Archive for ‘Inventory management’

Innovation and Partnerships Mean Success for CompackUSA

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

CompackUSA

In 2013, Doug Barter, founder and VP of sales of CompackUSA, brought his 20 years of experience in the packaging industry to Portland. Since then he’s been realizing his vision of making a positive difference in his customer’s packaging operations.

Working together to achieve innovation and the very best packaging products and solutions has resulted in expansion across the country. CompackUSA partially attributes their success to partnerships. As a distributor, they rely on a variety of manufacturers to provide the very best products for their customers. During their growth, they recognized an increasing gap in their logistics. When they had outgrown their small warehouse facility, they decided to seek alternatives to a self-managed warehouse. Spending too much time on warehousing tasks was impacting their selling time.

Having found a solution with American Warehouse, the partnership has allowed them to focus their energy on selling rather than transportation and warehousing. “We have doubled the size of our business,” says Doug, as a result of concentrating on revenue-generating activities. As their business partner, American Warehouse has grown to be quite knowledgeable about CompackUSA’s products, creating trust that their customers have the best experience with their company.

CompackUSA expects to stay the course as they focus on continued growth and expanding into new geographical markets. Working with American Warehouse they move product through the Pacific NW fast with transportation, inventory management and warehousing solutions that give them the peace of mind needed to focus on providing excellent packaging products and services to their customers.


3PL: Your Logistics Navigator

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

Logistics Navigator

Times are a-changing. Gone are the days of excessive paperwork, tedious data entry, and an abundance of opportunity for human error. The rise of technology and ecommerce, as well as the challenges shippers face in the current environment, has led shippers to recognize they don’t necessarily have the knowledge or resources to optimize their supply chain.

There is no shortage of shortages for shippers and logistics service providers. Warehousing is stretched, trucks and drivers are harder to come by, the Chinese tariffs are tightening capacity and ecommerce is creating greater demand than ever. As the challenges mount, the need for well-connected partners increases.

Shippers recognize there are gains when working with third-party logistics (3PL) providers. To keep up with their client’s needs, 3PLs now offer expanded services beyond transportation and warehousing. Technology like warehouse management systems (WMS) are increasing accuracy and offering visibility into inventory like never before.

Managed service providers have found creative processes and tools to meet their client’s needs and achieve their goals. Offering services like LTL shipments, intermodal transportation, cross-docking, transloading, inventory tracking with a WMS, and fulfillment means they are a one-stop shop for logistics solutions.

By offering supply chain optimization and better use of data, more and more shippers have turned to 3PLs to solve their logistics challenges.

The global third-party (3PL) logistics market is estimated to have a compounded annual growth rate of about 9 percent through 2028. (Freight Waves)

The future is bright as new technology and creative transportation solutions emerge as answers to logistics’ toughest challenges. A third-party logistics (3PL) provider navigates you through the challenges and opportunities you currently face in your business – allowing you to reach new markets, gain visibility to your inventory and fully optimize your supply chain.

To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you navigate the logistics playing field, email us today!

Column: By offering supply chain optimization and better use of data, managed transportation providers continue growth trajectory. (2019, Feb 8). Retrieved March 2, 2019, from
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/trucking/shippers-turn-to-managed-transportation.


Distributing for a Cause

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

Clean CAUSE

“I came to the point in my life where I was faced with a choice to choose life or death. If I was going to choose life, it had to be to do something that had purpose – gave me meaning for my life. CLEAN Cause was born.” – Wes, recovering drug addict and Founder of Clean Cause.

CLEAN Cause Yerba Mate energy beverages come in four refreshing flavors, are certified organic and full of natural caffeine. If that isn’t enough to make you want to pick one up, 50% of their profits support recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

The business was built on Wes’s journey to get clean and now they are supporting others like him with natural alternatives that anyone can enjoy.

Despite their explosive growth, CLEAN Cause still serves their hometown of Austin, TX by van delivery. However, they are quickly expanding along the west coast as well. Using distribution centers, they’re able to reach their wholesale accounts across the Pacific NW, with east coast expansion on the horizon as well.

“The company is growing a lot everyday! All the logistics processes need to adapt fast to the increasing change and it is always a challenge to give the best service to every customer as they deserve, but we are doing it!” says David Mera, Supply Chain Director at CLEAN Cause.

That need led David to discover American Warehouse. Attracted by their central location along the west coast, but won over by their service, he found their west coast partner. He’ll rely on an organized warehouse, top notch service, accurate on inventory and willingness to help in any emergency to ensure his customers get their orders accurately and on time.

Their path is clear for massive expansion. Keep checking the store locator to find CLEAN Cause in your neighborhood grocery or convenience store.

To learn more about how American Warehouse can help you expand your distribution, contact us today!


Holiday Shipping Preparedness – Here We Go!

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

holiday preparedness

Black Friday weekend is over, and that means the shopping season is officially here. According to NRF, more than 164 million consumers were expected to shop over Thanksgiving weekend and spend 4.1% more than last year. Transportation and logistics companies have been preparing to support retailers during the peak shipping season for months.

For those retailers, getting products on shelves and to consumers is priority number one. Last year, even Walmart struggled with fulfillment. To combat the challenges, logistics professionals and retailers alike are using several strategies to improve efficiencies and save costs in 2018 so that consumers receive their purchases accurately and on-time.

One of those strategies is to fill warehouse space with back stock. Beyond the demands of the holiday season, concerns over the coming tariffs have incited some to stock up in preparation. This is a sharp turn away from just-in-time inventory management trends, which increase efficiencies by receiving goods only as needed. The additional costs associated with this tactic may very well be worth it come January 2019.

To support the increased movement, most shippers have hired additional workers. Flexible shift models have allowed recruitment of a larger workforce. By accommodating their employee’s family needs, bus schedules, second jobs and more, companies are seeing success in seasonal hiring!

Consumer expectations for on-demand delivery is never felt stronger than during the holiday season. Consumers shop across a variety of retail outlets, though 55% plan to buy online (NRF). The old faithfuls – FedEx, UPS and even DHL – are still responsible for getting most products safely to the consumer’s home. To combat the last-mile delivery challenges, logistics companies are adding more drivers or contracting with additional carriers. Some are taking advantage of alternatives like Deliv, UberRUSH and Task Rabbit. Tech is also playing a crucial role, such as with Amazon Key.

Hold on to your hats, holiday shipping is here – whether you’re a retailer, shipper or consumer – you’re in for a wild ride.

Godspeed.

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


Amazon Re-shipper Services Give AU Shoppers More Access

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Amazon Re-Shipper Services

Australia may have just gotten Amazon Prime, but they’re now out of luck when it comes to shopping the global Amazon marketplace.

For Australia, buying foreign goods is often less expensive than buying from a domestic retailer. In an effort to level the playing field for Australian businesses, legislation was introduced to apply a 10% goods and services tax (GST) on overseas purchases.

While some are less worried than others over the new tax, Amazon has taken surprising measures in response. On May 31, 2018, Amazon announced their decision to disallow Amazon customers in Australia from purchasing through the US and other global versions of their ecommerce site. Citing the tax as the reason, Amazon determined the collection and payment of the tax to Australian Taxation Office was not worth the relatively small amount of revenue generated from the continent’s global online shopping.

For those looking to get around the block, Amazon buyers are using alternative methods like re-shipping services. Here’s how the package forwarding services work:

  • Shoppers outside of the US shop US-based ecommerce retailer sites
  • At checkout, the shopper enters a domestic address provided by the re-shipper
  • The re-shipper receives and forwards the package to the shopper’s international address

 
At American Warehouse, international shoppers shopping US sites can get the same service we offer our clients. We offer efficiency and cost-savings. We do this by minimizing dimensional weight through repackaging in more economical ways, as well as combining shipments for the shopper as requested.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. With 400+ million more products available on the US-version of Amazon, Australian and other international shoppers, are looking for ways around the new law. The Amazon re-shipper services offered by American Warehouse give AU shoppers access to more product options at lower prices.


eCommerce Fulfillment: Beyond the Garage

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

eCommerce Fulfillment

You’re up and running. You’re gaining some traction, and then suddenly you’re feeling like this:

overwhelmed by boxes

It may be time to outsource your logistics.

The ecommerce sales channel is growing at an unprecedented rate. According to the U.S. Commerce Department,

Consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. (Digital Commerce 360, 2018)

It’s no wonder that more and more entrepreneurs are trying their hand at online retail. The concept is simple: Choose a product that meets a need, build your ecommerce site, and market it with a compelling offer. The challenges come once you start seeing success:

  • Amazon Effect – Innovation is constantly changing the game
  • Warehousing – You’re running out of space
  • Inventory management – Receiving more orders than you have products
  • Picking and packing – The quality and accuracy of the fulfillment process
  • Shipping and/or Distribution – Carrier management and partnerships
  • Scaling – Your resources are limited and tied up

To ease your pain, there are several alternative choices for managing operations:

Self-warehousing
In the interests of control and simply misunderstanding what will be required, some will start their own warehouse operation. With this option, the business owner is now running two businesses, and not focusing on their revenue generating business.

Co-habitation
Joining forces with another business allows you to share responsibilities and cost. These releases some of the burden of self-warehousing but misses the opportunity to partner with a professional.

Outsource to a 3PL
Bringing in a professional with the right tools and connections allows you to focus on your strengths while assured that your distribution is handled with efficiency in time and cost.

The options span the gambit, but please don’t try to build a warehouse for your fulfillment needs. The costs associated with rent, equipment, staff and the mistakes you’ll inevitably make far outreach the costs of hiring a professional that already has these in place. A 3PL will handle all your logistical challenges so you can focus on your core competencies:

  • Manages warehousing and distribution channels
  • Has the processes and systems in place to manage your inventory and orders with accuracy
  • Reduces costs associated with running a warehouse and distribution center
  • Provide a personal touch to optimizing your business logistics and supply chain

A 3PL solves your warehouse and fulfillment challenges so you can get back to focusing what you’re good at – driving ecommerce sales through your business.

Column: U.S. e-commerce sales grow 16.0% in 2017. (2018, February 16). Retrieved June 2, 2018, from https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/


Cross-docking: In One Door and Out the Other

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

Cross-docking

If you’re not cross-docking, you’re missing an opportunity to gain a fully optimized supply chain. Cross-docking services streamline your distribution process, reduce risk in inventory handling and lower your costs. It works by skipping the warehouse to unload products from inbound shipments and reload directly onto another outbound shipment. Utilizing this distribution method, a third-party logistics provider (3PL) can streamline your distribution process and limit the need for contracting with multiple vendors to move your goods.

Commonly confused with cross-docking, transloading is a similar service that shippers utilize. With transloading, your distribution center transfers your product from one mode of transportation to another. Though the service is different than transloading, cross-docking accomplishes the same the goal – to improve efficiencies in your supply chain.

Efficiency
Like a synchronized orchestra, the cross-docking process relies on flawless execution to move products in and out of the dock. As there is little to no time where your inventory is warehoused, your products keep moving and shipping times are greatly reduced.

Inventory management
Cross-docking facilitates the growing need to limit manufacturing yet be quick to ship in order to meet customer demands. Plus, inventory is less at risk for damage when it see minimal storage and handling. When you’re in control of your inventory, yet agile in your manufacturing, that’s a win for your business.

Financial impact
The deep efficiencies innate in the system, as well as the savings from bypassing the warehouse, reduce overall costs of moving your goods from manufacturer to consumer.

Cross-docking is an effective logistics strategy because it relies on precise planning and execution. Quality control and inventory tracking are all the more crucial to ensure the benefits of the service are being fully realized. With conflicting demands to navigate through, cross-docking offers manufacturers and shippers a valuable tool in solving the supply chain optimization challenge.


Partner Spotlight: Knickerbockers American Manufacturer

Monday, February 12th, 2018

Knickerbocker Bed FramesKnickerbocker, an American manufacturer of high-quality bed frames and bedding support systems, has been family-owned and operated for 100 years. Brothers Jacob and Lazar are 4th generation operators of the family business. They accredit their success to innovative, patented products, quality of craftsmanship and customer service. They are also the only bed frame manufacturer that still manufacturers all their products here in the USA.

When it comes a bed frame, Jacob recognizes that it’s not an item that people think about too often; “it’s usually when they stub their toe, or it breaks.” Few realize the importance of how a foundation affects the quality and performance of their mattress set. By providing innovative bedding support products, Knickerbocker has redefined the category to provide their customers with the lasting support they need.

Knickerbocker manufacturers all of their products in their New Jersey facility, but sells to mattress and furniture stores throughout the United States. Their products travel by rail freight to various distribution centers across the country.

Their supply chain network spans far and wide, but reaching some of their customers proved a challenge. In particular, the distance from their Texas distribution center to their Pacific Northwest customers put them at a disadvantage to serve retailers in Oregon and Washington. After hearing from their customers along the west coast that they required next-day service, Knickerbocker sought out a west coast logistics partner.

When Knickerbocker met with American Warehouse, it was an instant connection. According to Jacob, he found an organized and diligent staff at American Warehouse. With accurate inbound and outbound tracking, they felt assured their deliveries would be accurate and on-time. American Warehouse understood Knickerbocker’s business needs and quickly became a valuable extension of the team. As a result of the partnership and their presence in the northwest, orders in Oregon, Washington and Idaho are up 100%. Expanding their network of logistics support with another regional warehouse allowed Knickerbocker to better serve its customers, and with it generated a significant increase in orders.

Wishing to respond to customer demands, Knickerbocker set out to find a warehousing and distribution partner in the Pacific Northwest. Finding the right solution in American Warehouse, has allowed them to better serve retailers while reducing the worry associated with expanding the supply chain, and growing their business as a result.

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


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!