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eCommerce Fulfillment, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Supply Chain Technology

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.


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Data, Freight, Key Performing Indicators, Operations, Technology, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Inc. Data Center for your Supply Chain

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. 

Transportation


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.  

Warehousing


Inventory Accuracy: Every warehouse manager knows the inventory in their warehouse costs them. Quantifying these specific carrying costs — including capital costs, inventory risk, inventory service costs, and obsolescence — help a warehouse manager make smarter buying and forecasting decisions, leading to higher inventory turnover.

On-Time Shipping: This KPI shows the percentage of shipments that left the warehouse on-time. A lot of products have tight deliveries with small windows. If a shipment is missed, your client can be hit with delays and even late fees.

Order Picking Accuracy: An incorrect order can result in an increasing shipping time per average order, inventory being put back on shelves, rate of return, etc. Lean fulfillment and warehousing practices reduce waste and streamline picking processes – and help maintain a high order accuracy rate.

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Data, EDI, Operations, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Warehousing
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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.

Taylor  Logistics Customer Services Cincinnati Ohio

Customer Input 


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 Last Mile with Taylor Logistics Inc.

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. 

Taylor Logistics Inc. Order Fulfillment Practices

Fulfillment Practices 


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.

Taylor Logistics Inc. Increased Road efficiency

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. 

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COVID-19, Essential Workers
Taylor Logistics Inc. Coronavirus Response American Logistics Aid Network

Important information regarding the Coronavirus from the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN)

American Logistics Aid Network is closely monitoring information regarding the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and its impact on supply chains. We are currently working with our government and nonprofit partners to assess any potential impacts and response actions, and we will keep you informed via this page and our social media channels. You will find below several links which may assist your business with your preparedness activities. We invite your questions and comments via our contact us page.

Information about the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html


How to keep yourself and your employees healthy: OSHA https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/novel_coronavirus/;  CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html


Visual of where cases have been identified:https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6(note that the numbers may be underreported based on a shortage of testing kits)


WEF report on outbreaks and business impacts:http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF%20HGHI_Outbreak_Readiness_Business_Impact.pdf


Helpful resources related to the virus from the  California Resiliency Alliance: https://caresiliency.org/quick-links/2019-novel-coronavirus/

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Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Technology, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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.

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Customer Experience, Processes, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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.

Logistics Customer Experience CX

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.

Taylor-Logistics-Technology-Fulfillment

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. 

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Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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. 

Taylor Logistics Cincinnati, Ohio Digital Supply Chain. Warehouse automation

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?

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Operations, Processes, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Third Party Logistics
Taylor Logistics Inc. Blog

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.

System Integrity 


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.

Training 


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 


28% Tradition 


22% It’s when they like to start their holiday shopping 


21% It’s something to do over the holiday 

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Operations, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Taylor Information, Third Party Logistics

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.

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Internet of Things, Supply Chain, Supply Chain Management, Technology, Truck Driving

2020 is in just a few short months. It’s the year that Gartner predicted that more than 50% of major business processes will incorporate some form of the Internet of Things (IoT). Logistics companies are upon some of these major businesses. Though often disregarded, the application of IoT in supply chain management is already making extraordinary advances and improvements in the logistics landscape. From sensors providing visibility of products in transit to cloud platforms that optimize fleet management and load dispatching. Implementing IoT technology not only ensures efficient operations, but it also gives an edge on competitors and builds your brand. Below are a few of the many functions IoT provides for various logistics companies.


1. Tracking Capabilites

An essential IoT function in the supply chain is tracking and visibility. A Forrester study concluded that 77% of surveyed organizations consider locating objects, containers, and drivers as the top primary functions of supply chain IoT. With RFID and GPS sensors, operators can trace a product, truck, or container in real-time. These technologies also monitor vital details like time spent in transit and temperature control. This data allows operations managers to improve and get a firmer grip on quality control and on-time deliveries. 


2. Fleet Management

To efficiently manage fleet operations, there are now GPS and other tracking technology capabilities that gather data in real-time. These IoT functions are essential for a fleet operations team, so they know the location of the trucks, weather conditions, traffic situations, driving patterns, and average speed. This real-time data helps logistics operators make more efficient routes, manage headcounts, save on fuel cost, and ultimately optimize their fleet.


3. The Ability to Predict Maintenance

Supply chain management is typically an asset-intensive business process. From warehouse equipment to delivery vehicles, these assets need to be continuously monitored to ensure that they are still that processes are running as efficiently as possible. Through the capabilities of smart sensors, operators can determine if a particular asset needs to be serviced. Thus resulting in reduced asset downtime and asset failure, which overall saves money. 


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