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.
B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, E-Commerce Fulfillment, Fulfillment, Inventory Management, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing
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!
The beauty industry is a $532 billion sector of the economy that is experiencing rapid growth. This increase is mainly due to the rise of e-commerce and omni-channel sales, with projections reaching $390 billion globally by 2024, according to Forbes. From a vast number of SKUs with LOT tracking requirements to hazardous goods storage and handling compliance standards to shipping bulk orders to big-box retailers to the demands of B2C e-commerce, order fulfillment has never been more critical to one of the fast-growing and most competitive industries. A qualified third-party logistics company can utilize its warehouse network, technology, and transactional cost models to provide effective fulfillment solutions to health and beauty brands.
Compliance and Experience
Unlike technology products, which may only launch a new product one time a year, cosmetic brands usually release new products seasonally, plus exclusive holiday campaign products. Meaning you have a tight margin for keeping your customers happy without being left with an excess of out-of-style inventory. Understanding what is required in each stage of the fulfillment process and your precise brand needs should be a top priority. Due to the purpose and composition of these products, your logistics partner must have the appropriate local, state, and federal licenses, permits, certifications, training, and facility infrastructure to store, handle and ship health and beauty items correctly. Accurate, efficient, and reliable fulfillment and delivery are essential in maintaining the integrity of your brand in this fast-growing industry.
Inventory Management & Visibility
Products need to be ready to ship at the right time; brands and their 3PL partner need to think about the future. As stated earlier, health & beauty companies and their growing revenues show that demand is being generated, typically through new products and consumer trends. Brands want to make sure their products are readily available while they’re still popular. It’s this constant battle between supply and demand. A 3PL can make sure a company’s inventory remains uncontaminated and relevant once a company has developed its inventory. The best part is that the right 3PL can track all aspects of the supply chain in real-time. With reliable transportation and fulfillment, a 3PL partnership will make a cosmetics brand inventory much more manageable.
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Third-party logistics (3PL) providers have a longstanding history of providing services to manage the supply chain better. Modern 3PLs have evolved their services and incorporated technology to keep up with consumer demand. Likewise, shippers are turning to technology-enabled 3PLs to increase overall efficiency and boost performance. The overlap of technology and logistics provides an end-to-end supply chain solution.
Why Should You Use A Technology-Enabled Third-Party Logistics Provider?
Increase in Supply Chain Visibility
Shippers are under pressure to reduce supply chain costs as part of more significant company cost-saving initiatives. Shippers want more services and better transparency from their supply chain managers, ideally without increasing the budget. To evolve with the ever-changing technology landscape, several 3PLs and supply chain managers have shifted to wireless technologies and cloud computing to automate systems and improve accuracy for their customers. Technology, like radio-frequency identification (RFID), is a popular method of automatic identification and data capture. RFID tags can be attached to an entire pallet, inventory, or almost any item, the tracing possibilities are extensive and applicable to numerous aspects of the supply chain. Shippers want to be able to answer the question, “When exactly will my delivery arrive?” Integrating new technologies will make answering that question much easier.
Integration of Multiple Platforms
Integration between 3PLs and their customers’ software systems creates efficiencies and improves response times. Service concerns can be handled immediately and escalated to the proper solutions team. Obstacles will occur, so quick response times are critical. Providers can integrate their TMS/WMS with client systems to form a single management system that renders customizable reporting and solutions. A successful provider will use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to share information with customers and other associated parties. EDI eliminates accidental data entry and increases efficiency and allows the provider to offer real-time updates to customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
This revolutionary technology allows devices to communicate with each other within an existing internet infrastructure without human intervention—devices of all sorts such as tablet computers, sensors monitoring machinery or vehicles, or even wearables. In warehousing, it allows planners to know exactly what’s on hand and precisely where it’s located in the warehouse. In IoT enabled trucks, sensors can report everything from remaining fuel levels, tire quality, and conditions inside a container. The use of connected devices, other technologies, and supply chain planning is moving ahead full steam, allowing for massive cost saving.
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Technology enables logistics. To keep up, you must embrace and evolve with the current technology climate. A tech-enabled 3PL can save you time, money, and headaches while improving customer service. Partner with technology-driven Taylor today.
Are you thinking about partnering with a third-party logistics (3PL) company? If you are new to outsourcing fulfillment, what goes on in warehouses and fulfillment centers may seem daunting. But the fulfillment process doesn’t have to be such a mystery! Our team is taking a look at the journey of an order through 3PL fulfillment.
Your 3PL can’t ship orders if they don’t have your inventory! The receiving of your product is one of the top warehousing operations that must happen before your 3PL can start fulfilling orders for your online store. Receiving refers to the acceptance of incoming inventory, followed by its storage. Once your 3PL receives the products, they store your items in warehouses and fulfillment centers. Each SKU has a separate dedicated storage location, either on a racking shelf, in a bin, or on a pallet.
The fulfillment process begins once your customer places an order. As soon as an order is sent to your 3PL through their WMS, it is assigned to the picking team. Using the most efficient picking pattern, the picker receives a picking list of items, quantities, and storage locations at the facility to collect the order products from their respective areas. 3PLs understand that your goal is to minimize cost per order for fulfillment services. The picked items for each order are scanned and set aside for packaging.
After the picker has collected all the products for the order, it’s time to get them securely packed up and ready for shipping. Items are compiled and placed – along with dunnage and any other extra materials – into the appropriate box or bag. The printed shipping label is then affixed. Take place at this stage to ensure what was ordered is what was picked. Checks include order accuracy, packaging appropriateness, and labeling accuracy.
You may rely on your 3PL to manage parcel shipping on your behalf; if your volumes are modest, there could be a significant cost advantage to shipping under your 3PLs negotiated agreements with carriers. The 3PL will negotiate rates based on its aggregate volume across many different clients.
While these are the primary functions of online order fulfillment, just about every aspect of the process is customizable. Many 3PLs offer additional value-added services such as kitting and packaging.
Your 3PL Provider
Learn more about how partnering with Taylor can help your business scale and how their non-siloed operation system, which is comprised of top-of-the-line logistics services, can help your supply chain.
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Given this year’s unique circumstances, many of us are celebrating Mother’s Day at home or even away from the women — moms, grandmas, aunts, you name it — that we love most. For that reason, some Mother’s Day traditions like spa days and brunches won’t be possible. However, the tradition of buying flowers is still booming. Because of the ease of doorstep delivery and social distancing protocols in place, it’s no surprise that flowers are amongst the most popular mother’s day gift of 2020. The NRF reports that 64% of consumers are expecting to mail a bouquet this year. For flowers to arrive fresh to your receiver’s doorstep, there are a variety of factors that must take place to ensure optimal freshness, including the cold supply chain.
What is Cold Supply Chain?
The term cold chain refers to the transportation of temperature-sensitive products, such as flowers, along the supply chain using thermal and cooling packaging methods along with refrigerated trucks.
Most of the flowers purchased in the United States come from Europe, South America, and Africa, making the cold chain a massive player in flower delivery. The main entry points for planes transporting flowers are Miami International Airport and LAX. The stems are then kept in refrigerated rooms in the airport before making their way across the country in refrigerated planes or trucks. From regional airports, they move to refrigerated distribution centers and then on to florists. Keeping flowers at a precise temperature throughout this long journey can be a big challenge, and cold chain interruptions can cause flowers to lose as much as 40 percent of their vase life, even if they are returned to a cold environment after the interruption.
Dedicated supply chains will become more critical to control risks associated with availability, quality, and price. A single, strong facilitator is needed to make such a supply chain function smoothly.
Are you looking to solve temperature-controlled shipping challenges? Our freight brokerage team has expertise in all shipping commodities and can help maintain the quality of your sensitive freight. Talk with Taylor today.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you are fulfilling orders for single end customers or a retail store, it may seem like there isn’t much of a difference between the two. An order is an order, right? Not exactly. B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) each require very different operations and processes. Each order delivery, whether to one single consumer or a business, needs to reflect your brand. Otherwise, you might lose customers, working with a third-party logistics company that aligns with your brand will help you navigate the differences between fulfilling B2C orders and the complexities of B2B orders.
B2B Order Fulfillment
B2B fulfillment deals with the distribution of goods from business to business. In other words, they transport large, bulk shipments to a receiving company. Larger companies integrate their warehousing with their B2B order fulfillment service using electronic data interchange software. Doing so helps businesses exchange order data and shipping information with their suppliers in real-time. These fulfillment centers also have to comply with specific guidelines such as barcode labeling, product description, invoice, and shipment details.
B2C Order Fulfillment
B2C fulfillment focuses on delivering manufactured goods directly to customers. This type of order fulfillment is easier to manage as compared to B2B because large, bulk shipments are not involved. Typically these companies have less stringent regulations while in-time delivery and customer satisfaction are the two primary requirements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s important for our business to invest renewable energy technologies and sustainability in all aspects of our logistics business. Importantly, when using road transport, we plan each journey to establish the most efficient route so that we can reduce the number of miles traveled and avoid empty trucks on the road. Taylor has implemented a Green Logistics program for several years; by doing so, our team reduces fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions by:
Until electric and other more sustainable vehicle options, route optimization is one of the best ways to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and distribution. Artificial intelligence can work with GPS devices to optimize local, national, and global shipping routes. Advanced analytics update routes in real-time, to take account of congestion and other issues.
Simplifying Supply Chain Processes
Supply chains can be improved through significant changes, but it’s more common to see results through small, iterative improvements. Useful analytics and reporting combine with machine learning to continually improve processes throughout the supply chain. Every change that reduces waste speeds up delivery or enhances quality makes an incremental improvement to sustainability.
Monitoring Existing Environmental Risks
Climate change and other environmental factors already impact many supply chains. Issues such as wildfires in California, rising sea levels, water scarcity, and lower agricultural yields have a profound impact on the efficiency, quality, and speed of the supply chain. Supply chain technology helps to predict these risks and allows supply chain managers to mitigate their impact and put contingency plans in place.
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
21% It’s something to do over the holiday
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
View Our Candy Case Study
B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, Customer Experience, E-Commerce Fulfillment, Fulfillment, Lean, Operations, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing, WMS
The E-commerce Warehouse of Today
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.
Drayage, Freight, Freight Brokerage, Intermodal Transportation, Port Services, Third Party Logistics, Value-Added Services
What is Drayage?
Drayage is a term used to describe the moving of container freight over short distances, mainly in the same city between rials facilities, ports or other shipping hubs.
Drayage moves can include:
1. Moving cargo from port to port or rail to rail
2. Port to the rail yard
3. Port to warehouse/shipping hub
4. Facility to the port, rail yard, or another facility
The history of Drayage
In history, the term drayage originally stems from the term dray, a low cart without fixed sides that could be used for carrying heavy loads a short distance. Although dray is defined as a cart historically, dray may be any vehicle used to transport heavy loads a short distance, including a sled, wagon, or carriage.
In the early years, drayage services were considered a risky move for shippers and IMC’s. Today, a majority of that risk is gone, and rail intermodal is an essential part of most supply chains’ transportation portfolio. Drayage services have proven its value, experienced growth, and earned the respect of the Class I railroads as well as world-class shippers. It stands on the threshold of a new ear of growth as challenges mount for long-haul truckloads. While a lot of long-haul conversions have taken place, regional opportunities in the east are proving drayage services are not just a mode for cross-country freight moves.
Ultimately, any successful logistics operation starts with proper planning; let our team be your drayage advisor. Being in Cincinnati Taylor is located next to two major inland ports that service the entire midwest region. In addition to our local ports, our fleet also services Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Chicago. From picking up freight and moving it to the next hub, Taylor drayage services are an efficient solution for your intermodal strategy.
Infographics, Intermodal Transportation, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Taylor Information, Third Party Logistics
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.
Inside Length: 19’ 4.25”
Inside Width: 92.5”
Inside Height: 94”
Weight Restrictions: 38,000 lbs
Inside Length: 39’ 5.69”
Inside Width: 92.5”
Inside Height: 94”
Weight Restrictions: 43,500 lbs
40’ High Cube Container
Inside Length: 39’ 5.69’
Inside Width: 92.5”
Inside Height: 104”
Weight Restrictions: 43,500
45’ Container High Cube Container
Inside Length 44’ 5.59”
Inside Width: 92.59”
Inside Height: 106”
Weight Restrictions: 43,500
53’ High Cube Container
Inside Length: 52’ 6.5”
Inside Width: 98.5”
Inside Height: 109.5”
Weight Restrictions: 43,500
Freight, Freight Brokerage, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Taylor Information, Third Party Logistics
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
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:
- Transportation Management Systems (TMS)
- GPS Tracking
- Reporting Software
- Quick Pay/E-Pay
- Electronic Data Integration (EDI) Software
- Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)
- Data Analysis Tools
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.
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.
B2B Fulfillment, B2C Fulfillment, Data, E-Commerce Fulfillment, EDI, Fulfillment, Ominchannel, Operations, Packaging, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing
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.
Freight, Freight Brokerage, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Taylor Information, Third Party Logistics
1. Warehousing for Physical Goods.
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.
In 1841, aboard a small ship called the Russell Glover, John Taylor (1794-1875), his wife Dinah Raikes, and their six children including our founder John Rex Taylor emigrated from Bath, England to the United States, arriving in New Orleans in March. From this popular immigrant port, the Taylors made their way up the Mississippi River to the bustling river town of Cincinnati, Ohio where John Rex Taylor assiduously began his business (before 1850, but who’s counting?) with a horse and wagon, delivering goods to and from the Miami and Erie Canal the engineering marvel which ran from Toledo to Cincinnati, providing goods from as far as New York City. He named his business the Taylor Drayage Company, thus creating the point from which we trace our values, vision, and culture. Soon after, John Taylor joined his son in the business. The 1860 census shows John Taylor as Drayman and John Rex Taylor as a Laborer. For reasons unknown, John Rex Taylor and his wife moved to Wisconsin for a few years (most likely to start a new terminal for the business) but soon returned to find John Taylor in charge of the Taylor Drayage Company. Along with his father and son Edward, John Rex Taylor operated the business as a family affair, the same way we do today. In the early 1900s, Edward took over the business, adding larger and stronger wagons, pulled by two or more horses, called teamsters. The 1910 census shows Edward as a Team Owner. However, the increasingly viable motor truck put the horse and wagon at risk and it was during this time that Edward was succeeded by his son, John Rex Taylor III. During the Horseless Age John Rex Taylor III steered the company through disruptive technological advances, economic turmoil, and strict government regulations. The change to motor trucks brought the decline of the Miami and Erie Canal canal an important route to the Taylor Drayage Company and the rise of the rails, spurring two important events: a move closer to the railroads and a change of the name to the Taylor Trucking Company. During this time, our three largest customers were Oscar Meyer, Swift, and Planter’s Peanuts. To this day our market focus is food. John Rex Taylor III kept the company steady, effective, and innovative in the midst of this major change in American commerce and transportation, along with the dangers of the Great Depression and the Motor Carrier Act of 1935. Because of this act, today we boast the Motor Carrier number 022276, a true testament to our longstanding history in the Cincinnati transportation business. John Rex Taylor III’s legacy teaches us that ultimately, effectiveness trumps efficiency. No amount of efficiency in horse drawn wagons would have allowed us to stay in business. Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right thing. Bringing the company through the mid-century was John Rex Taylor IIIâ€™s son, John Rex Taylor IV; or, Jack Taylor. Jack was the family’s first college graduate (Indiana University, 1949) and a proud member of General Patton’s Third Army in Europe. With the addition of warehousing, the company name changed again, this time to its current Taylor Distributing Company. With customers like Jolly Rancher, York Candies, M&M Candies, and Vicks Cold Medicine, Taylor continued its dedication to food storage during a boom in the Candy industry. Jack Taylor also saw a major change in the development of Warehouse Management Systems. In the beginning, inventory control was done manually. Jack kept it all in his head. But in 1972, with a move to a new warehouse on nine acres of land on Sharon Road, the company saw its first automatic technology: the IBM System/34, running on RPG II, with 64KB of memory. Today, our warehouse runs on the organized and efficient Synapse by Zethcon. Under the current management the sixth generation formed a third business, Taylor Logistics Inc., a brokerage-based logistics offering integrated solutions. And after many years in the pool distribution business, Taylor ended its operation to focus fully on the drayage business, bringing us full circle to our heritage. From its founding in 1850 to today, the Taylor companies have represented a steadfast, adaptive, and continuously improving business that has earned its longstanding reputation and defined the standards of logistics by committing to excellence in customer service and employee satisfaction.