As per yesterday’s post, earlier this year, Inbound Logistics ran an article on 163 Ways to Supercharge Your Supply Chain that had good advice to improve your global logistics, customs, documentation, expedited shipping, warehousing, optimization, equipment, trucking, 3PLs, maritime, security, risk management, and general supply chain operations. Besides all of the obvious ways to improve your supply chain and cut your costs, and the more advanced ways that are covered regularly on SI, there are a few often overlooked nuggets of cost savings that should be singled out because they cost many companies money and go undetected. Today we will cover the remaining eight (8).
Determine What Each 3PL Does Best
Most 3PLs excel in a niche such as global logistics, transportation, or warehousing because most of them started off focusing on one function and added others as they grew. Understand their strengths, and weaknesses, before selecting a 3PL.
Establish external and internal product traceability.
It’s not just inbound and outbound shipments, but internal transfers between different warehouse locations, etc. that need to be tracked. Knowing you have 10 units of a product is only useful if you know where the units are.
Manage your empty container flow.
Moving empty containers is equivalent to burning money. It’s a complete waste.
Know Your Overflow Potential Before You Need It!
Don’t be scrambling for overflow space and trailers, etc. when you need it — have a plan in advance.
Bypass Distribution Centers
If you can consolidate a large shipment that can go directly to a store, or a local DC that serves multiple stores, do so — temporary storage costs money and so does unnecessary unloading and reloading of inventory.
Know Your Port’s Infrastructure Limits
Especially if the port is near capacity. If the port isn’t investing in infrastructure to expand capacity, or can no longer expand its infrastructure, then it should be expected that the port will hit capacity and that could be a problem for your organization in the future if you plan to do more global trade.
Protect Against Malicious Behaviour By Former Employee … Credentials
It’s not just the former employee that can cause you problems, it’s their credentials! Just because an employee left on good terms does not mean that their login and access credentials won’t cause problems. A current employee trying to arrange an inside job will happily use the ill-gotten password of that esteemed former employee for their illegal gain.
When Selecting Geographically Distributed Vendors, Consider the Ports!
Multiple suppliers who ship through the same primary port can all be taken offline as a result of a typhoon that destroys the port.
For another 148 ways to optimize your supply chain, see the Inbound Logistics article on 163 Ways to Supercharge Your Supply Chain.