There’s a reason why ‘logistics’ has become a colloquial term for a lot of complicated details. There’s a reason everyone says they hate them as well. When it comes to supply chain planning, you always have to expect the unexpected and plan for every contingency. A lot of things crop up that can impact your timelines if you’re not prepared. But because complications are so prevalent in our industry, there are a lot of strategies to help you out when it’s crunch time. Here’s how:
Has your manufacturing experienced unexpected delays? Or maybe you’re seeing a huge surge in demand. These situations and more can be alleviated by cross-docking services. Instead of having your stock come into a warehouse, offload it, palletize it, and store it for future picking and packing, cross-docking services allow your product to be offloaded from one truck to another immediately to get product into the hands of your customers more quickly and with fewer warehousing costs. If you use the right cross-docking facility for your route, you can even reduce travel distance and fuel costs when you bypass the warehouse altogether.
Supply Chain Partnerships
Many of the tips for supply chain expedition in this blog are time savers on a point-by-point basis when your timelines are in crisis, but building supply chain partnerships is part of a comprehensive supply chain strategy that can be grown in advance and then put into action quickly when the need arises. Reach out to logistics businesses in the same cities as your warehouses and distribution hubs to build a relationship before you need their help. Even better, map out major metros and weighing stations along regular routes and identify partnerships that can lend a hand in the case of equipment malfunction, quick rebalancing needs, and more. Having a supply chain contingency plan with a network of support creates a turnkey operation when the unexpected arises and can save a lot of valuable time.
A lumping service gives drivers additional help to load or unload their truck. More hands make for quick work, but some drivers don’t care for lumping service, stating that they can more easily unload a truck themselves than try to explain it to a helper. That’s why our lumping teams have three workers at a time that lump freight together frequently and can get the job done quickly with streamlined communication.
But lumpers do more than unload a truck. They also provide an opportunity for truck drivers to rest, which can keep them safe by helping them feel more attentive on the road. It also gives them more time for them to drive, which can improve turnarounds when time is tight.
Rework services are a life saver when products or merchandising don’t quite go to plan. If after your product ships it comes to light that, for example, there is a piece missing or the wrong user manual has ended up in the box, rework service providers have a team on hand that can quickly rectify the situation without the need to ship your entire stock back to the warehouse. Reworkers can create new kits and configurations, customize orders, provide light sub-assembly or repackage your products for better brand recognition as well. Not only does this reduce the costs and time of shipping, it allows your team to keep the rest of your operations on schedule by not tying up their time with these kinds of projects.
Something is bound to get in the way of your smooth supply chain plan eventually. We’re here to help you prepare for when it does. Reach out to our team to learn more about how you can expedite your supply chain today.