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How a Warehouse Management System Takes Care of Everything

Posted on 01/05/14, filed under 3PL, Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments

Imagine being able to manage your stock more efficiently, without the boring stock-taking or human errors. This is where using a third-party logistics (3PL) company with a Warehouse Management System (WMS) can take care of everything for you, without you having to invest a large sum of time and money.

A Warehouse Management System:
• Tracks the location and movement of inventory, orders and manufacturing resources in the warehouse.
• Processes other associated transactions e.g. shipping, organising storage, pick and pack and monitoring stock levels and breaks orders into groups based on the products’ locations.
• Provides handheld scanners, computer software and label and invoice printers in order to efficiently track shipments and products throughout the supply chain process.

The Rewards:
• Improves the visibility of your stock and management of your storage capacity in the warehouse, in turn increasing speed and productivity and reducing mistakes and errors.
• Enables you to see which items you sell more of than others, improving the organisation of your stock.
• Improves stock management accuracy by minimising extra stock, lost stock and shipping errors.
• Improves efficiency and reduces paperwork, saving time and resources.

Using a 3PL company that has a Warehouse Management System will not only benefit the warehouse staff but your business and ultimately your customers by streamlining the order fulfillment process, resulting in satisfied customers and saving you time, money and concern.

Start reaping the rewards of having a Warehouse Management System to streamline your business by contacting RT Page on 01903 736300

Outsourcing Your Logistics: Trouble or a Tactic?

Posted on 22/04/14, filed under 3PL, Supply Chain Logistics | No Comments

Is outsourcing your supply chain logistics to a third party troublesome or a tactic to grow your business?

And the answer is…a tactic.

Managing your entire supply chain yourself, from documenting orders, managing stock and finances, through to delivery and providing the best customer service costs time and money. But third-party logistics (3PL) companies take the whole order fulfillment process out of your hands, allowing you to focus on other parts of your business e.g. manufacturing, marketing and selling to save you the hassle and unnecessary finances of:

• Leasing a building for your stock
• Hiring a warehouse manager and staff
• Negotiating your own rates with carriers
• Investing in a warehouse management system (WMS) to manage your stock and storage.

What third-party logistics (3PL) companies do:
• Receive incoming orders using sophisticated software directly fed from your website, or eBay or Amazon shop.
• Managing and stocking your products and picking and packing them efficiently to fulfill incoming orders.
• Deliver orders to your customers.

Integrating your business with a 3PL company doesn’t just benefit you and your business growth and reputation, but your customers too. Delegating the logistics to a team of experts streamlines your business processes, improves your customers’ experience and gains you a competitive edge.

Find out how you can save yourself time and money and grow your business with a 3PL company. Simply call RT Page on 01903 736300 or email info@rtpage.co.uk for our expert advise.

3 Top Tips to Handling Bank Holiday Logistics

Posted on 10/04/14, filed under 3PL, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics | No Comments

Four bank holidays are approaching – Good Friday, Easter Monday, May Day and the Spring Bank Holiday – and for most of us this means rest and relaxation, a spot of DIY and a BBQ, if we’re lucky. But as a business owner or manager it means a lot of planning and organising to make sure you can fulfil any orders that come in over that period, when your suppliers and other support services may be closed.

We’ve got 3 Top Tips to keep your business running smoothly and your customers happy over the Bank Holidays.

1. Plan Days of Delivery
Discuss bank holiday plans with every party you work with to figure out which days you can and can’t deliver and ship to your customers. You may be able to make arrangements with your delivery and storage companies and manufacturers to reduce the time your customers have to wait for their orders to arrive. If customers have to wait too long they will not order items in the first place. If you have a full-service third-party logistics (3PL) company this will be much easier because they have experience of managing demand in holiday seasons and manage all logistics under one roof.

2. Order Extra Stock
Holidays are a great time for people to go online and shop, either in the run-up to the holiday, in preparation for whatever activity they have planned, or over the Bank Holiday itself, when they have time to think and plan activities for the weeks ahead. Be ready for this spike in demand by planning ahead and stocking up on popular products. Speak to your warehouse management company in case you need to increase the amount of storage space.

3. Inform Your Customers
Make sure your customers know the last order dates, days you will be closed for shipping, when you will next open and the earliest date they can expect to receive their orders. If you have a 3PL company you will be able to send confirmation and order tracking emails, allowing customers to keep track of their orders whilst providing a satisfying customer service.

For further guidance on dealing with seasonal logistics speak to the experts at RT Page on 01903 736300 and find out how to make the most of the upcoming bank holidays.

The Ecommerce Business Start- Up Script

Posted on 12/03/14, filed under 3PL, eCommerce tips, Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Transport, Warehousing | No Comments

Setting up an ecommerce business is a little bit like putting on a theatre production. The products you sell are the play and your website is the stage.

Front of house are processes such as marketing and your business plan. Meanwhile, hidden backstage are all the logistics you need to pull off an outstanding performance.

Here’s a backstage checklist of the cast, props and production processes that are key to an ecommerce masterpiece:

Manufacturers/Suppliers – your products have to be made or come from somewhere in the first place; you either order materials in and create the products yourself or you order the products readymade. Either way you need to know that the cast and crew in this Act are well rehearsed and can deliver their lines on time.

Stock – once you have established your supply route, you need to work out how much product or materials you need to stock to fulfil orders. A good approach for a start-up business, where it is too early days to know which products will be popular, is the ‘pull strategy’. This is where demand determines the inventory levels. You also need to establish where you are going to store stock, whether on your own premises or by renting out your own space or a warehouse.

Packaging – you will need packaging that protect your products, but it should also reflect your branding and any extra care taken to ‘dress’ your products. Don’t forget to display your logo and including business cards or brochures.

Transportation – there are many options to deliver orders to customers; you can delivering the order yourself, send parcels in the post or by courier, or use a third party logistics (3PL) company. The solution that’s right for you all depends on how close the customers are, if you are charging extra for delivery and how much time you have.

Establishing the platform(s) – where will your orders come from – your website, Amazon, Ebay or from a social media site? Establishing this is crucial to having a fulfillment process that is both accurate and smooth. If your 3PL provider is to process the orders for packing and transportation, you will need to relay orders that come through on any platforms that are not within their control. However, it can be set up so that orders go through directly to your 3PL provider, without you needing to be involved.

All the steps on this checklist have their own value but it is their combined flow that has the biggest impact. One of the most important factors is to provide an exceptional customer service, including an easy, rapid order fulfilment process, not only to have happy customers but also for your own sanity and business success.

RT Page supports start–up businesses and provides logistical services from storage, pick & pack, stock and financial records maintenance, credit control, container loading and offloading, and product distribution, consolidating the whole process from customer ordering through to delivery.

In addition, we are offering up to 50 standard pallets of storage free of charge for up to 12 weeks for all new businesses. Simply call us 01903 736300 or email info@rtpage.co.uk and discover how you can grow your business with fully experienced logistics support.

How Does a Supply Chain Work?

Posted on 05/03/14, filed under 3PL, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics | No Comments

Manufacturers, suppliers, warehouse operators, transporters, retailers and customers – what do they all have in common? Well, when they are all involved in getting a product from the point of its creation to the point of its consumption – they are what’s called a supply chain.

All these stages of a supply chain have the same intent; to receive and then fulfil customer orders.

So how does a supply chain work? The journey of a supply chain varies depending on the size and complexity of the retail and manufacturing business, the number of elements involved and items needed to be manufactured and who the customers are e.g. a store in need of restocking or individual customers purchasing online.

1. The Store (Online or Offline) – either the store orders the products from the distributor or the customer orders the products online.

2. Manufacturers and Suppliers – once orders are coming through the manufacturer will turn to their suppliers to provide the raw materials or components needed to make the product e.g. textiles and thread, packaging materials, computer parts. The product is then manufactured and packaged by the manufacturers and passed on to the distributor.

3. The Distributor/Warehouse Part 1 – the distributor will either be a department of the manufacturing company or a third-party logics company. They hold the manufactured products in stock in their warehouse/holding space until it is needed to fulfil an order.

4. The Distributor/Warehouse Part 2 – once these orders come through the distributor/3PL company organises the inventory to fulfil the orders and with other orders that are due to be delivered on the same day in close proximity of each other. These orders are then delivered to the store or the consumers by the 3PL company.

Whether you need assistance with warehousing your stock or managing orders, or you need an experienced company to manage all your 3PL, RT Page can help support your business endeavours allowing you to focus on other areas of your business. Simply call us on 01903 736300.