Running a business is hard work. Owners and executives need to arrange many moving parts to make everything go smoothly. With so much on one person’s plate, it’s easy to dismiss the importance of inbound logistics. The vendors know what they’re doing and, if you haven’t had any problems with receiving shipments, why worry?
However, taking control of your inbound freight strategy can save your company money, give you better jurisdiction over goods headed your way and improve your cycle time, among other benefits, according to Inbound Logistics.
When considering how to improve your incoming freight, there are several aspects to look into.
One area companies should inspect is the packaging used. Inefficient packaging takes up excessive space in trucks or shipping containers, which can increase the cost of goods because it will require additional shipments to obtain the desired amount of product. Protective packaging should be effective in keeping the product safe, but it should also fit well into the shipping container. Utilizing strong, stackable boxes, for instance, can make the most of a truck’s space.
“A change in packaging saved one company $2.5 million a year.”
Packaging isn’t just about efficient use of space. It’s also about what will protect the contained goods from the wear and tear of travel. Cerasis, a third-party logistics company, stressed the importance of having clear expectations about damaged goods with vendors. Explain how much damage is acceptable and let them know when you will issue an inspection. This may encourage them to be more careful with your shipments.
Choose a route
ReTrans Freight, a freight management company, said it’s a good idea for companies to evaluate the route of delivery their inbound goods follow. For instance, are items being delivered to one location much more than the others? Or, if your company only has one production center, how often are deliveries coming in? See if there is a way to cut down on the number of loads needed. Try to purchase in greater quantities and consolidate routes to multiple locations into one trip.
Be sure to tell your vendors about the new plan. They might be reluctant to adhere to it, but if you’ve done the proper preparation and have carriers all set to go, there shouldn’t be an issue with the change of plans.
While it’s important that you are clear about your expectations and that your vendors know how they will be evaluated, it’s also crucial that you and your vendor can trust each other. Building these relationships is key to gaining control over your inbound shipments.
By looking into your current inbound freight strategy and identifying potential areas of improvement, you can save your company money and gain better control over the way your purchased goods are handled.