How a Cleveland 3PL Can Help When Winter Weather Short-Circuits Your Supply Chain
Winter weather can make even the most trivial tasks exponentially more difficult. As recent events have proven, this is especially true when power lines (or entire power grids) are down, rail services have ground to a halt, natural gas is in short supply, hundreds of flights are canceled and icy roads are exceedingly perilous. All of this will have a snowball effect on your supply chain. While there’s no way to control the weather, working with a Cleveland 3PL can help you better insulate your supply chain for the inevitable moments when you won’t have control.
As in sports, the best defense is a good offense when it comes to supply chains. Ideally, you will have planned and prepared for supply chain setbacks. As a longtime Cleveland 3PL, we have trucking, warehousing and shipping partners all over the country, allowing you to navigate more nimbly through some of the most serious seasonal swings and challenges.
In third-party logistics, our success depends on your success. We’ll only recommend actions that are in your best interest. Some of the top ways you may benefit from a 3PL partnership in advance of a weather crisis:
- A range of services. We don’t just offer logistics advice. We’re a one-stop-shop for warehousing, transportation, fulfillment, technology and value-added services. The more you get from a single provider, the more scalable, seamless and cost effective your supply chain is going to be. When you centralize your logistics, your services stay more consistent and predictable. We have a facility network that our customers can leverage, which is valuable when unforeseen events threaten storage or safe movement of your goods.
- Inventory management. When your demand is fairly steady, you have a good idea of inventory levels, normal shipping rates, etc. It’s during moments of crisis that you lose that advantage. If you aren’t prepared, there are going to be inventory level mistakes. You don’t want to be stuck with overflow or slowed down by shortages – both of which can happen a lot with sudden fluctuations. It’s one of the reasons our Cleveland 3PL invests so heavily in inventory management systems that allow us to track and update warehouse counts and deliveries in real time.
- Transparency. The larger your supply chain, the more moving parts you have, the more partners you’ll potentially need to work with to get your products where they need to be. Transparency and constant flow of accurate information and communication keeps everyone on the same page – and able to respond rapidly to shifts and situations as they unfold. A third-party logistics provider helps you facilitate all of this with greater ease.
- Real time visibility. Piggybacking off of transparency is visibility and the benefit of knowing where a product is at any given time. Real-time visibility isn’t just helpful for partners in a supply chain during a winter storm or other disruption. It’s essential for customer confidence. Consumers may be understanding of the fact that their goods are going to take a bit longer because of a major unforeseen and unpreventable event. But they will expect that you have done all you can to prepare as well as possible, and part of that means letting them know where their items are and what delays they might expect. A 3PL can help you deliver real-time visibility to you, your partners and your clients.
- Having a crisis plan. It’s not just snowstorms you need to plan for. It’s labor stoppages. It’s hurricanes. It’s port congestion. Any one of these could suddenly throw your supply chain into flux – upsetting your customers and hurting your bottom line. Your Cleveland 3PL should have at least a general what-if disaster blueprint that includes alternative routes, storage options and more.
Our 3PL, trucking, shipping and warehousing services are tailored to meet the needs of your business – rain or shine (or snow).
Contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse by calling (440) 826-4630 or sending us an email.
Winter weather disrupts Western rail service, logistics networks, Feb. 16, 2021, By Matt Leonard, Inbound Logistics
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