Posted on 02/12/13, filed under 3PL | No Comments
Today’s ever-changing business and economic environment can make you question what is better – managing your logistics yourself or outsourcing them to a professional company?
Handling logistics yourself may seem like an attractive proposition, with many seeing it as a way to save money (by not outsourcing), however it can end up costing you more if problems occur that then decrease productivity. In-house logistics is also often hampered by a lack of resources and competence.
Outsourcing logistics may at first seem like the costly option, however the benefits to businesses of third party supply chain logistics are becoming more and more apparent. Once viewed as simply a service provider, 3PL providers are increasingly becoming long-term strategic partners to their clients.
Equally, 3PL firms do not offer a one-size-fits-all, take-it-or-leave solution to your logistics. The best in the business, like RT Page, will tailor their services to your business needs, and work in partnership with you to give you the best possible service, allowing you to remain in control. Perhaps there are some logistics you would rather keep in-house and others you would outsource and not have to worry about – order paperwork comes to mind!
3PL provides businesses with a reliable logistics advantage and maximises profitability through combined knowledge and resources. Outsourcing can even optimise your in-house logistics and as a result, management of entire production operations is made easier, ultimately bringing about savings in logistics costs.
Benefits of Outsourcing:
- Outsourced 3PL providers can fully manage your supply chain logistics, so you can focus on your business.
- Having a reliable service to manage your logistics and maintain your good reputation.
- Saves you time and money by having experienced professionals with special resources and facilities, which reduces and eliminates any supply chain failures.
Having a 3PL provider as a strategic partner can take your business to the next level and increase its productivity, efficiency and reliability.
Posted on 15/11/13, filed under 3PL, Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments
Annual Inventory – a physical count of all warehouse products conducted on a yearly basis.
Batch Picking – simultaneously selecting stock items to fill multiple orders. The orders are batched together to reduce the amount of journeys to the same locations within the warehouse.
Cross-dock – products that are not put away, or stored, in the warehouse. Instead stock is temporarily stored at the dock to be delivered or placed on another vehicle to be shipped.
Dispatching – carrier activities such as arranging for fuel, drivers, crews, equipment and terminal space.
EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) – exchanging information with the client via IT, including orders, invoices, shipping forms and other documents. EDI reduces costs, time delays and errors due to eliminating paper-based information.
Fulfilment – picking and processing orders for shipping from a distribution or warehouse.
Gross Weight – the total weight including the weight of the container and packaging (tare weight) and the weight of the goods (net weight).
Handling Costs – the costs of moving, transferring, preparing, and handling inventory.
In-house Damage – a product that is damaged whilst it’s stored in the warehouse (e.g. dropped product).
Just-in-Time (JIT) – an inventory control system that coordinates demand and supply so materials arrive just in time when they are needed in order to reduce storage and holding costs.
Kitting – assembling products or components into defined units in the warehouse.
Logistics – planning, implementing and controlling procedures to make processes efficient and effective, such as storage of goods, services and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption to fulfil customer requirements.
Manifest – a document which includes descriptions of individual orders contained within a shipment.
Net Weight – the weight of the product excluding packing materials.
Order Picking – gathering a customer’s order from the items in storage.
Putaway – the time it takes to put stock in its final location from the time it was unloaded.
Quality Control – ensuring that goods and services or purchases meet the product or service specifications.
Replenishment – moving or resupplying inventory from an upstream storage location to a downstream facility in which picking is performed.
Slotting – determining the optimal placement and location for products in the warehouse judging by its dimensions and how often it is picked.
Third Party Logistics (3PL) – when a company’s logistics operations are outsourced to a logistics management company.
Unplanned Order – orders that do not fit into the volumes determined by the plans developed from the forecasts.
Variable Cost – a cost that fluctuates with the volume or activity level of the business, i.e. how much the product is being used or produced.
Warehouse Management System (WMS) – a software programme that determines putaway, replenishment and picking in order to manage the movement and storage of product in the warehouse.
Zone Picking – dividing a picking list by areas (zones) within a warehouse to increase efficiency and rapid order picking.
Posted on 24/10/13, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments
It happens every year. Christmas seems moons away and then all of a sudden it’s upon us. If you’re an ecommerce business then getting prepared for the Christmas rush early is essential to success.
Ensure your marketing and supply chain is in order and business will run smoothly, but failing to make a head start on these Christmas preparation must-dos will leave you quivering in the wake of your competitors. Read on to find out more:
1. What, if any, promotional offers are you going to run?
If you were in business last year then this will be easy. Review what sold well on its own last Christmas and those items that could use a little extra push – those with a high profit margin for example. This will make deciding upon promotions easy.
2. Do you need to order in extra stock?
A check of your stock levels should be a top level priority when organising yourself for Christmas. During this busy period it’s always better to overstock, rather than run out of goods completely two weeks before the big day. Speak to your warehouse management companyas you may need to increase the number of pallets and storage space.
3. What changes need to be made to your delivery service?
The Christmas period will undoubtedly have an impact on any existing service level agreements which you have in place, from warehousing through to transport and delivery. Speak to every party to work out how much of an adjustment you need to make to your delivery promises to your customers. If you employ a warehouse management companythird party logistics (3PL) company this will be much easier, as it’s all managed under one roof.
4. What are the last order dates?
Make sure you know the last order dates before Christmas and inform your customers, both to cover your back in case orders don’t arrive in time and as a marketing tactic.
Need help with your warehousing and logistics chain this Christmas? Speak to the experts at RT Page to find out how we can help manage your Christmas rush. Call us now on 01903 736300.
Posted on 07/10/13, filed under 3PL, Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments
Warehousing, 3PL, logistics, freight – who knew commercial storage was so complex?
When it comes to storing your goods do you want warehousing services or a full third party logistics (3PL) solution? Our breakdown of the two services will help you identify which is best for your business.
Warehousing for businesses
Commercial warehouses provide space for businesses to store their goods. From food to toiletries, toys to electrical goods, warehouses can store stock for a variety of businesses.
But why do businesses choose to outsource their warehousing? Warehouse management companies, like RT Page, have huge storage spaces (we have a 70,000 sq ft warehouse at our Sussex-base) and all of the necessary tools and equipment at their disposal. For a small or medium business managing your own warehouse and buying warehouse equipment, such as cranes and forklift trucks, is a massive expense. Add to that the cost of the technology to run your warehouse and a team of trained warehouse staff and it’s easy to see why businesses outsource. Some businesses may seek out an outsourced warehouse as an additional storage space to their smaller onsite warehouse.
Third Party Logistics
Warehousing is just a small part of the logistics chain. The supply chain includes the entire goods journey, from storage to picking and packing, to transport through to its final destination – your customer.
Whilst some companies have the budget to keep this in-house, for the majority of businesses outsourcing their supply chain gives them the freedom to concentrate their resources on growing their businesses. This is where a third party logistics provider can step in. A 3PL company will cover the entire logistics process, taking the supply chain completely off of your hands.
Take a look at our What is 3PL? infographic here to learn more.
Which one is for me?
Want to find out about the warehousing services or third party logistics options available to you? Give the RT Page team a call now on 01903 736300.
Posted on 20/09/13, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips | No Comments
For online businesses it’s easier than ever before to find and attract new customers. We’re a technology-crazed nation, constantly connected to the digital world with the latest tablets and Smartphones keeping us informed whether we’re on the go or at home.
The web has made creating a business empire more realistic, but it’s a crowded market and standing out is a challenge. Are you making the most of the opportunities out there to find new customers?
We can pick, pack and ship your products, but what can you do to keep the customers flowing? Follow these tips to help find them and keep them coming back:
Engage new customers with promotions
Running a promotion is a sure-fire way to attract new business. Whether that’s a discount code offered exclusively via your social media sites or a discount for customers after their first order. Although these can sometimes result in an upfront loss, when handled in the right way they can prove to be invaluable for retaining customers.
Reward loyal customers
Encourage customers to continue purchasing from you with loyalty schemes or special promotions for your existing customer base.
Keep up regular communication
With regular email marketing campaigns and social media channels you can keep customers engaged for months after a sale. So when the time comes to buy, your name is the one that they remember.
Provide exceptional customer service
Bad customer service experiences are 95% more likely to be shared with others, compared to a good experience. Keep up-to-date with your communication channels to ensure all queries are dealt with as quickly and professionally as possible.
Encourage online reviews
Did you know 88% of online shoppers have been influenced by onsite reviews when making a purchasing decision? Encourage your customers to leave a review of their recent purchase to help others make their decisions.
If you’re an Ecommerce business looking to outsource your 3PL (Third Party Logistics) or warehouse management get in touch with RT Page now by calling us on 01903 736 300.