Everything interesting, new and useful about the logistics and 3PL Industry

Posts tagged “Business Planning

The True Value Adders – 3PL Service Providers

3PLs and their clients share a unique relationship. When a prospective client is sourcing for a potential firm to do business with, they are looking for a variety of key business offerings. To meet this demand, 3PL firms offer a number of key services to ensure their clients’ companies receive stellar service and increased value to the bottom line:

Expertise3PL Value Adds

A 3PL firm offers a high level of expertise in logistics and operations, resulting in a reduction of time, an improvement in carrier management, order tracking efficiencies, shipment visibility and reduced risk.

Analysis

Analyzing networks is a key process that cannot be avoided. 3PL firms are able to provide a detailed analysis of distribution and inventory while being able to make changes along the way. This keeps all changes, production and other factors up-to-date and removes the responsibility from the employees that may not have the know-how to do a thorough in-house analysis.

Cost-Containment

3PL firms have the ability to provide information on all production issues and ineffective processes, including having the ability to employ corrective measures within certain boundaries.

Strategic Capacity

3PL firms are able to strategically measure, evaluate and employ methods that will cater to an organization’s needs according to price and level of service. They are capable at resolving any issues and demands when analyzing and executing these methods using a large carrier network.

Compliance

No shipping organization can go without supply chain management. 3PL have the ability to create a reporting platform that will communicate with supply chain partners in a timely and accurate manner while providing objective feedback to improve processes.

Load Optimization

3PLs are able to give information on cost-savings achieved through load optimization based on times, dates and shipping details provided. This helps optimize all shipments, removing the in-house responsibility.

Systems Support

3PLs are able to provide adequate systems support, coordinating results with the expectations of current and future customers.

Reduction of Risks

3PLs are able to evaluate and diminish easily identifiable risks, giving perspectives on how to develop a program to address those risks that are harder to pinpoint and resolve.

In a general sense, these are some key business services that many 3PLs offer and should help organizations when determining whether or not their firm is making a difference in their bottom line and serving all their needs. 3PLs after all are proven experts in the field and a highly professional and experienced one can take care of all your logistics needs.

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Business Contingency Planning 101: Handling the Most Common Unexpected Disasters

Whether you’re a new entrepreneur with a small-scale start up business, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you have to be ready when the unexpected occurs. Common unanticipated problems can range from managerial no-shows on crunch days to extensive power outages and machinery breakdowns. How do you cope with seemingly insurmountable problems when the success of your business is on the line?

Here are a few of the most common unexpected business catastrophes — and ways to deal with them.

No-Shows

Employee no-shows can be a disaster, especially if a major product or project is due. To counteract unexpected absenteeism, have a contingency system put in place so that others can step in and handle the job. If you need to bring in outside help, find a resource for extra last-minute assistance that can be available when you need it.

Machinery and Computer Breakdowns

Machinery breakdowns can hold up important deliveries, while computer breakdowns can virtually paralyze a company. Put together a pool of talented mechanics who can be on call to take care of your machinery problems during emergencies. Likewise, create a list of IT experts who can be available in case of computer malfunctions. Always make sure your list includes several specialists, so you have back-ups if your first choices aren’t available.

Power Outages

Unless they’re caused by your own electrical system, there’s not much you can do about power outages, but you can put together a contingency plan to deal with them. Whether you’re a manufacturer with a delivery due or a software developer with a deadline to meet, you should immediately let your client know what’s going on, and that delay is unavoidable because the situation is out of your hands. If your business is at risk, consider moving operations to another location for a few days. You can prepare for this beforehand by setting up a contingency plan to rent, in case of emergencies, space and equipment in another available manufacturing plant, warehouse or office.

Weather Disasters

As a business owner, the best thing you can do is to stay on top of weather conditions and prepare for the worst ahead of time. If flooding or power outages are expected, or if snowstorms are going to keep your employees home for a day or two, contact your clients and let them know what’s going on. If they’re local, they’re probably in the same boat as you are. Likewise, if you can, set up a skeleton staff of employees who are close by and can make it in to work, and get as much done as you can under the circumstances. The main thing is that you don’t want to put your employees — or yourself — at risk.

Being Prepared

Even if you’ve had smooth sailing so far, you never know when the wind will change, so the best thing you can do to protect yourself by taking preventive steps. For example, before hiring key staff members, call their former employers and ask if there were ever any attendance issues. Also, impress upon your new hires why they need to be there when it’s crunch time.

Likewise, get the best insurance you can afford. Insurance can protect you when the power goes out, when you lose days due to weather-related problems and even when machinery breaks down. Get coverage that will protect you in a variety of worst-case scenarios — and don’t be late with those premium payments.

In the end, it’s best to be prepared for just about anything. Set up contingency plans among your employees and independent contractors, and always keep emergency service contact information close at hand. Being prepared is the best way to meet with disasters head-on when — or if — they ever occur in your business.

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