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Information on the products and techniques to better store, handle, and move products in your facility.

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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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 Transportation Management Solution Considerations to Include in Your Logistics Strategy

February 3, 2015

Transportation management

Transportation management solutions are no longer just for moving freight at the lowest possible cost. Companies are using effective transportation management as a competitive advantage tool in the ever-challenging economic and commercial landscape. Additionally, shippers are now seeing both internal and outsourced transportation management solutions less as a commodity and more as a collaborative relationship between themselves and carriers as well as third party logistics services providers (3PLs).

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Lean Logistics Summit Kicks Off in June

June 2, 2010

The Lean Logistics Summit kicks of on June 22 in Cincinnati. The Summit will gather the world’s leading authorities on the subject of lean logistics. Authors, researchers, and company representatives actually on their own lean logistics journey will share their insights. Learn from them and learn from your peers as you network with like-minded professionals. Sessions of interest to warehousing and distribution professionals might include “A Case Study in Lean Distribution,” by Sarah Giffin, Sr. Operations Improvement Manager of CEVA Logistics on 6/22. Also, check out “Implementing Lean Inside the Logistics Facility” later that day. The summit costs $995, but use the code “leannation” for a 25% discount.

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WERC Houston Warehousing Seminar Rescheduled

October 8, 2008

Due to Hurricane Ike, the previous dates for the WERC (Warehouse Education Resource Council) were cancelled. The Council has rescheduled.  The new dates for this intensive 3-day seminar are November 10-12, 2008. WERC typically packs useful, solid information into their seminars, so if you’re in South Texas or feel like traveling there, this one may be worth your time. According to WERC, attendees will learn:

  • How to identify the precise problems that are the most troublesome in your warehouse
  • Which operations require your attention and how to prioritize work demands
  • Why leadership and communication skills are important to managing people, boosting morale, and solving labor/management conflicts
  • How to lay out your warehouse for good space utilization, material handling compatibility, and optimum flow efficiency
  • Which equipment and technology enablers best suit your operations for storage and handling as well as order picking and order selection.

See WERC.org for complete information. Those who registered previously do not need to re-register.

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Upcoming warehousing & logistics seminars

July 29, 2008

Just a quick look at the continuing education opportunities that are available to you over the next few months. None of them are endorsed here, but we are passing along links for anyone who might find the topics of interest. It can be a very mixed bag, but there are times that just one point you carry out of an educational seminar can more than pay for the whole thing…

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Along with the cost of a gallon of gas, your transportation costs are rising (but fuel isn’t the only reason)

November 14, 2007

It’s more immediate of course, when the cost at the pump jumps, but rising fuel costs are a reality in your shipping operations whether you are pushing product to customers or bringing it into your facility. We’ve all seen the fuel surcharges and continually-rising freight rates.

According to Operations & Fulfillment, labor developments may have just as much impact over the next few years. Over the next 5 years, the latest UPS contract amounts to a $9 per hour labor cost increase, which will certainly make its way downstream to shipping charges. Developments in other companies such as FedEx and labor negotiations across the shipping and freight world mean that even if fuel prices stabilize, it’ll cost you more to ship and receive products.

Curt Barry’s article at Operations & Fulfillment recommends some of the steps you can take:

  1. Look at transportation in the context of the total supply chain efficiency. (see Curt’s article for tips).
  2. Institute vendor compliance policies, include routing guides for inbound carriers. Do not permit vendor-controlled freight.
  3. For high returns businesses, use return services.
  4. Join an inbound freight consortium with contracted carriers and negotiated best rates.
  5. Do your homework. You have to understand your volume and shipping characteristics, etc.
  6. Consider a freight consultant, which can reduce costs 15% to 25%.

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Is supply chain sustainability more than a marketing ploy?

November 12, 2007

“Being a good steward of the environment and in our communities, and being an efficient and profitable business, are not mutually exclusive. In fact they are one in the same.”
— Lee Scott, CEO Wal-Mart, Twenty First Century Leadership, October 24, 2005

Whatever you believe about the issues surrounding climate change, sustainability, and all things “green”, there are certainly people paying attention, and if your business serves consumers, they may be paying attention to the way you conduct business, from the way you make things, handle them in your operations, ship, and handle them.

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