Teaming With Cleveland 3PL Offers Mid-sized Businesses Supply Chain Solutions
Businesses of all sizes have struggled with supply chain instability the last few years. It’s considered the No. 2 concern, just after finding and retaining qualified, reliable workers. Girding themselves for more supply chain volatility on the horizon, many mid-sized companies are strategically stockpiling inventory, allocating more funds to ensure timely deliveries, and onboarding software that allows for greater transparency. These are smart tactics for Northeast Ohio businesses – and can all be successfully implemented by teaming with a dedicated Cleveland 3PL (third-party logistics) warehousing and distribution partner.
According to the recently-released 2022 Business Leaders Outlook Survey, conducted by JPMorgan Chase, the majority of mid-size company leaders appear to be shifting from a small-business mindset to a larger one in an effort to stay competitive in the global economy. To maximize their competitive edge, more than half of respondent companies (with annual revenues ranging between $20 million and $500 million) were adding suppliers from new areas as well as dedicating more capital to higher shipping and delivery costs. One-third were changing materials or manufacturing processes, and some had even stopped working with some suppliers altogether.
More than 80 percent of firms said they had to increase wages in order to recruit and retain workers. This is a particular challenge for companies managing their own warehousing and logistics in-house – further highlighting the benefits of working with an established Cleveland 3PL.
Other top concerns for companies looking ahead this year are difficulties with forecasting, customer demands for lower costs, customer demands for reduced response times, and overall rising expectations for customer service. Well over half of companies queried are actively investing in inventory & network optimization.
As an experienced team of third-party logistics professionals, we recognize that while many businesses stress over supply chain operations, the consumer-driven approach does open the door for innovation opportunities. Running an efficient, cost-effective operation has always been a challenge – and it’s one that Ohio 3PL operators are uniquely equipped to help resolve. Among the top concerns we help clients address with Cleveland 3PL services:
- Swiftly rising inventory and order volume. Increasingly, consumers have come to expect their digital shopping experience is going to be met with broad product variety. Of course, that means suppliers are looking at higher expenses, greater picking time at the warehouse and overall more supply chain complexity. What’s more, any time you are upping the number of suppliers, manufacturers, and vendors, you inevitably run the risk of more errors. Working with the right 3PL – particularly one with warehousing and distribution capabilities – will allow you to avoid the risk of unused warehouse capacity and increase inventory optimization. A third-party logistics team an allow you to respond deftly to fluctuations in demand for inventory, space, and labor.
- Low supply chain visibility. Operations that have grown beyond the smallest scale absolutely must prioritize supply chain visibility. Companies can purchase advanced software to help accurately capture such data in real time, but monitoring it is something else too. Our Cleveland 3PL has already onboarded those tools, we have the people to monitor them and we have the skill to help identify opportunities for continuous improvement and growth.
- Latent inefficiencies. Errors can be tallied fairly easily, but latent inefficiencies are tougher to identify, which means they tend to go unaddressed for longer – costing you time and money. A 3PL can help you build a better network by routinely identifying unnecessary costs and additional touchpoints and recommending leaner, more robust solutions to help you make the most of your existing network. This kind of superior service not only keeps your operational costs in check, it also prevents customers from eyeing the competition too seriously.
- Shortages in labor. This is an ongoing struggle, but it’s been incredibly difficult this past year. If you don’t have the team you need, your operations are going to suffer – and so is your customer satisfaction. Hiring and retaining a skilled workforce was the No. 1 concern of nearly 55 percent of respondents to the 2021 Material Handling Industry survey. It’s a concern we’re only going to see continue to grow this year, especially for those facing higher-than-ever customer expectations. Working with a 3Pl allows you to rely on them to retain the experienced staffers necessary for the warehousing, processing, and distribution end of things.
- Mergers and acquisitions. Your business is a dynamic entity with a life of its own – constantly shifting, shying from certain niches and expanding to fit the demand in others. Mergers and acquisitions can help companies with similar goals, but integrating systems and operations can be a significant undertaking – especially while maintaining customer confidence. Enlisting the expertise of a 3PL can be a logical solution to merging and optimizing both systems, eliminating redundancies and ensuring information is seamlessly synced.
The bottom line: Many companies are facing supply chain challenges this year. Working with a 3PL can help significantly reduce inefficiencies and optimize processes. We recognize that your firm has its own area of expertise; by working with a third-party logistics team, you get to focus on the key functions of your operations, while maintaining visibility, keeping costs down and boosting customer service satisfaction.
If you have questions about our Northeast Ohio 3PL warehousing & distribution services, contact On Time Delivery & Warehouse in Cleveland by calling (440) 826-4630 or sending us an email.
Midsize businesses are ‘thinking big’ for supply chain workarounds: survey, Jan. 11, 2022, By Max Garland, Supply Chain Dive
More Blog Entries:
Launching a New Business? Consider Cleveland 3PL Services., Nov. 15, 2021, Cleveland 3PL Blog