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.
On February 2, 2020, millions of people at home will tune in to Super Bowl LIV. Thousands more will travel to Miami, Flordia, to see the San Fransico 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs face-off (plus, enjoy the halftime performances of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira). So, how does one of the most notable sporting events in the world meet the demands of fans, players, attendees, and others?
Think about all of the various supply chains that move within the Super Bowl. From footballs, uniforms, and helmets for players to microphones and cameras for the media. There are t-shirts, and hats for fans, plus beer, nachos, and soda for attendees. The field requires materials for maintenance, paint, and signs. These are just a few examples of the many things affected by logistics at the Super Bowl.
The introduction of ELDs, lack of drivers, and rising rates have created a mixture of anxiety throughout the shipping industry- especially when it comes to timely events. Fortunately, shippers can prepare some products for the big game in advance. For instance, beverages have a longer shelf life so that they can be moved to retailers days, sometimes weeks, in advance. However, some products are time-sensitive. Staple Super Bowl snacks like chicken wings can’t move truckloads too far in advance, making visibility and real-time notifications critical. Without these things, a load might be lost and will create a loss of revenue and market share – a massive deal on Super Bowl Sunday.
The new year is upon us, and with the end of 2019, we reach the end of the decade. Over the years, logistics has gone through a massive transformation due to changes in customer demands and new technological innovations. Companies need to deliver their products quicker than ever before, at a low cost, in a sustainable way. Below are the 2020 supply chain management trends that will further these shifts.
Supply Chain Digitization
The implementation of new digital technology in logistics will continue to be priority. Smart, efficient supply chain systems that eliminate silos create transparency and enhance responsiveness. This ecosystem will depend on several critical digital technologies—including logistics platforms, analytics, robots, and even 3D printing. The ultimate goal for companies exploring supply chain digitization? Real-time, end-to-end visibility that provides a competitive advantage, streamlines processes and exceeds customers’ expectations.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) is coming of age, as prices decrease, research shows the number of businesses using IoT devices increased from 13% in 2014 to 25% in 2019. The IDC forecasts 13.6% annual growth through to 2022. IoT enables organizations to control inventory, automate stock reordering, and keep track of deliveries, all in real-time. Sensors can foresee wear and tear on equipment, supporting timely ordering of spare parts. Untimalety IoT will increase supply chain transparency.
Building a Greener Supply Chain
The drive towards environmental sustainability is putting increased pressure on logistics managers. Green supply chain management practices can be included in every link of the supply chain from product material sourcing, product design, and manufacturing processes after the product’s useful life. Some sustainability practices are simple – like energy-efficient lighting in the warehouse and planning delivery routes to minimize mileage & fuel consumption. But developing a truly green supply chain requires complete methodological shifts to most companies’ current supply chain practices.
The Normalization of Omnichannel Supply Chains
In response to customer demand, businesses will make significant strides towards offering an omnichannel buying experience for customers. An integrated view of all customer channels and inventory, along with dynamic delivery and fulfillment options and seamless customer service interactions. The switch from single- and multi-channel supply to omnichannel supply requires a complete rethink of supply chain logistics.
Improving Customer Experience
Instead of thinking like operations, putting on the marketer and customer success hats and prioritize the delivery experience the customer receives – branding, UX, speed of delivery, transparency, visibility. Logistics leaders should then focus on reducing these pain points in their teams by investing in technologies that simplify staff workloads and reducing complexity that makes the customer journey as effortless as possible.
In conclusion, the 2020 supply chain management trends focus on technology bringing new possibilities to supply chain management and bringing discrete areas of the supply chain closer together. Which of the new trends will you be adopting in the new year?
As the drive towards sustainability in logistics continues, those involved in manufacturing and shipping, particularly shippers, must understand why this trend is taking place, its potential costs, obstacles, and benefits, and what it means for the future of production and logistics.
Use Recycled Products
Depending on your package volume per month, you could be unintentionally contributing to the global crisis. So, how can your business help to break this vicious cycle? If you are using boxes – target environmentally friendly suppliers. There are a variety of certifications for the eco-friendly packaging. It will usually indicate the recycled content and ensure that no chemicals, which might be harmful to the environment, have been used.
Consider Alternative Transportation Modes
Intermodal drayage is what dramatically reduces carbon emissions because of the lower dependence on fuel. In fact, by utilizing rail transport to move one ton of freight a mile, you drop emissions by a whopping 83%. Not every load is suitable for rail, but for certain loads, it will be beneficial not only from the eco-friendly shipper perspective.
“If just 10 percent of the freight that moves by truck moved by rail instead, fuel savings would exceed 800 million gallons per year, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 9 million tons — equivalent to taking around 1.8 million cars off the road or planting 215 million trees.” – Association of American Railroads
Use Space Efficiently
Efficiency is key. Make sure to pack the product as efficiently as possible. This will save the materials and clear up more room on the truck or any other mode of transportation, allowing you to ship more products at once. If possible, combining as much product as possible into one load is worth considering from both eco-friendly and cost-efficient perspectives.
While these are just a few tips regarding taking your logistics green, there are plenty of other options for you to consider when partnering with a 3PL provider. By utilizing the latest technology and most efficient logistics practices, 3pl providers can devise the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly logistics solution for your business.
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