Archive for September, 2017

Choosing the Optimal Outbound Logistics Solution

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Outbound logistics

Outbound logistics is the process of storing inventory and transporting the merchandise to the customer. There are process efficiencies at each end of the equation that when optimized, enhance your processes and service to the customer. Improving your outbound logistics strategy will increase your profitability and help you grow your business.

Inventory Management

Supply chain trends are forcing manufacturers to adjust to the changing demands of consumers. The need to control inventory levels and distribution is at an all-time high. Logistics professionals are responding by utilizing new processes and technology to increase inventory visibility, allowing for data-driven decision making.

At American Warehouse, we use 3PL Central‘s warehouse management system (WMS) to store and track your assets from the time they reach our dock, to the time they ship out. This value-added service streamlines the inventory management process for you. With cloud-based access you can always get accurate, real-time visibility to your products.

With the right inventory management software and strategy in place, you have the data you need for accurate forecasting and inventory planning. When combined with frequent cycle counting, you can eliminate the need for fiscal year end inventory counts. Plus, when you use a WMS, you can invoice customers immediately – saving you administrative costs. The commitment to forecasting and supply chain planning ensures you can deliver on your promises.

Transportation

Moving your goods from manufacturing to the hands of the customer is one of the most complicated logistical challenges. Your options are limitless. Some manufacturers may operate their own fleet, some work with a 3PL, while others may work through a broker. Each approach has unique benefits and risks.

For a lot of manufacturers, maintaining their own transportation fleet isn’t feasible or cost effective. Instead they turn to outside professionals to move their product. On the other end of the spectrum, some hire a broker to manage the supply chain process. Your broker will charge a premium, but you’ll only have to make one hire. They take care of the vendor management.

At American Warehouse, we use the hybrid approach that works best for our customers. While we focus on what we do best – warehousing and distribution – we hire through a trusted network of providers for our customers’ transportation needs. By partnering with transportation providers, we can decrease your freight expenses and give your product a safe and comfortable ride to its final destination.

When considering the optimal solution for your business, also keep in mind the reputation of the company, the level of service you will receive and any regional transportation needs. Choosing the right solution and support can make all the difference in the success of your outbound logistics planning.

American Warehouse is your outbound logistics service provider, contact us today!


Partner Spotlight: Samuel Strapping Expands West

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Case study - Samuel Strapping

Samuel Strapping Systems is a single source supplier for packaging and unitizing products and machinery operating in the eastern US and Canada. Their systems and equipment have applications across a broad spectrum of industries, including lumber, brick, cotton and fibre, steel, can and bottle, corrugated, newsprint, and more.

As their customer base in the Pacific NW grew, so did the need to house their products in a regional warehouse. Shipping their commercial strapping products directly to consumers from manufacturing facilities located in Ohio and South Carolina was inefficient and costly. To cut down on freight costs and lead times, Samuel Strapping made the decision to send truckloads to be housed at American Warehouse, located in Portland, OR.

Samuel Strapping got in touch with American Warehouse to test the west coast market for the lumber division specifically. Due to the central location, the warehouse gave many of Samuel Strapping’s customers the ability to pick up their order instead of having a carrier deliver it to them, saving additional freight costs. Further, it’s proximity to their large customer base in Washington means delivery times are reduced to a day or less.

“We cut our freight cost by sending truckloads of products out west versus multiple LTL shipments.”
– Art Pledger, Warehouse Manager – PSG

After choosing American Warehouse as their west coast logistics partner, they had some additional decisions to make. While moving products to a regional warehouse allowed for efficiency and cost savings, it also required advanced planning. They faced the challenge of determining the correct product mix and inventory levels to keep on-hand to satisfy customer demand while also ensuring they had the products needed for new customers.

Fortunately, American Warehouse’s add-on services solved the additional challenge. Utilizing their web-based Warehouse Management System (WMS) allows Samuel Strapping to view all inbound and outbound movements of their products. Art Pledger, Warehouse Manager, says, “We can view our on-hand inventory in their system and compare to our ERP system for accuracy and investigate should there be any discrepancies. Having the ability to do this allows us to service our customers in a timely manner because we know immediately if we have the products they need.” They’ve also found that when their customers have visibility and have trust in the low lead times, they tend to order more often.

Samuel Strapping recognized a business need and in working with a valued partner, they were able to solve a logistics challenge for their organization. Their move out west has allowed them to better serve the lumber market by lowering lead times, reducing costs and ensuring product availability. With that proven success, Samuel Strapping is looking to make the move with additional divisions to further increase their west coast footprint. Together with American Warehouse, Samuel Strapping has benefitted their business and increased value for their customers.

To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you solve your logistical challenges, contact us today!


Pricing a Third Party Logistics Provider

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Pricing a 3PL

Hiring an outside vendor for transportation management is an exercise in trust and is an important business decision. A great 3PL acts as an extension of your supply chain team. The procurement process can feel daunting. Ensure that you’re in control of the process by educating yourself on standard practices of 3PL pricing.

There are three main services provided by a 3PL, including inbound processing, warehousing and outbound processing. It is essential to understand how your 3PL partner quotes their services and where any hidden fees or charges may threaten your budget. Acquiring accurate and comparative quotes will ensure you’re getting the right partner to fit your budget.

American Warehouse is here to help – no matter who you choose to partner with. This pricing guide will give you the knowledge and tools to attain an accurate and consistent quote from any third party logistics provider – allowing you to make a sound business decision on who to partner with on your logistics needs.

Understand 3PL pricing >>