No matter what size your business, reducing unnecessary supply chain costs can result in a significant savings – assuming you can accurately identify and efficiently address the weak links.
Anyone who works in Cleveland supply chain management service knows that all for-profit companies are going to incur a “cost to serve.” But is your company’s “cost to serve” reasonable? Can you lower it without risking a major blow to quality or customer satisfaction?
Supply Chain Loopholes Vary by Industry, Service, Location
The answer will depend a lot on the type of product or service you provide. For example, let’s say your Cleveland supply chain involves the packaging and delivery of building products to construction sites. Not only are you managing a complex schedule thanks to the heavy equipment and various contractors involved – your deliveries MUST be precise and on time. Certain materials like mixed cement can be totally wasted if there aren’t workers on site. If elements like weather are consistently a problem in one region, you may need to consider whether you can re-route around that area altogether. If you are in the grocery or restaurant industry, it will be critical that your deliverables be properly packaged, sometimes limited to one product-per-pallet and that delivery dates and times are accurate to the minute – otherwise the shipment could be unusable.
Understanding not just your industry but also your customer base is priority No. 1. You need to be able to serve their needs, but also make sure the cost of doing so is still sensible. One analysis in the International Journal of Production Economics found in supply chain cost reviews by 30 companies in 10 different industries, most were falling short when it came to the estimated standard supply chain cost compared to actual cost.
One of the best ways to cut your Cleveland supply chain costs is to work with a dedicated third-party logistics partner. On Time Delivery & Warehouse 3PL providers can help you better pinpoint what exactly in your chain of supply is causing you the biggest headaches and cost bleed-out. Despite wide variances between industries and companies, there are a few supply chain our third-party logistics professionals have seen consistently cause problems. If any of these issues sound familiar (or you’re having trouble identifying exactly which supply chain loophole is costing you most or what to do about it), a third-party supply chain management team can be an invaluable resource.
Effective Ohio construction supply chain management is critical to ensuring you aren’t wasting resources or valuable materials – ultimately costing you customer confidence. If your current supply chain system isn’t working for your construction business, it may be time to explore contracting with a new 3PL.
Construction companies are especially prone to supply chain complexity snags because unlike so many other industries, you may not be building the exact same prototype over and over. The teams with whom you’re working – from consultants to contractors to suppliers – might vary greatly from project-to-project or season-to-season. Having an adaptable and responsive supply chain management 3PL can be key to streamlining and lowering your risk of loss.
The official Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 to Nov. 30. While those of us in Northeast Ohio are safely tucked away from direct impact, local supply chains in this region still need to be hurricane-ready. Those Ohio 3PL providers like On Time Delivery & Warehouse that have national and international reach can’t afford to waste time weighing IF they’re going to be ready for natural disasters – but rather HOW.
For example, our Cleveland supply chain network of local ports includes those in Galveston, TX, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Charleston, SC and New York-New Jersey – all of which have the potential to be affected by Atlantic hurricanes. We recognize that even if a storm doesn’t hit one of those locations this year, it’s likely than not they will be affected by one in some way over the next few years. We must be ready.
If you work with a third-party logistics company (or you’re searching for one), it’s important to inquire about their disaster mitigation strategy is, especially if a key part of your supply chain is in a coastal area or one prone to other natural disasters. No one can predict with perfect accuracy when and where a storm will strike, but smart supply chains utilize the benefit of historical data to help us form workable contingency plans.
Some think of logistics and supply chain management as simply moving goods from one place to the next. In reality, it’s a complex and dynamic trillion-dollar industry, with outsourcing proven to be mission-critical for companies edging out competition.
Reliable supply chain management partners know it’s always been a challenging field, though it’s true lately many of us are facing down some tough realities. Those include higher rates, capacity shortages and now a pending trade war and import/ export uncertainties. This tightening of the market (especially in ground transportation) means those of us on the front lines need to be innovative now more than ever – while also holding true to the best practices and relationships that allowed us to ride out past tumult.
If you depend on Cleveland supply chain management, you may be interested in these surprising statistics offering insight into the industry – and where it’s headed.
Warehousing is essential in Ohio logistics operations, where the goal is faster, cost-effective facilitation of your supply chain. The best warehouse management systems help companies keep pace with seesawing compliance regulations, increasing order cycle demands and oscillating supply chain requirements.
It’s no shock the global market for warehouse management systems is expected to climb from $1.7 billion this year to $5.72 billion in 2025, according to Grand View Research. Clearly, a growing number of industries recognize the value of third-party warehousing.
At On Time Delivery and Warehouse, we know that when warehouse operations are smooth, you get better results with:
- Proper inventory accounting;
- Order fulfillment accuracy;
- Fewer picking errors;
- Practicable stock replenishment;
- Ease of scalability;
- Real-time tracking and trouble-shooting.
Partnering with a trusted Ohio logistics firm allows for all this, plus shared costs.
Three-to-five days used to be the standard for all online order deliveries. Then “next day service” was unveiled – which was great, but customers knew they were going to pay extra for it. Today though, as our Cleveland trucking services providers are aware, it’s becoming increasingly common for consumers and B2B operations to order items in the morning and expect its doorstep arrival that same afternoon – free.
Cleveland trucking services are at the center of this market evolution. Choosing the right local trucking company to ensure your goods and products reach their destination intact and on-time – whatever that timeline is – is a critical decision. It’s one that has been made even tougher by the truck driver shortage, as well as an ongoing tightening of truck capacity. Although long-distance hauling and freight shipping are unquestionably still important in this industry, same-day shipping will require a trusted local pick-up and delivery.
The American Trucking Associations reports there are approximately 500,000 trucking companies in the U.S. and 3.5 million truck drivers, who collectively move more than 70 percent of the country’s freight by weight. The Cleveland trucking services offered by On Time Delivery & Warehouse are just a small part of this critical cog in the economic wheel, but we’re committed to being out ahead of evolving markets – and that includes with same-day delivery demands.
Thinking about hiring an Ohio 3PL? Operational complexities inevitably expand when the company does. Higher demand and more stock keeping units put added pressure on pickers and packers. At some point, businesses need to consider whether it’s worth it to keep supply chain management in-house or if they should hire an Ohio 3PL.
3PL, short for third-party logistics, is an outside firm used to handle distribution and fulfillment services to keep the supply chain running smoothly.
Both in-sourcing and out-sourcing arguments have merit, but the right choice is going to be highly case specific. It’s our goal at On Time Delivery & Warehouse to help you determine whether a hiring an Ohio 3PL makes the most sense for your current operations and projected growth. We want our customers to plainly see the benefits of a contract with us, so we encourage all potential clients to ask lots of questions and give existing clients the ability to track it all in real time.
Many business leaders have reached the conclusion that 3PL is the way to go, as evidenced by the facts revealed by a new market research report on 3PL Service Outlook projecting the global 3PL market will reach $925 billion in the next two years.
Third-party logistics is more than just a contract. It’s a relationship. On Time Delivery & Warehouse 3PL partners trust us to perform materials management and product distribution functions, but for us, it goes beyond that. We represent an extension of our client to their clients. Many shippers need customized offerings with a broad range of capabilities – encompassing freight shipping, trucking, warehousing and distribution. We deliver that. Ultimately, though, it’s about forging a long-term, mutually-beneficial accord.
Finding the Best Cleveland 3PL Partner
Market research released by IBISWorld last month revealed there are nearly 19,000 third-party logistics providers in the U.S. – a figure expected to grow the next five years, given the uptick in consumer spending, industrial production and trade. Northeast Ohio and other areas around the Great Lakes are concentrated in 3PL providers because of the high volume of manufacturing, trade and other commercial activities.
That means shippers have an array of choices in third-party logistics options. Choosing the best for your needs means weighing a host of factors (i.e., expanse of valuable carrier networks, service areas, supply chain and freight costs, freight accounting, performance auditing, punctuality, scalability, financial strength, responsiveness, technological tools/ data-sharing, excellent industry references, corporate culture, etc.). However, evaluation of the third-party logistics relationship shouldn’t stop once you’ve signed a contract.
Truck driver benefits and wages are ballooning across the U.S., even as freight-hauling capacity has diminished in the face of ever-higher demand. In turn, small businesses (especially retailers and distributors) are saddled with soaring shipping charges, an expense that’s proven crippling for some. Truckers deserve good wages for the vital job they do. But businesses hoping to stay afloat would be best-served with a Cleveland 3PL partnership to help keep costs in check.
The American Trucking Associations group, representing owners of fleets, reports annual trucker salaries climbed 15-to-18 percent in the last four years, with the exact rise varying based on the nature of fleets and routes. Overall, private fleet driver salaries topped $86,000 last year – a $13,000 increase from just four years prior. A truckload driver on irregular national route (basically an entry-level post) can now expect to pull in about $53,000 – up from $46,000 just a few years ago. This trend is not braking anytime soon, The Wall Street Journal reports, because the demand for trucking is higher than ever and companies are increasingly counting on freights with full truckload and less-than-truckload capacity to ensure consumer expectations are met.
One silver lining for our clients is trucker turnover is down, meaning those on the road are increasingly more experienced – and that’s a very good thing in terms of reducing roadway liability.
Some elements of this higher-cost transportation landscape simply can’t be avoided. Even with higher pay drawing in more drivers, there are still only so many truck drivers, so many trucks and so much space. As a trusted Cleveland 3PL, On Time Delivery and Warehouse leaders work to help minimize this impact for our customers. To augment reliability and consistently meet demands of this new standard “get-it-there-sooner” market, we must offer competitive truck driver compensation. We must supply them with the best equipment, as well as advanced transportation management software to ensure efficiency. But we also work to help clients sift through an expanse of carrier options to pinpoint the best choice. We identify and bridge supply chain gaps that bleed businesses of time and money. We offer transparency so clients can track their goods at every leg of the journey.
The U.S. truck capacity shortage is putting a serious kink in supply chains across the country. The trucking industry is saddled with increasingly stringent regulations, dwindling drive time hours and fewer drivers entering a field that’s already understaffed. Economic growth – while certainly a good thing – has compounded the capacity issue, and it isn’t likely to wane anytime soon. Getting ahead by partnering with a reputable 3PL provider in your region will improve your supply chain transparency and lower your costs long-term.
No industry is untouched by the truck capacity deficit because virtually all businesses – large and small – rely on efficient trucking to keep goods flowing – intact, on budget and on time.
A top-tier Cleveland 3PL provider like On Time Delivery & Warehouse can help mollify your truck capacity troubles by addressing inefficiencies and performance gaps in your supply chain. These weaknesses will have an increasingly profound effect on productivity and profits in the current climate unless you tackle them head-on. Most companies need help to do it right.