Raise your hand if you have an Amazon Prime account? Oh wow, 150 million hands raised? In the 25 years since Amazon was launched, it has become a household name, and is the biggest eCommerce site in the world. Having your products sold on Amazon immensely increases your audience. Amazon allows sellers to fulfill orders themselves or let Amazon handle fulfillment. Let’s dive into your options as an Amazon seller.
Lot’s of Acronyms to Digest When Talking Amazon Shipping; Let’s Break it Down:
Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
Self-fulfilled order processing route, like Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)
Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)
What is Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)?
FBA means Fulfilled by Amazon, you sell it and Amazon ships it.
The seller sends bulk products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers for Amazon to pick, pack, and ship products once sold.
What is Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM)?
Amazon Fulfilled by Merchant is a fulfillment method in which an Amazon seller is responsible for fulfilling its products purchased on Amazon.
FBM can be more cost-effective if you can ship orders for a more sensible price compared to what FBA will charge by using your delivery partners and network, or your 3PL’s network.
FBM is a great Amazon seller shipping option it allows you the freedom to run your business as you like in terms of scalability, fulfillment methods, and inventory level control.
What is Seller Fulfilled Prime (SFP)?
Similar to FBM, you store, pick, pack, and ship your products to the customers yourself and handle all communications with the customer.
However, this shipping option also allows you access to prime customers, competing with businesses that pay the enormous fees for FBA.
SFP is ideal for sellers who have warehouse space and staff that can handle the order fulfillment or companies with a 3PL that can offer scalability and flexibility. To be successful as an SFP seller, you need to make sure that it would be more profitable for you than FBA or FBM.
Becoming an SFP seller streamlines your fulfillment process as you only need to manage inventory in your warehouses, instead of managing that inventory as well as additional inventory in Amazon’s warehouses.
Partnering With A 3PL | Amazon Fulfillment
Have experience with the program. Dealing with SFP requirements can be difficult.
Your 3PL should have advanced software that integrates directly with Amazon and gives you real-time visibility into order status and metrics.
You need a 3PL who is focused on customer service. Putting your SFP reputation into someone else’s hands is a leap of faith. Make sure you pick a partner who’s on your side, 100%.
Amazon Solutions Experts
Our team knows that all of the Amazon seller shipping options can be complicated and overwhelming. It can be challenging to decide which option is best for your business, especially when one option doesn’t fit all. It depends on the product you are selling, fulfillment capabilities, profit margins, and more. Our team knows how to meet Amazon’s stringent requirements for whichever option you choose. We have the solutions to help you scale your business, and we have the technology to execute the specifications for any Amazon shipment.
Talk With Taylor
Remember, the holiday season is around the corner. If you don’t have your fulfillment partner in place soon, you could be left out in the cold. Contact us today, and leave Black Friday and Cyber Monday to us. Fill out the form below and we will be in touch ASAP!
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.
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
CINCINNATI, OHIO—August-19, 2020 — Food Logistics, the industry’s only publication dedicated to food and beverage supply chains, has named Taylor Logistics Inc. to its 2020 Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers list.
The Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers recognizes leading third-party logistics and cold storage providers in the food and beverage industry.
“Today’s 3PLs and cold storage providers are more essential to the movement of food and beverage than ever before. Despite supply chain threats and disruptions, they continue to show their resiliency, strength and innovation to continue moving product from Point A to Point B,” says Marina Mayer, Editor-in-Chief, Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive.
This year’s Top 3PL & Cold Storage Providers list will appear in Food Logistics’ August 2020 issue, as well as online at www.FoodLogistics.com.
About Food Logistics
Food Logistics, published by AC Business Media, the industry’s only publication dedicated to global food and beverage supply chains. Its audience reaches executives in the food and beverage sector (growers, producers, manufacturers, wholesalers and grocers) as well as the logistics section (transportation, warehousing, distribution, software and technology).
Last month three of Taylor’s fulfillment centers underwent an extensive Safe Quality Food (SQF) audit. The results are outstanding with our team in Bellevue having 100% on their first-ever SQF audit and our team in Monroe with 97% at both locations. An exceptional job by all members of Team Taylor. We appreciate your expertise and knowledge of food safety practices.
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality program recognized by retailers, brand owners, and foodservice providers worldwide. Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF family of food safety and quality codes are designed to meet industry, customer, and regulatory requirements for all sectors of the food supply chain – from the farm all the way to the retail stores. This rigorous farm-to-fork food safety and quality certification also helps food producers assure their buyers that their food products meet the highest possible global food safety standards.
Achieving SQF certification is a testament to your hard work. It is also a credible demonstration of your commitment to food safety – something that will help your team and your customers sleep better at night.
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.
Talk With Taylor
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!
Food safety has a demanding role in confirming that our food inventory stays secure at every level of the food supply chain. With a business dedicated to food warehousing and distribution, Taylor Logistics has a culture of continuous improvement regarding food safety. We are committed to upholding the highest certifications from the SQF for practices in the handling, storage, and delivery of food products.
What is SQF?
In early 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized the Safe Quality Food (SQF) rule as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The rule was created to help prevent both intentional and unintentional contamination of the food supply chain from farm to fork.
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a rigorous and credible food safety and quality program that is recognized by retailers, brand owners, and food service providers world-wide. Recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), the SQF family of food safety and quality codes are designed to meet industry, customer, and regulatory requirements for all sectors of the food supply chain – from the farm all the way to the retail stores.
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.
Talk With Taylor
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.
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.
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.
FSMA finalized in Acpril 2017 and built upon the 2005 Sanitary Food Transportation Act (SFTA). There were concerns about the regulations for the handling and transportation of food in a safe manner, as well as a need to strengthen the food safety system. Food-borne illnesses could be prevented during transport reducing safety hazards such as:
Protecting food from contamination
Failure to keep temperature-controlled food refrigerated
Inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads
How Does FSMA Apply to Your Company?
Transportation and Logistics?
Food manufacturers and transportation companies that they work with are required to operate compliant and clean equipment, have standard operating procedures in place, training to prevent food contamination, and keep records of anything on food safety measures.
Under FSMA, shippers are the ones who arrange the transportation of the food product(s). Including food manufacturers and the freight brokers that they partner with. Shippers must understand the regulations, and work with a compliant transportation company that communicates any food safety requirements with the companies they work with. They are responsible for ensuring that vehicles and equipment are in sanitary conditions deemed acceptable by the FDA. They must specify temperature and pre-cooling requirements in writing to the carrier and ensure that their cargo doesn’t make food unsafe for bulk shipments.
Motor carriers must determine that their vehicles and equipment are sanitary. Carriers are made accountable for making sure the equipment meets the shipper’s requirements and can maintain the temperatures needed to keep food safe. Refrigerated cold storage has to work and be pre-cooled to the correct temperature as instructed before loading. Carriers need to maintain temperature records and proof of equipment cleaning for all cargo that has been on their equipment.
Training is a requirement of the FSMA. You are responsible for training all associates in the elements of the food safety plan that directly affect them. And evidence of this training must be documented and available for inspection. Basic training applies to all employees, even those who are temporary associates. When it comes to longer-term associates, the goal should be to build a culture of food safety and compliance. Training starts at the top and flows down throughout the organization. For instance, someone on your team may need to inspect a trailer to see whether it meets sanitary standards. Training and documentation must be available to workers who are making these inspections. That requires an FSMA, SQF, HACCP quality inspector in your organization who is responsible for training personnel on the various aspects of compliance.
Your Food Safety Partner
At Taylor, food safety is in their DNA. Taylor offers several logistics services, including packaging, warehousing, transportation, and freight brokerage. In every division, they serve a large number of food companies. Their food customers depend on them to use food safety best practices and to stay up to date on the latest regulatory changes. Taylor has obtained the SQF food-grade seal for the past five years for all fulfillment and warehouse centers.
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.
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.
Talk With Taylor
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.
Gathering the right data and calculating the right key performance indicators (KPI) is a no-brainer when it comes to improving fulfillment operations. KPIs help to identify bottlenecks, plan out warehouse operations, and measure overall customer satisfaction. If you partner with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to outsource order fulfillment, they should be instrumental in helping establish relevant key performance indicators and provide you with detailed reports. Whether the goal is to improve efficiency, reduce delivery time, or increase levels of customer satisfaction, there is an appropriate metric to measure progress and performance. The next question is what specific fulfillment metrics you should put in place to enable further discussion, which is what we’ll look at next.
On-Time Shipping Percentage: This refers to the percentage of orders which are shipped on time. Because as many as 70% of customers are less likely to shop with a retailer who does not meet the promised delivery window, this is a significant number to track.
Total Order Cycle Time: This refers to the average processing time from the moment a customer places an order to the moment that it is shipped. It includes all processes that fall within that window. As customers become more and more accustomed to same- and next-day delivery options, understanding how your operation performs and how you can improve your performance matters.
Internal Order Cycle Time: This specifically refers to the amount of time that it takes for your operation to process an order internally. Measuring the moment an order is released into the warehouse for processing to the moment that it is shipped.
Perfect Order Percentage: Perfect order percentage looks at several different metrics to determine what percentage of orders damage-free, ship on-time, complete, and with correct documentation. By understanding your perfect order percentage, you can take action to improve your order accuracy and other pain-points within your operation.
Take note of what’s coming into your warehouse—if you don’t account for what’s coming in, it’s impossible to be accurate about what’s leaving. Specific KPI’s for inbound metrics include:
Inbound orders received
It’s all about ensuring a quick turnaround from receiving your products to shipping them off to where their destination. This is where contract packaging services come in to play for your warehouse. Specific KPI’s for outbound metrics include:
Orders picked per hour
Lines picked per hour
Outbound order fulfillment
Taking stock of pertinent financial metrics can make all the difference when it comes to determining your long-term strategy. Make sure that you’re cutting lesser-valued services and streamlining your operations where you can. Specific KPI’s for financial metrics include:
Distribution costs (as a sales percentage and per unit shipped)
Pick-and-pack is a form of value-added service that is an integral part of supply chain management. Pick and pack fulfillment is the process that occurs after an order is placed from an online store. Picking is using a pick list to find the proper quantities of each product from its respective location in the warehouse. Packing is the placing of the items into the appropriate box, along with packing materials and documentation before the package is labeled and shipped to the eventual destination.
To reduce the cost of e-commerce fulfillment, the pick and pack processes need to be as streamlined as possible. For picking, this means reducing the labor required to choose the right products for an order. Fulfillment centers that do pick and pack have a few different ways to do this:
orders will be done in batches all at once instead of one at a time.
is when an employee handpicks each product for an entire order, as they come in.
Many fulfillment centers will have a warehouse management system (WMS) that can detail which box will be the most appropriate choice for the order at hand. A good warehouse combined with a great WMS can turn around pick and pack orders quickly and with a high accuracy rate.
When you become a Taylor partner, you gain access to all of Taylor’s logistics management services and supply chain experts. Taylor’s core business model is designed to save your company time and money so you can focus on your core business.
A safe warehouse is one where safety is ingrained in the company culture, where everyone feels empowered to recommend safety improvements, and where frequent audits take place. The following warehouse safety tips can help you evaluate various areas in your warehouse operation to make employees safer while working on and around your warehouse equipment.
Here’s a Checklist One Might Add to a Routine Warehouse Safety Audit:
Ensure outlets function.
Install and maintain high-visibility lights.
Avoid slip and fall hazards by cleaning spills immediately.
Clear aisles to remove tripping hazards.
Make sure all work areas are kept clear of clutter.
Are staff Wearing the Right Gear?
Protective and high-visibility workwear should be worn by staff when working in the warehouse. For specific tasks, additional safety gear may be required, such as protective eyewear, gloves, earplugs, and hard hats.
Clearly mark all exits.
Remove all fire hazards.
Make sure extinguishers are easily accessible and up to code.
Make sure exits are free of obstructions.
Adequate Safety Signage?
Signage acts as a constant reminder for staff to wear the appropriate safety gear and to abide by the warehouse safety procedures. Signage can also highlight any potential dangers throughout your facility, helping to avoid serious injuries or incidences in the warehouse.
Hazardous Material Safety
Clearly label all chemicals.
Make sure eyewash stations are in working order.
Make sure the MSDS for all chemicals are readily available to all employees.
A stable logistics safety program goes way beyond a set of policies and procedures. It’s essential is to develop a pervasive, operations-wide culture that understands that safety is simply smart business and that it applies to absolutely everyone.
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.
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 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.
Every week it seems as though there’s a new brewery popping up somewhere in town. However, many craft brewers do not have an adequate keg inventory to expand to multi-state distribution and to meet the new market demand. As a result, they may need to purchase more kegs, bottles, growlers, and cans in order to have sufficient on-hand inventory. Let us free up your time so you can focus on what’s essential, brewing fantastic beer.
Finding the right logistics partner requires careful research. Our team suggests that brewers evaluate potential 3PL’s by looking at a few key areas:
Food-Grade Facilities: Let’s start with the basics. You’ll want a provider with facilities that are food-grade SQF certified and have an A.I.B. “superior” sanitation rating.
One-Stop Shop: Chances are, you need more than warehousing for your beer. Fulfillment, transportation, packaging, etc. If your 3PL can deliver single-source solutions, they’ll help streamline your supply chain, control costs, and improve service to your customers.
Transportation Management: Can your 3PL provide real-time visibility and reporting? While giving you cost-effective options for delivering products when and where needed?
Getting your beer to the consumer.
Third party logistics companies, when you work with them for alcohol shipments, will need to be aware of different regulations. For instance, trucks transporting alcohol cannot veer off their course by more than seven miles from a federal highway during the shipment. If the driver does—say, by eating lunch on a break off the highway—the DOT may have the authority to impound that shipment. Alcohol is regulated by the individual states and not the federal government, so what would be considered following the law in Ohio doesn’t necessarily fly in Nebraska, Kentucky, Virginia, etc. That’s where it gets tricky. So it’s helpful to find a logistics company that knows the ins and outs of liquor shipping so that you can feel confident about their work.
Less-than-truckload shipments of alcohol are frequent, meaning if you have one pallet or 12, you can get your beer moving to its destination on a truck with other shipments. Taylor knows you just want people to enjoy your tasty beer, so we take care of the tricky parts for you. We have thousands of carriers in our network throughout the nation that meet the specific requirements set up by the states your beer needs to travel through for consistent alcohol shipments. Our team will set everything up, all you have to do is let us know about your shipment, and we’ll let you know when it arrives!
2020 marks the 170th year in business for Taylor, and for the past couple of decades, our focus has been all things food and beverage from warehousing to transportation our team knows a thing or two about food grade best practices.
Taylor’s fleet is supported by specialized carrier partners to provide nationwide freight transportation
Omnichannel distribution is a multichannel approach taken by companies to give customers a way to purchase and receive orders from several sales channels with one-touch seamless integration. Omnichannel solutions provide seamless integration across all channels to provide a superior customer service experience. For example, giving consumers the flexibility to ship items from e-commerce sites to their homes or stores, which then creates supply chains that have strategic value, improving sales, and encouraging repeat purchases among consumers. Below are three beneficial omnichannel marketplace strategies in distribution and fulfillment.
In the omnichannel sphere, shipments from store locations are sometimes required to protect the quality of the customer experience. But every item that is shipped from a retail location depletes that store’s inventory and places additional strain on brick-and-mortar operations.
Omnichannel success begins by creating a unique view of stock across all stores and distribution centers. To satisfy customer needs, retailers must quickly deliver merchandise to customers—regardless of where those customers make their purchases.
Omnichannel return experiences require retailers to support returns at any location. So, regardless of where the order originated, you need a logistics strategy that allows your customers to return the merchandise at retail locations as well as distribution centers.
CINCINNATI, OHIO -Taylor Logistics Inc. has awarded Pinnacle Data Technologies Inc., Norcross, Georgia, their 2019 Warehouse Partner of the Year award. Taylor established the “Vendor Partner of the Year” program to honor companies that demonstrate a dedication to providing exceptional service and willingness to accommodate Taylor’s continued growth.
With the help of Pinnacle data’s president, Scott Phillips, Taylor was able to accomplish several warehousing projects throughout 2019. Including a total change in Taylor’s system by converting their WMS to eaches and then back to cases when needed, testing custom quality control code, along with inventory and outbound import/export EDI customization and bringing on new maps with new warehousing customers. Scott and Pinnacle are very quick to implement & react to any changes.
About Pinnacle Data Technologies Inc.
Pinnacle Data Technologies is well known for its expertise in consulting and programming services for the database, warehousing, e-commerce, transportation, retail, and distribution markets. In addition, Pinnacle provides database and EDI services, including strategic program evaluation, program planning, and implementation strategy preparation, ongoing progress checks, and benefit analysis and tracking. For more information on Pinnacle Data, please visit the Pinnacle Data Website or contact Scott Phillips, President at email@example.com, or by phone at 678.792.7792.
About Taylor Logistics Inc.
Taylor Logistics Inc. is the Nation’s Most Progressive Family Owned logistics company. From their founding in 1850 to today, Taylor is currently in sixth and seventh-generation ownership. Their primary service portfolio consists of warehousing, both contract and public, freight brokerage, intermodal/drayage, and technology services. Taylor has stood to exceed customer expectations by diligently working harder, smarter, and longer than any logistics company while ethically serving their employees, their carrier base, the environment, and the motoring public. They pride themselves on a value system comprised of ethics, safety, teamwork, quality, and relationships. Everything Taylor does is designed to deliver the best in class performance. For more information about Taylor Logistics Inc., their facilities, and logistics services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 513.771.150.
Kitting is a standard value-added service offered by most third-party logistics companies. However, kitting is most commonly used in the e-commerce space; therefore, those outside the industry most likely are unfamiliar with kitting. Our team created this guide to help you better understand fulfillment kitting services, best practices, and how it applies to your supply chain.
What is kitting?
Defined, kitting is a service that combines various single items into one unit for sale, such as a subscription box containing multiple items. It is a beneficial eCommerce merchandising tool because it enables e-retailers to do more with the items in their inventory. Elaborate kits can include up to 20 different products, with the capabilities of a great warehouse management system it can accurately manage your inventory, as products morph from units to kits. Here are some different types of products that are typically kitted and assembled:
Subscription Box Programs
Benefits of Kitting?
Kitting services provide companies with many benefits such as a reduced number of purchase orders, decreased management costs, better utilization of space, and more rapid response to customer orders. The following items are additional benefits to kitting fulfillment services:
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.
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.
We would like to Congratulate the September 2019 monthly winners from our team in Bellevue, NE. These awards are based off of productivity and QA points. To learn more about our warehousing awards click here.
Traditional forms of warehousing are not able to keep up with the ever-shifting retail landscape. Today’s consumers can review, compare, and purchase items faster than ever. New retail trends have led many consumers to expect low-priced — yet astonishingly fast — processing, shipping, and handling. To achieve this new level of speed for customers, warehouses today look much different than they have in previous years. For instance, the size of the warehouses has increased significantly over the years. E-commerce has required businesses to not only stock a more extensive selection of items but also have additional space available for the technology and equipment facilitating the various high-speed processes taking place. Warehouses today also require much taller interiors to allow for vertical integration of storage, conveyor systems, and so on.
A New Way of Picking Orders
Warehouses used to be able to ship vast quantities of items to other businesses for sale. However, the model has shifted drastically as the new point-of-sale is in consumers’ palms — in the form of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices — rather than brick-and-mortar locations. For warehouse management, this means trends in purchasing are more challenging to predict, and now warehouses must stock more items. Furthermore, those employees and robots working in the warehouse must be able to efficiently pick and package individual items rather than load the entire pallet.
Manage All Order Types Under One Roof
There is no longer this notion of splitting up different order channels amongst various distribution centers (DC). In the past orders from different retailers came from one DC, all while online orders came from another center. There was even separation from small parcel shippers that operated using less-than-truckload to those who were shipping out entire palettes. Now with the use of a sophisticated warehouse management system, all the different functions of an e-commerce operation can be handled under one roof. Thus improving customer’s efficiency as well as overall cost.
At Taylor, it is our mission to exceed customer expectations by diligently working harder, smarter and longer than any logistics company while ethically serving our employees, our carrier base, the environment, and the motoring public. As a service provider, our most crucial goal is to provide the highest level of service for our customers and our customer’s customers. With thousands of other logistics company in a very competitive industry, customer service is the nucleus for how we conduct our business.
The foundation for excellent customer service is relationships. One of the most valuable relationships as a third party logistics company is the relationship we build with our carrier base. Without a go-to contact base comprised of best in class carriers, it would be impossible to meet delivery schedules, keep up with customers volume, and stick to rate benchmarks. We also leverage our transportation management system (TMS) to optimize carrier loads and reduce costs across truckload and less than truckload.
Carrier relationships are not only important on the brokerage side, but it is also crucial at our distribution centers. Our warehouse managers use data to improve loading dock visibility, coordinate live and staged trailers, and manage docking time to enhance the efficiency of our carriers and shippers.
Another essential aspect of developing a successful carrier relationship is communication and feedback. Open discussion based on facts builds trust, integrity, and respect. Understanding and respecting the value that each party brings to the relationship makes the relationship grow even stronger. In a great partnership, carriers will have the opportunity to run their business more smoothly, and shippers will have the power of data to achieve higher levels of efficiency in their operations all while reducing costs.
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.
When storing another companies’ products in your warehouse it is crucial that your operations team has a system for sanitation and workplace organization. At Taylor we utilize the practice of 5S which stems from concept of lean management.
Here are the steps of 5S:
Set in Order
This requires all equipment and tools have appropriate areas
within the warehouse. It’s important to sift through materials, keeping only
the necessary items needed to daily complete tasks.
5S: Set in Order
It’s important to make sure all items have a designated
location. Organize all workplace items in a logical way so they make tasks easier
for employees. It’s also important to make sure each item has a specific spot to
ensure that the team doesn’t put an item in the wrong place it also allows for managers
to tell if something is missing.
After items are sorted and set in order it is time to
clean. A clean and orderly warehouse ensures
purpose-driven work place all team members. Look for potential safety hazards
and hard to read labeling. Storage bins can be used for smaller items to prevent
Create a set of standards for processes and organization. For
every item create rules for how and when they will be used. These standards can
involve schedules, charts, lists, etc.
This step focuses on taking all of the previous steps of
5S and transforming them into ongoing habits to ensure continuous improvement. Sustaining
a lean warehouse involves constant evaluation and discipline. The goal, after
all, is to be as efficient as possible.
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.
Since transitioning to our new warehouse on International Boulevard in Cincinnati, Ohio our operation managers have decided to implement new principals into our daily practice. At our old facility all employees, visitors, and contractors were required to wear the standard yellow safety vest. Having everyone in the same colored vest made it hard for managers and employees to distinguish team Taylor from contractors on the warehouse floor. Grant Taylor General Manager of Contract Warehousing had an amazing idea to order different colored vests and create categories for the various different colors. Taylor employees in yellow, contractors and visitors in orange, and all management in a tri-colored vests. This way everyone can spot who is who on the warehouse floor.
Since the implementation of the different vest categories we have had great response from warehouse operators and our warehouse management. Clay Revis Taylor’s World Park Warehouse Manager states “ It’s more of a safety thing than anything, there are several projects happening on the warehouse floor. It’s nice to look out and see where the contractors are” . At Taylor we are always looking for ways to improve our processes and by doing so we follow a procedure called 5s. 5s is an organization technique to create and maintain an intuitive workspace. Given the name 5s there are five essential categories sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. The implementation of the safety vests falls under the 4th S which is “standardize” set standards for a consistently organized workplace. As we continue to refine practices we will be using the 5s model to help guide us to a safer and more profitable warehouse.
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.