is no different for supply chain partners in food and beverage. Each partner in the supply chain should keep in contact as needed to provide full visibility and keep everyone in the loop. This can prevent damaged products, recalls, extra costs, and frustration.
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We are more than a logistics advisor; we are an extension of your team here to help you through every step of the supply chain. From SQF certified food grade warehousing to a full transportation team we have altered out business to offer all logistics needs. Learn more here.
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.
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.
2020 is just a few short months away, what does the future hold? Our team has researched future warehousing trends for 2020 and beyond. From sustainability to 3D printing, the sky is the limit when it comes to what the future holds for warehousing.
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.
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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.
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:
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
To learn more about our warehousing options and services talk with a Taylor Representative today.