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4 Downfalls of DIY Warehousing & Distribution

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

Outsource or manage your stock and warehousing yourself? There’s a lot to consider when making this vital decision – which could make or break you – you need to think about cost, time, resources and your capabilities.

Managing your stock and distribution entirely on your own can have its own stresses and disadvantages, without the expertise of an experienced warehouse team it can become more expensive than outsourcing.

Here are some of the most common downfalls when it comes to managing your own stock and distribution

  • It’s Time Consuming – managing your entire supply chain will take up a lot of your time, meaning you’ll have even less time to focus of your business. Outsourcing to a third-party logistics (3PL) company relieves you of the responsibility, freeing you up to focus on what you’re good at – your business.
  • Lack of Experience Can Cost You – have you ever managed your own stock to this scale before? Could you really afford to risk not delivering good quality of service, damaged goods and unhappy customers? A 3PL company will have the expertise, specialised processes and resources to minimise errors and increase productivity and turnaround time, saving you money in the long run.
  • Insufficient Space for Stock Levels – Warehouse management and 3PL companies often offer flexible warehouse facilities, so should you need additional space (at Christmas for example) it’s covered.
  • In-house Logistics Costs Money – managing your own logistics means investing in a logistics infrastructure including storage space, racking systems, manufacturing setups and hiring staff. All of these aspects can cost more money than partnering with a third-party-logistics company.

No matter what your requirements are there is always a way that outsourcing with a 3PL company can work for your business, from warehousing or pick and pack to taking care of all your entire supply chain logistics including returns, shipping, and even customer service.

Find out more about the cost effective, stress-free solutions RT Page can offer you. Get in touch with us now on 01903 736300 or email us on info@rtpage.co.uk.

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 | 2 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.