| All posts tagged 'supply chain management'

Maintaining the Flow in SCM

by Administrator24. September 2015 10:25

Maintaining the Flow in SCM | The Dependable Companies


Logistics add between 5% and 50% of a product’s total cost, once you have considered procurement, shipment, and storage. For companies who rely on international trade, controlling these costs becomes an important goal of management.

Factors That Impact Cost

Fuel prices and transportation delays are two main factors in the cost of logistics. The length of time it takes for delivery has been increasing in recent years due to changes in international trade laws and security measures. The average cargo shipping time is from eight to twelve days, but only 5% of that time is the product actually in transit. The remainder of the time it is sitting at an intermediate point awaiting paperwork.

What is Measured Gets Managed

If the professionals in your logistics network are made aware of the cost of freight and inventory they will be better informed to make the right decisions. Software is available that can easily prepare documents and assess the use of space at various facilities simultaneously. Automated compliance procedures can help your company avoid delays at international borders, increase on-time deliveries, and maintain appropriate levels of inventory.

Keep Your Cool

Getting nervous about shipments and supplies often result in poor decision-making. Companies frequently request express or expedited shipping of large orders anytime a problem occurs, which leads to much higher costs. It is a far better practice to take the time to decide what needs to be on hand immediately and only have that amount sent by express freight.

Maintain Supply Chain Visibility

Managers have a natural tendency to keep safety stock on hand in case of the unexpected. This excess in inventory is an unnecessary expense and can be reduced by ensuring managers have full visibility across the logistics supply chain. Problems and disruptions can arise any day, but when managers can quickly access information about alternate sources of supply, they can act with more confidence and are less likely to create buffers.

Supply chain management (SCM) requires effort, but should not become crisis management. Following a few easy guidelines should keep your operation running smoothly and efficiently.


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3PL | Blog | Transportation Management | Warehousing and Distribution

The Importance of Supply Chain Visibility

by Administrator22. September 2015 12:59

The Importance of Supply Chain Visibility | The Dependable Companies


Logistics is an important part of the success of your small business, but is often not taken seriously enough. If the products your business needs are weeks or even months late, it could mean the difference between success and failure.

The Cost of Being Late

To manage your inventory and time effectively, deadlines must be met. The most successful companies have visibility on every step of the delivery process. This visibility makes timely decisions easy and communication with customers and vendors simple. The reality is, top performers spend 3% less in logistics compared to more poorly managed companies, but they have a 96% reliable delivery rate to customers and from their suppliers. The least effective companies actually spent 8% more than average on logistics but only have 71% reliability on delivery to customers.

The Importance of Supply Chain Visibility

Your business will be managed more efficiently when you can track every stage of the supply process. Disruptions, delays, and unforeseen events of all kinds are routine events, but you can make swift decisions to mitigate the effects if you can see what is happening in real time. This can save you from losses in sales, late delivery, and damaged products. It also enables you to avoid stockpiling inventory because you cannot be sure of when you will have an item on hand and when you will not. If you are actively engaged in the ebb and flow of supply and demand, such concerns will not arise.

Build a Loyal Customer Base

If you are able to predict and respond to shifting customer demand in timely manner, you will gain loyal customers and beat out the competition. The internet has changed the global economy; nowadays, consumers have come to expect to find what they want at a good price and have it delivered quickly. When you have access to online tools or software that can show shipment status, it saves you time, makes the customer happy, and you get paid faster.

Making an investment in supply chain visibility is a necessity in today’s fast-paced business world. When you have real time information on your shipments, you reduce costs and worry at the same time.


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INFOGRAPHIC: The History of Logistics & SCM

by Administrator10. September 2015 15:07

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What Is SCM?

by Administrator26. August 2015 15:23

What Is SCM | The Dependable Companies


Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of overseeing the flow of both goods and services. Depending on the business, SCM can include the movement and storage of raw materials, in-process inventory and finished goods. There are five main factors that make up SCM.


The first thing your business has to do to implement SCM is come up with a plan. The strategy made has to take in account customer demand, possible risks along the supply chain route, efficiency and how to deliver high quality to customers.


The development part of the process is where your business makes strong relationships with suppliers. It also entails identifying reliable methods for shipping and payment. This part of the process may include some trial and error until you come up with the most cost effective solution.


During this phase, the product is actually manufactured, tested, packaged and scheduled for delivery. It is a part of SCM because supply chain managers have to take into account the time necessary for all of these activities.


Another step in the process is the delivery of the goods. This step is commonly referred to as logistics. The business has to figure out the best way to get their products to their customers in a reliable way.


The final step is only necessary if the product was not to the customer’s satisfaction. This step is the returning of a defective product.


These are the five main parts of supply chain management, however the steps is not everything. Part of SCM is also making sure that each of these steps is as efficient as possible. There are third-party logistics companies that can help your business achieve the best supply chain management possible. A good supply chain means that your customers will receive high quality products in a timely fashion. You need to have good SCM in order to run a successful business. If you feel that you need some help with your business’s SCM, try talking to a third-party logistics business today.


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How Can You Attain Professional Supply Chain Management Services?

by Administrator20. August 2015 13:47

How Can You Attain Professional Supply Chain Management Services? | The Dependable Companies


Supply chain management (SCM) is how a business manages their flow of goods and services. It can include the movement of raw materials, materials that are in the processes of being made or finished goods. SCM manages goods or materials from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Managing this huge process may seem like a daunting task, but you do not have to be overwhelmed. You can attain a professional level of SCM by hiring a third party provider.

Why Use a Third Party Provider?

Using a third party logistics provider offers your business many benefits. If you tried doing it on your own, there would be a gap in your efficiency as you tried to learn all of the technologies. However, by hiring a third party you do not have to start from scratch. The company you hire will already know how to use and efficiently run all of the technologies needed.

Not only will they know how to use the logistics technology, but they will also know best practices for your supply chain. They will already know a lot of good practices, and they can help you figure out what is best for your company. There will still potentially be some trial and error, but it will not take as long because they are already professionals.

How to Find a Third Party Provider?

Once you realize that you want to have professional SCM, and that means you have to hire a third party provider, you will be wondering how you can find a trustworthy company. It is not that hard of a process. All you have to do is a little bit of research. You want to find a company that provides results and pleases their customers. When you find that you will find a company that will help you please your customers, and that is really your end goal.

Do not feel like you have to perform your own SCM. This can take years to perfect. Instead, hire a third party company who will be able to provide a level of professionalism that you would lack on your own. Do not wait to find your third party provider. Start doing your research today.


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3PL | Blog | Transportation Management | Warehousing and Distribution

The Role of TMS in Logistics

by Administrator12. March 2015 15:21

The Role of TMS in Logistics | The Dependable Companies


A transportation management system (TMS) is a specific element of supply chain software that focuses on movement and logistics. It is designed to handle all interactions between order processing and warehousing and distribution. By utilizing TMS software, companies are better able to streamline transportation of goods by land, air, and sea. 

TMS Software at a Glance

TMS software acts as the central hub for a large network of customers, carriers and shipping providers. Most systems incorporate sophisticated planning and decision-making modules to process an appropriate route for both inbound and outbound orders. Routes are then analyzed for efficiency, determining the best method of transit, number of stops, lead time, an appropriate provider and overall cost efficiency. A TMS usually offers enterprise resource planning software for tracking, auditing, accident report, customs brokering and final settling. 

Core Functions

Most TMS systems feature distinct modules for the following functions: 

  • Route planning and optimization
  • Mode selection 
  • Provider selection
  • Real-time tracking
  • Load optimization
  • Carrier management
  • Transport cost simulation
  • Shipment batching
  • Freight audit and payment
  • Cost control and KPI reporting

Types of TMS

TMS software is available as a regular purchased license or from a hosted license through Software as a Service (SaaS) or Cloud. Moreover, many versions operate in correlation with broader supply chain management software.

Key Benefits 

The business value of using transportation software is considerably high. TMS systems help manufacturers, distribution companies and carriers to see beyond pure cost to view their total operation holistically. Not only does a TMS streamline production, but it also improves customer service, warehouse efficiency and delivery capability. Managers enjoy more flexibility with which to enact changes to delivery plans. Plus, with more visibility throughout the chain comes improved accountability. 

With better route planning, load optimization and carrier pairing, logistics analysts are able to lower operational costs. Ultimately, a TMS offers a considerably high return on investment. Most software is easy to implement and is designed to quickly reduce inventory and boost overall cash flow in just a few months.


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Top 3 Components Driving Effective Supply Chain Partnerships

by Administrator13. January 2015 11:44

Top 3 Components Driving Effective Supply Chain Partnerships | The Dependable Companies


Using partner networks, in-house assets, and knowledge-based expertise optimizes your supply chain to ensure that it operates in an economical, uncomplicated, and reliable manner. In addition, it provides competitive advantages and creates new methods of reducing expenditures.

Components of Effective Supply Chain Management

When businesses take a long-term partnership perspective, collaborative efforts become a worthy endeavor. Greater understanding of skills, experience, and expenses will often expose new potential sources of value. Additionally, the experience of operating closely together suggests that succeeding enterprises will take less time and be easier to administer than early ones. Principal components of effective supply chain partnerships include:

  1. Less-than-truckload and full truckload: Full truckload and less-than-truckload freight services utilize a network of company facilities to provide same day and overnight service. Dedicated fleet programs, satellite tracking, and delivery confirmation tools are just a few of the advantages of these components.
  2. Warehousing and distribution: Custom warehousing distribution programs offer flexible fulfillment and storage options that can increase or decrease simultaneously with your business cycles. Estimates correlate with inventory levels to warrant that warehouses have the correct amount of merchandise to meet demands.
  3. Third-party logistics: With third-party logistics, customizable supply chain solutions ensure that transportation solutions fit your needs. Reliable and fast access to services, trucks, and warehousing creates this type of asset-based volume pricing. The technique produces a cost-effective method for shipments that still conform to delivery deadlines.

Building an Adaptable Supply Chain

Successful supply chain collaboration is a worthwhile process even though it is not a straightforward one. However, organizations that efficiently collaborate traditionally experience remarkable reductions in inventories and expenses, and enhancements in service levels, speed, and customer satisfaction. 

Selecting partners based on capability, value potential, and strategic goals are ideal approaches to improve forecasting and demand planning. In that way, accurate forecasts create crucial steps toward active supply chain management. For that reason, building an adaptable supply chain requires the right alignment between a fresh attitude and a new culture to produce top-performing supply chains.


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5 Key Benefits of Supply Chain Management

by Administrator18. December 2014 11:59

5 Key Benefits of Supply Chain Management | The Dependable Companies


For any business that supplies or receives goods, it is important to have an efficient system in place to ensure the timely and safe transport of products. Supply chain management (SCM) is essential to this process. There are 5 key benefits of SCM.

1. Increased Visibility

Proper SCM can help to increase your visibility into the supply process. With this information you can develop innovative ways to become more responsive within your supply chain network, which can lead to new and greater opportunities.

2. Meet Customer Demands

A supply chain network creates a common information framework that individuals can utilize to communicate and collaborate with one another. This allows for expedient response and assistance with various customer needs.

3. Track Compliance

Along with effective communication, the network also creates a trail of information that can be stored or reviewed when necessary. With this data a manager or auditor can ensure that proper protocol and regulations are being followed. This can prove to be quite beneficial in tracking things such as environment, health and safety compliance.

4. Lower Expenses

SCM allows you to see the big picture. As such, a knowledgeable professional can recognize and target areas that could be utilized or rearranged to become more efficient. These efforts can significantly lower costs and increase profit margins. A few such efforts includes:

    • Reducing inventory levels and increasing inventory turns.
    • Adjusting procurement, manufacturing and transport to be more timely.
    • Enhancing product tracking.

5. Tighten Supply Chain

Increased communication can be applied to employees as well as business partners. When you develop effective communication channels through SCM, you develop stronger relationships, which can lead to substantial business deals and referrals.

When correctly executed supply chain management can provide several different benefits for various types of business. The aforementioned 5 key benefits contribute to efficient, productive and prosperous business practices, and can help your business thrive. For more information on how SCM can best benefit your business, contact a logistics manager today.


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Supply Chain & Logistics Predictions for 2015

by Administrator9. December 2014 10:36

Supply Chain & Logistics Predictions for 2015 | The Dependable Companies


After the holiday season, 2014 will be quickly drawing to a close and 2015 will be here. It is never too early to start thinking ahead to the New Year. What will supply chain look like? What will customers expect? Where will the biggest potential for growth be? These are all questions that can help a business prepare for the year ahead. A prepared business is a successful business.

One of the first things looked at as 2015 predictions are being made is the customer. Where are people shopping? Will the trend to shop online increase or decrease? What does the customer expect? These are all questions that, when answered, can help a business prepare to increase sales. For example, if the trend of online shopping increases, a company can prepare by updating their website and aligning their shipping strategies with predicted customer demand. In a market of online retail, a retailer that provides fast and accurate shipping will do very well.

Companies should also look into potential new markets for 2015. In this every shrinking world, lucrative Asian markets are well within reach of any company. In order to tap these markets, businesses need to have a third party logistics partner that can get their goods where they need to be. Once that is set up, they can begin marketing strategies to promote their products in new markets. Hopefully this will allow a company to see growth in 2015.

Another way to prepare for 2015 is to update technology and use software to make predictions. There is a lot of data to be gathered by supply chain management software (SCMS), the key is to use that data in such a way that the company saves time and money. Logistic companies can help evaluate data and find new and innovative supply chain solutions to help a company grow. The partnership between a company and their logistic team can result in growth on both ends.

It is never too early to start looking at predictions for 2015. A company that is prepared for the dynamic economy of the modern world will set itself apart from others. Looking at customers, new markets, and new technology are all ways to plan ahead for the New Year. Logistics companies can help with each part.


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Software Tools Optimize Logistics

by Administrator12. November 2014 11:17

Software Tools Optimize Logistics | The Dependable Companies


With the rise of logistics companies came the advent of logistics software. There are now hundreds of logistics software options for companies to choose from. Logistics software provides tools to control the supply chain management (SCM), including managing all inventory, freight pick-up, tracking, delivery, and all transportation details. Logistics software can also include freight brokerage and bidding software, which manages business aspects such as bid and contract management.

SCM logistics software will typically divide tasks within the supply chain into similar categories. For instance, inventory control features in the SCM software manage supply levels, purchase orders, order fulfillment, historical quantities, and future forecasts. Transportation management features typically include route optimization, shipment consolidation, automated carrier selection, dispatch scheduling, and tracking of goods while being delivered. Warehouse management features can include barcode or RFID scanning, and tools to help with smart storage decisions and inventory transfer.

While most logistics software comes with inventory control, transportation and warehouse management, some additional categories of features can help with specialized tasks and situations. Import and export support features help with customs, currency exchanges, trade regulations, taxes, and factors affecting international cargo. Risk management features help with insurance claims, processing accidents, lost freight, driver history evaluation, and other risk factors along the supply chain. Finally, SCM software can include integrated accounting features to help with billing, quotes, invoicing, and currency transactions, and customer relationship management features to help provide sales and marketing support.

When selecting SCM software amongst the hundreds of logistics software options, research will be key in helping to prioritize which software features are indispensable for your business. Logistics software can be even further tailored to a specific industry, such as the apparel industry, be customized for the size of the company, or specialize in a unique feature such as enhanced GPS tracking with geo-fence alerts and an in-cabin feedback system.

Choosing the appropriate logistics software will be a vital decision for any company, and will ultimately determine the everyday functionality of its supply chain operations.


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