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3PL Reverse Logistics: Going Reverse to Move Ahead

July 20, 2017

Make Reverse Logistics a priority

E-commerce customers are increasingly comfortable with a buying experience that includes easy, free and frequent returns. Returns—and the issues involved with them—are nothing new for retail and e-commerce distribution, but the “new normal” of frequent returns offers 3PLs that can leverage their reverse logistics capacity a significant competitive advantage over competitors who can’t adapt to the new reality.

While some companies consider reverse logistics a necessary evil, those with well-managed returns programs can increase overall efficiency and profitability  while satisfying customers and increasing loyalty. They find ways to resell more returned products, and are able to dispose of or restock what they can’t resell more efficiently and with less environmental impact.

What are some ways to increase your returns capacity?

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Streamline and Simplify Your Distribution Center

July 18, 2017

view inside a distribution center
You’ve heard this pitch before: If you just implement this software, or that machinery, or hire my consultant, or buy into this other program, you’ll realize amazing gains. You’ll be more productive; more accurate; you’ll work less hours. Things will be great.

You may really need to expand your facility, or install expensive new WMS software or add high levels of automation, but it’s always worth checking on process or facility layout changes before you take the plunge. What are some areas you should consider?

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How your 3PL Can Meet Customer Demands

May 12, 2017

conveyor order picking line

It’s a good time to be in the third party logistics business. 3PLs are in demand with no end in sight as the warehousing industry copes with higher volumes, increasing e-commerce demands and challenging customer expectations.

This gives 3PL operators with a unique opportunity to build lasting relationships with key customers, suppliers, and retailers of their choice. However, this can also lead to an increased demand for quality service from warehouses and fulfillment centers. In order for 3PLs to succeed in this new environment, they must be ready to face increasing levels of customer and prospect expectations.

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10 Tips: Pick-to-Light Systems for Order Fulfillment

March 16, 2017

pick to light for order fulfillment

Light-directed picking is the heavyweight champion when it comes to productivity gains, order picking speed, increased accuracy, and ease of operator development.

Because it’s 100% hands free and requires no headpiece, it’s also highly flexible for many challenging fulfillment operations. We’ve compiled ten ways to analyze your operation to determine if these systems would be a fit for you. Obviously, more specific information will be needed, but this should get you started.

We spoke with Lightning Pick’s Dave Broadfoot about the best ways to ensure you are making a good pick to light decision.

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Customer Retention and Your 3PL

March 14, 2017

picking warehouse 3PL

The biggest measure of success for a 3PL company – really, for any business – is the ability to retain existing customers while attracting new clients.  We all know it’s harder to attract new customers than it is to keep existing clients from being enticed to try another 3PL competitor, so it’s smart to strive for ways to provide more value. By targeting increased attention to providing on-time information, improving customer service, and utilizing user-friendly technology, your 3PL can help prevent existing customers from moving towards the competition.
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Laying the Groundwork for Using a 3PL Service

February 14, 2017

warehouse order picking area

Companies are utilizing 3PL services for their warehousing and shipping needs more often than ever. Many of the companies who choose to shift their operations to third parties are e-commerce entities that specialize in producing and selling a product and don’t want to run a storage and shipping facility. Others are traditional distributors, retailers, and others who believe that they should focus on core competencies.

If your company is considering a 3PL for its warehousing, shipping and logistics needs, what information do you need to have ready?

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Lean 3PL Warehousing—Create a Perfect Flow

January 31, 2017

Lean 3PL warehouse
Creating a lean warehouse or DC is not something a 3PL can accomplish overnight, but it’s something that can improve your efficiency, flexibility and ability to take on new business without expanding into new facilities or massively revamping existing ones.

It takes vision, planning, strategy, tools, foresight, patience and intelligent tactics. When your warehouse is lean, it will be easier to hold, inventory, and pull the most important goods. This helps you eliminate errors, increase throughput, and satisfy customers more comprehensively.

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The Best 2017 Events for Warehousing, Manufacturing & Safety Professionals

January 26, 2017

trade show floor

It’s important for professionals to retain an edge by continuing our education, exposure to new ideas, new products, and technologies. Events and Tradeshows provide great avenues to stay sharp on the latest concepts. Below is a list of upcoming events you should consider as you kick 2017 off to a productive start.

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For 3PLs, Flexibility is a Critical Business Goal

January 18, 2017

Automated distribution warehouse

3PL companies operate in an environment that demands rapid changes and requires continual evolution.

Client requirements can change in a week (or less). New business opportunities can spring up that were unanticipated a month before. From my days working for a 3PL, I know that the ability to swiftly change in order to satisfy both your customer’s increasing demands and those of an industry that never rests were a top priority. The problem? That’s easy to understand, but hard to do.

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10 Ways to Set up Warehouse Workers for Success

November 29, 2016

warehouse worker picking from a storage rack

Companies spend lots of time trying to understand the best ways to increase efficiency in their operations. How do I increase pick rates? Why do we spend more time on things that add no value than we should? Why do we make so many mistakes, and how do I stop it? Why is there so much waste in the system? How can this be better organized?

These are all good questions, and the answer to solving these problems usually lies in developing people to work their best.

In this day and age of increasing industrial productivity, tough global competition, and tight labor, integrating personnel development with best practices facility design, automation, processes and management is key to reducing labor costs, increasing margins, and becoming a more profitable operation. People thrive in good environments where they are set up to succeed. What can you do to build the right situation for your people?

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Posted in Manufacturing, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| 1 Comment »