Planes, Trains, and Truckloads: Essential Strategies for Managing Your Supply Chain

Logistics and supply chain management are major industries in Indiana. The state’s central location provides ready access to national and international markets. One factor in a business’ success is its ability to expertly and economically move goods around the state, the nation, and the world. Businesses are challenged to competitively move and store raw materials, optimize inventory, analyze consumer demand, and transport finished goods from production to distribution centers and the end customer. Supply chain/logistics experts use technology and information systems to trace produce, improve efficiency and productivity, and provide businesses with the skills and visibility to plan, execute, and monitor every aspect of the transportation process.

Freight Spend Management Programs
Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex. Companies may have offices and plants in remote countries, as well as suppliers and customers. Freight costs and regulations vary by country. Businesses face local freight assessment and payment requirements unrelated to other financial management costs. Most businesses do not have a centralized freight spend management platform capable of reciprocal connectivity with other, related information systems. When businesses operate without this connectivity, controlling freight cost is impossible and expenses soar.
Freight management programs offered by strategic 3PLs provide global solutions to businesses that allow them to manage freight execution and cost. Businesses should consider programs that offer accurate local regulations and logistics information, multi-currency and multi-lingual competencies, and have the ability to access all pertinent data and correlate it with other significant information such as currencies and exchange rates.
A good freight spend management program lets businesses calculate and modify shipment costs while planning loads to make the most of available capacity. Payment options are streamlined, and businesses can proactively monitor the movement of their goods from origin to destination.
Supply Chain Consulting
Mismanaged supply chains result in profit erosion. Global supply chains are exceedingly difficult to manage due to constantly changing demands for products with shorter life cycles, supply chain bottlenecks, and inability to make good use of developing technologies. Supply chain makeovers can result in increased fill rates, reduced inventories, and improved customer satisfaction. Expert supply chain consultants offer valuable information about network design services which produce these results.
Supply chain consultants conduct in-depth analyses, including measurement of damaged product, delays, and returns. They identify shifts in demand, production, and other expense considerations. Global opportunities are identified and support staff is provided to help with detailed or complicated initiatives.
Domestic and International Transportation Management
Transportation management allows businesses to manage the flow of domestic and international freight by connecting with hundreds of operators of aircraft, railroads, ocean vessels, and trucks. Management system platforms are available that incorporate both private and for-hire transportation methods and integrate cross-border custom requirements and other transportation factors. A transportation management platform allows businesses to:
  • Manage carriers and necessary contracts
  • Design route instructions with quote/rate shipments
  • Calculate the best mode and carrier combinations
  • Improve warehousing procedures with specific dock appointment scheduling
  • Track shipments.
Warehouse Management System
Warehouse management systems use technology to monitor the flow of product in and out of storage facilities. Efficient systems provide the data which enable businesses to cut expenses by minimizing the quantity of products in storage while assuring that there is enough product on hand to meet demand.
The fulfillment goals of businesses and supply chain management experts are to deliver the right quantity, of the right product, to the right location, at the right time, in the right condition, for the right price. Accomplishing these goals can definitely help a business to be more successful.

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