Regardless of whether or not you use just-in-time inventory practices, you’ve most likely run into a situation where you’ve needed more stock fast. But these last minute shipments can cut into your bottom line. So, how can you ship your items in the most cost-effective manner? Here are 7 tips to help.
This pricing structure can help or hurt your shipping costs. It’s best practice to compare at least two bracketed prices with standard pricing to ensure you’re logistics are more cost-effective.
Sometimes air charter services are the only option due to time constraints or inventory levels, but is it possible to utilize full truckload or less than truckload for a portion of the shipment or for a part of the distance? Be certain to work with a 3PL company that can offer you these options.
Choosing a 3PL Company Carefully
Of course we’re biased on this point, but having been in this industry for over 20 years, I have seen the power of relationships first hand. While it’s important to consistently re-evaluate your logistics, don’t underestimate the impact relationships can have. When you need something extraordinary or have tight budgets, a long-term partner is more vested and therefore better situated to help.
If you rely on less than truckload shipments for the majority of your business, finding a partner who has a similar need and inventory schedule can reduce costs. Spending too much time finding LTL partners can be wasteful as well, so be certain to find a few who have reliably similar schedules.
It goes without saying that effective forecasting systems are the best way to save money. When you plan ahead you have the flexibility to choose the most cost-effective transportation method.
Are imports costing you money by sitting in compliance for longer than necessary? Are your warehouses strategically located to cut transportation costs? A good 3PL company is always monitoring for potential bottlenecks and offering options to cut costs and streamline your supply chain.
Tracking Success & Failure
Like anything, logistics have to be monitored in order to continue improving effectiveness and reducing costs. First determine your supply chain and logistics goals, then plan which KPI’s to track, finally be certain to regularly evaluate these numbers and implement changes as soon as problems appear.
What do you think? Have these methods worked for you? Are there ERP or BI tools you use that have helped reduce your costs?
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