Since logistics service provider environment has become highly competitive over the last few years, offering customers the services they expect while adding value to their organizations, is something that a Third Party Logistics (3PL) provider must do to increase market share. Although it seems easy, changing demands, raised expectations and unforeseeable events can prevent 3PL providers from achieving their goals. Yet, most of these providers successfully manage different tasks, including product launch distributions for new store openings and large scale rollout distributions of procurement fixtures. How do they do it?
Using Technology to Deliver What Customers Expect
Product launch distribution defines a real challenge for all logistics providers. This is simply because product launches and rollout distribution imply fixed delivery dates that cannot be postponed. To help these providers manage such tasks, a series of logistics management software solutions have been developed. However, the real value of these solutions for 3PL providers can only be established by analyzing evaluating software products against logistics best practices, which have the obligation of helping companies in the industry meet customer requirements in addition to meeting the terms of international regulations.
- Avoiding Delays: Since ‘on-the–dot’ delivery is critical for product and procurement rollout distribution, most logistics management software systems provide an end-to-end infrastructure that allows users to plan shipping executions within a single interface. From simple domestic transportation tasks, to complex multimodal moves over different geographies, logistics software gives 3PL providers the ability to schedule, optimize and complete the movement of goods anywhere in the world. Further, it boosts operational efficiency while increasing the profitability of all those involved in the process.
- Gaining Visibility: Logistics software also provides in-depth visibility in supply chains, allowing logistics providers to identify process gaps that may cause supply chain disruptions. In addition, 3PL providers can use a logistics software solution to collect and process relevant, real-time data for advance planning. Cutting-edge transportation and logistics technologies also help users boost their supply chain operations and gain a competitive advantage by successfully meeting product launch distribution dates for new store openings.
- Managing Warehouses: Unlike manual inventory systems, logistics technologies propose flexible, advanced, feature-rich applications that assist logistics providers in managing warehouses and monitoring inventory precisely, even in the most complex distribution and storage schemes. As a result, the entire supply chain can be designed more efficiently, which will turn even the most difficult rollout and distribution tasks into simple endeavors.
- Forecasting Demand: Developing a functional logistics strategy is impossible without forecasting demand. Knowing exactly what is needed, when it is needed is critical for a 3PL provider to succeed in logistics and supply chain industry. Logistics software products include a series of demand forecasting functions, which permit users to anticipate future needs. This is especially useful when dealing with product launches and rollout distribution, which typically requires strategic Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP).
- Cutting Costs: Logistics management software solutions not only deliver appropriate tools for effective product launch distribution and large scale procurement rollouts, but also include features that monitor the performance and profitability of logistics providers along with trends and seasonality within this industry. These features are very important since cutting costs represents one of the most important goals of an organization.
In conclusion, logistics software helps 3PL providers centralize control, cut costs, accomplish timelines, eliminate inefficiencies, increase productivity and streamline shipping processes for successful product rollout distribution.
Having a market-leading transportation and logistics software management solution on its side, STC Logistics specializes in logistics solutions for new store openings, small or large rollout distribution programs, pharmaceuticals, marketing/advertising campaigns, critical product launch introductions and much more. We are able to propose a comprehensive list of technologies and services for new store openings and rollout distribution management for all industries. Unlike other 3PL providers, we take the extra step and quickly provide a pre-scheduled rollout distribution plan to efficiently provide client solutions. Our efficient practices help clients take advantage of reduced costs, increased profits and excellent service.
Click here to learn more about our logistics specialties.
Third Party Logistics (3PL) providers offer a wealth of benefits to the retail procurement industry. Given their extensive knowledge of supply chain management, these providers deliver a comprehensive solution for assembly, distribution, packaging and warehousing. When opening a new store, employing a 3PL gives companies reliable competitive advantages through advanced logistics solutions, in turn, amplifying profitability.
There are several reasons why a retail company could benefit from a partnership with a 3PL provider, including:
- Cost savings
- Extensive knowledge
- Resource network
When opening a new store, one of the greatest concerns is capital. However, by utilizing a 3PL provider, companies will save on time and money. A logistics provider will eliminate the need for staffing, technological tracking and upgrades, transportation and warehousing.
Instead, the store will systematically request new inventory by a specific date and the 3PL will deliver. This will eliminate costly mistakes, thus lowering risks and allowing the business to grow. Billing, distribution audits, optimization, paperwork, staffing and training to ensure the store’s products are shipped accordingly are all the responsibility of the logistics provider.
One of the primary reasons a company should work with a 3PL provider to open a new store is their extensive expertise with all aspects of the supply chain. 3PL’s are aware of all logistics best practices and remain up-to-date on the most recent technological developments. Their software can provide advanced reporting, automated inventory management and procedural visibility to ensure the store can track and report upon the movement of goods.
With the ability to scale labor, space and transportation based on inventory requirements, companies that function during seasonal time periods will enjoy minimal strain during this transition. This allows stores to consume more warehouse space and resources during the busy season and less during the off-season.
Moreover, a 3PL provider gives companies the opportunity to expand into different regions without any logistical barriers. Most logistics companies have strategically-located distribution centers to guarantee the quick shipping of goods. This decentralization strategy allows for lower costs and improved delivery times.
With the resources to adjust and improve all aspects of the supply chain, 3PL providers will utilize the quickest and most cost effective method to ensure their client’s needs are met. By implementing the resources to restructure the supply chain at any time, logistics providers can analyze and monitor practices which will eliminate inefficiencies thus streamlining the process. Although the store will only see the fruit of these labors through on-time, accurate deliveries, it is important to know that 3PL providers are working to deliver the best costs while keeping efficiency and optimization in mind.
Finally, with a vast network of resources at their fingertips (which provides a competitive advantage over internal supply chains) 3PL’s utilize a resource network ensuring every step along the supply chain is efficient and cost-effective. For instance, logistics providers can utilize relationships to acquire volume discounts which will lower overhead while maintaining fast service. Stores will benefit from the relationships their 3PL have built through an improvement in the bottom line.
About STC Logistics
Founded in 1992, STC Logistics specializes in retail procurement and new store opening logistics with a pledge to deliver superior and flexible solutions. We maintain a resolute commitment to offer the most valuable and resourceful technological solutions to its clients regardless of destination, size or weight. As a result, our company has become a trusted provider of logistics solutions for many industry partners, especially in the retail procurement industry.
To learn more about how our logistics specialists can help you open your new store, contact us by clicking here or call us at 800-547-4324.
For more information about selecting a Third Party Logistics (3PL) partner, download our free checklist by clicking below!
Pop-up stores are a fairly new concept used by retailers.These trendy stores pop-up for a short period of time and close once their stock is sold out. For example, they can open their doors over a seasonal period of time, like Halloween costume stores or other holiday shops. They stock their stores with a large selection of goods and use effective brand marketing to sell out their stock over the course of the season. Then, the store can close and open elsewhere with new and different stock.
Pop-up shops serve a niche market, so they are typically open for about 3-6 months; sometimes for a shorter or longer period of time. Hiring managers must plan carefully to successfully set up the store, hire adequate staff, sell out the stock and close down the store in a timely fashion while still making a profit.
So what makes these specialty shops profitable? The key to pop-up store success is making sure store fixtures, displays and stock are all set up properly in time for opening. For this to happen, retailers must work with a reliable logistics company. A store owner that is let down with late or missing stock delivery can end up seeing his or her pop-up store open without sufficient stock to sell.
Late stock arrival means that stock is left over at the end of the season, defeating the objective of such a store. While considering many other details, the owner and supporting staff cannot spend countless hours tracking stock and worrying about lost shipments. When launching a pop-up store and choosing a reliable logistics company, retailers need to consider the following:
• Does the logistics company specialize in retail procurement?
• Does the company possess the infrastructure to deliver shipments of all sizes?
• If needed, can the company offer same-day or white glove service?
• Can the company offer free nationwide warehousing and storage facilities?
• Has the company received positive feedback from present or former customers?
• Do they offer high technology cargo tracking capabilities for complete visibility of freight?
• Do they care about the customer enough to ensure their success?
• Are their trucks equipped with lift gates?
• Does the company offer cross-docking services?
Imagine that you have invested money in opening a pop-up store, only to discover your POP advertising materials have been damaged or delayed. Retail procurement professionals must work with a trusted logistics company to ensure that all materials are delivered to one store or hundreds, on time—every time.
STC Logistics specializes in logistics solutions for new retail store openings. We have incorporated numerous checkpoints into our freight monitoring services to ensure flawless and timely delivery of goods. With our 3PL technology, we are able to efficiently track, trace and control each shipment and can serve as a one-stop solution for retailers.
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In our day and age, there are countless supply chain management firms in the logistics industry, and it can become very difficult for retailers to choose a perfect logistics provider. There are numerous things to be considered—especially when new store openings are on the line—and retailers are not in a position to take any risks.
Choosing a Reliable Logistics Service is the Key to a Successful Launch
There is a large list of things that need to get done when a new store is opened. It is almost impossible for one person to take care of everything, from planning to purchase and transport of the goods. Logistics providers can greatly reduce the work burden of store staff at such a crucial time and can drastically speed up the opening of a new store if their company practices the right policies and procedures for success.
The ideal way to manage retail logistics for success is to find an efficient retail procurement expert. Here are a few key factors that need to be considered before a retailer makes the final decision of what logistics provider they will work with:
- The logistics provider needs to understand the task and has to have the proper expertise and tools to complete the task in a timely manner. Are they experienced in high-volume new store openings? Are they capable of fulfilling both small and very demanding retail logistics needs? Look into the experience that each logistics provider has and see if they specialize in retail.
- How strong is the infrastructure of a specific logistics provider? Among others, it must include proper warehouse facilities and shipping services, on top of permissions of shipment, in case of transporting the goods for a new store from a far-off location?
- Will there be consensus on the ethics and other crucial principles between both the parties? The provider needs to respect all the environment policies and abide by them as well as have good risk management policies in place.
- Were the previous customers satisfied with the service offered? The logistics provider must be offering the best services at the best price.
Logistics Providers Make or Break New Store Openings
A new store is just like a new inning in a retailer’s life; thus, no negligence should be made.
A good logistics provider must have its expertise in shipping through air, sea, rail, and ground. The logistics provider must also empathize with the work and needs of the retailers, therefore, should be accountable to deliver the retail procurement items on time. It is essential for all the items like POP, display shelves and other furniture and fixtures to be delivered on time with no damage. Also, all diligent logistics providers make sure that the material required for a new store not only arrives on time, but also schedule it with the purpose of cost-efficiency.
In the complex operation of supply chain management, an effective logistics provider can efficiently make the work of a retail chain or its staff much easier. If a shipment is late or the items are damaged, new store openings can be delayed or even, in worst case, canceled.
Due Care to POP Displays
POP advertising is the most sought after mode of advertising for the immediate purchasing action and is even more vital for new store openings. Professional logistics providers make a commitment to deliver all the POP material on time with all safety measures taken. After all, advertising on time does pay in the long run. It is advised that POP material should be delivered on the venue at least a few days before the opening, to avoid any delays due to assembly and to allow time to repair any potentially damaged items.
STC Logistics specializes in retail new store openings across the country. Whether you are opening one new store or 100, we make sure that all retail cargo items are packed while considering all the factors, including temperature-sensitivity, transit bumps/jolts and the best shipping routes available. We also take full responsibility of transporting retail products with all safety measures in place. Our retail logistics solutions ensure that we make new store opening deliveries on time, every time. Click here to get your quote today!
Having the right fixtures in the right place at the right time can make or break a retail operation. Timing is especially important when considering the fact that most retail stores make their annual profits in small, high-traffic windows throughout the year. The logistics of retail procurement, fixtures and displays plays a pivotal role in determining the success of your business or retail campaign. This blog explains what to consider when approaching retail procurement logistics and choosing a third party logistics provider to ship your procurement cargo.
Nothing matters more in retail than timing. Timing must be positioned properly to take advantage of holidays, tax-free weekends, new product releases and other narrow timeframes. Effective logistics make sure you receive the products, fixtures and other materials you need, right when you need them… not early, when they might waste valuable warehouse or floor space, or late, when the window of opportunity has already shut. Such strict timing requirements may not matter as much when you’re upgrading your standard displays, but seasonal or event-specific displays need to be ready on time, all the time.
The only thing worse than receiving materials too late or too soon in retail procurement logistics is receiving materials that are damaged or not receiving them at all. Even minor damages can ruin a fixture. Scuffed or scratched displays do not impress customers and less obvious structural damage might result in a display piece breaking while in use. This could cause a safety hazard for shopping customers in busy shopping malls. There is little to be done once you’ve received damaged goods, as even a claim against the shipping firm for the value of the fixture won’t recoup lost potential retail sales in the window of opportunity or time wasted trying to cover for the problem.
Third Party Logistics
With so many factors to consider, in-house logistics personnel can be ineffective or impossible to maintain without compromising profit margins. Specialized retail procurement agencies have specialized knowledge and connections which are invaluable when moving materials around the world or across the nation. Leaving the management of logistic details to individuals whose job it is to know when local shipping laws have changed or what ports will be unusually slow or have a tendency to lose shipments will, in most cases, be superior to training an individual or team in-house to handle the same duties.
Providing the Best Solutions for Retail Procurement Logistics
If you have questions about retail procurement logistics or would like to know how a full-service logistics firm can help your business operate more efficiently and effectively, contact us at STC Logistics by clicking here. We are a trusted provider of retail procurement logistics solutions including new store openings and remodels and marketing campaigns. Thanks to our expert team and our state-of-the-art technology systems and nationwide network of ground, air, rail and ocean transportation, we maintain a 99% on-time delivery rate for businesses across the United States. Learn more about our specialty logistics solutions by clicking here.
Information is key in maintaining a smooth logistics chain. The more information every individual supplier and manufacturer in a given supply chain has access to regarding the status of materials, the more effectively and efficiently those individual companies can manage their own part of that chain. In our modern era, quality logistics and shipment tracking software is a key part of any track and trace logistics solution, and utilization of the superior software to superior effect often marks key differences between two logistics companies.
There are many factors to consider when evaluating shipment tracking software. A software suite that excels in pinpointing shipments en route and stays up-to-date on changes in local shipping conditions may lack equally robust inventory tracking tools, may not output adequate analytics, or may fail and numerous other ways. Here are just a few factors logistics companies should consider when selecting software:
Identification of Points
Before a piece of shipment tracking software can offer anything else, it must be able to accurately map the key points of your supply chain:
- Data Collection: How much information does the shipment tracking software collect at each data point? How accurately and easily does it do so? Using software that allows you to quickly access requested information tremendously speeds up the logistics process.
- Data Assessment: While raw data has its value, smarter shipment tracking software offers more in the way of analytics. Can the software give you full analytics on any possible damage rate or accurate delivery times and updates?
- Integration: Good software ‘plays well with others’. The information produced should be readily available to share across programs or between suppliers, manufacturers, and transporters on the supply chain.
Identification of Goals
A good logistics firm also keeps in mind three end goals in all its evaluations of shipment tracking software:
- Will the software improve supply chain speed?
- Will it improve supply chain reliability?
- Will it create a leaner supply chain?
With those goals and the above factors in mind, it becomes simple to decide which software program to use on a regular basis.
STC Logistics uses the most advanced track and trace shipment tracking software on the market to support its clientele. Under the guidance of logistics experts across the nation and using a massive network of transportation affiliates in hubs across the nation, STC Logistics maintains a 99% on-time delivery rate—better than any of the major shipping companies. Whether your chain needs air, rail, sea, or road travel with large shipments to distributed locations or small shipments to a single location, STC Logistics can provide unmatched precision and reliability. Contact us today for a service quote!
Timing is everything in the retail logistics and transportation industry. Many retail stores struggle to break even in down months and make the entirety of their annual profits in short, frenetic periods each year. Having the right products on the shelves when they are most valuable can mean life or death for any retailer, whether it’s the summer boom in lawn equipment and air conditioners at a hardware shop or having the newest titles on the shelves at a gaming outlet. Ordering too far ahead of schedule can mean as much of a loss as ordering too late—even in periods of low sales, wasted shelves equal lost profits.`
Logistics and transportation must be carefully handled at all stages for a store to achieve maximum profits. On the store’s end, this means careful pre-planning, beginning at least a few months in advance of hectic sales seasons. Important steps in retail planning include:
- Researching products
- Gauging potential sales
- Developing sales and advertising strategies
- Contacting suppliers
- Completing negotiations
- Arranging shipping
- Receiving products and advertising materials
- Shelving products and preparing displays
Several of these steps can be quite difficult without retail logistics and transportation support, but missing important products, over- or under-estimating interest in products or failing to complete negotiations and receive necessary items in a timely manner can all be devastating. Forgetting to order point-of-purchase displays for a major product until the week before the product goes on sale, for example, might make the difference between clear shelves and a full stockroom.
Holidays are of particular concern for any retailer, because as the most vital season for financial success they are also the most likely place for problems to crop up in your logistics and transportation. Perfect preparations store-side can fall apart completely if the chaos of the season overwhelms suppliers, transporters or other parts of your logistics chain. Major logistics and transportation firms fail to deliver express packages on time roughly 10% of the time and lose between 0.5% and 1% of packages every year. Those numbers become even worse during intense seasons.
Having specialists manage your logistics and transportation chain can greatly reduce the odds of delayed order completions and missing shipments. STC Logistics maintains a better than 99% on-time delivery rate to customers in locations across the nation. We offer shipping by air, sea, rail and road and can handle complex large-scale distribution and small daily shipments with equal ease. By working with over 700 logistics and transportation affiliates in and around transportation hubs across the United States, STC Logistics can manage time-sensitive shipments with high precision and reliability. To learn more about our logistics services, click the button below or contact us today for your rate quote!
As the holiday season approaches, gifts and displays have been pouring into retail distribution centers. To be well organized for each upcoming holiday season, retailers must implement smart planning throughout the entire year, usually beginning in August. This will allow retail procurement to find the correct balance for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees, as well as the remainder of the holiday season.
The simple steps to the procurement lifecycle that most individuals generally agree upon are as follows.
1. Information gathering
2. Supplier contact
3. Background review
The most important aspect of smart planning in retail procurement is to order the correct quantities of products thus ensuring renewal demands are met. This includes contingency planning for natural disasters and consumer spending habits that can cause logistical disruptions. The goal of smart planning is to capture the greatest number of sales without being overburdened with excess stock.
In recent years, retail procurement has learned to balance merchandise by improving the overall supply chain. This accounts for improvements in the amount of products to purchase/manufacture, where to place them and how to get them to the stores. Two major contributors to these improvements are technology and flexible agreements with shipping lines.
For brick-and-mortar stores, the key to a perfect holiday season is for retail procurement to predict the number of each product the company requires at each retailer. Although there is an arbitrary calculation, the correct answer varies greatly per location. The greatest challenges for retail procurement to calculate the correct quantities include:
- Short timeframe
- No selling activity to indicate buyer behavior
Point-of-Purchase (POP) Displays
In addition to smart planning by retail procurement for products, companies must also create a strategy for POP displays which help drive costs from the supply chain. As a mechanism for advertising, POP displays create value in the retail stores with low labor cost. Therefore, these displays must arrive at the stores concurrent with the products to ensure a timely advertising campaign during the holidays. Therefore, it is critical that upstream logistics is involved in POP display design timelines as assembly and shipping is a major aspect of the process; not just design.
Consumer package goods companies want the POP display to differentiate from the competition through vivid colors and sharp graphics. In many instances, design creates the POP displays to be so complicated to assemble that it adds considerable labor costs, as well as time. In an effort to ship on-time, in some cases, logistics must use expensive transportation methods like air shipping.
Nevertheless, by including logistics and retail procurement in the design and production timeline, POP displays could be scheduled more efficiently to accommodate more cost efficient delivery avenues. By allowing 3PL’s to assist in mapping out the most advantageous transit schedules, improvements will allow for the most intricate displays to still have adequate assembly times.
Shipping POP Displays
Like any other product, there are certain precautions that must be taken when shipping POP displays which should be built into a contingency plan. During transit, shock and vibration can jostle and even damage the display, dirt and dust can collect, corrosion can occur (depending on the material) and exposure to a variety of temperatures can affect the overall appearance or functionality. Therefore, correct testing, proper protection and evaluation of the shipping routes will assist in ensuring safe transportation of the POP displays to their required destinations.
STC Logistics specializes in shipping retail procurement items like POP displays. We pride ourselves on the principal that when we ship your product, it is delivered on-time, 99% of the time. We are a trusted logistics provider for the retail industry and have a successful track record for reliable and flexible logistics solutions. Contact us for all of your holiday shipping needs here or click on the button below!
For those who are in the medical industry, the partnership created with logistics professionals can impact the way that life and death decisions are made. This could involve moving new medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, biological samples heading off for lab analysis or life-saving artificial organs. While saving lives is always the top priority, there are many risks involved in the transport process that can affect the reliability of those goods.
While there is a lot at stake in regards to the life saving capabilities of doctors by transporting artificial organs or medicines efficiently, there is no greater risk during the supply chain process than when medical equipment is being moved. In fact, just one piece of medical equipment can cost millions of dollars. Fortunately, the best and most reliable logistics companies know how to deal with such matters accordingly.
With the integrity of expensive pieces of medical equipment being at stake, a company’s ability to transport such equipment safely begins with better organizational practices. Technology plays a huge role in this through the deployment of cloud-based enterprise solutions that make the organization of medical equipment inventory simple while creating a lightning-fast internal communication stream to forward concepts such as:
- Stocking locations
- Special packaging and handling instructions
- Temperature control instructions (when applicable)
- Real-time tracking information
- Delivery confirmation electronically of all medical equipment
Being able to provide detailed reports about how a shipment is being organized from beginning to end will not just lend credence to the abilities of the logistics company, but will also help them to save time and money for their customers.
Creating an Air of Complete Transparency
It is important that the customer is able to see the nature in which their medical equipment is being shipped just as much as it is for different parts of the supply chain to be on the same page. Fortunately, the same cloud-based systems used internally can be made accessible to customers as well. From any internet capable device, the customer could look up information about their shipment including but not limited to, tracking status, the scheduled delivery time and who signed for delivery. With the right digital solutions, logistics outfits make it easy for their clientele to feel completely comfortable with how their situation is being handled.
Responding With Adaptability
Just as there are certain precautions that must be taken when handling hazardous chemicals or other temperature sensitive goods, the same meticulousness must be applied to the handling of medical equipment. There are some pieces of medical equipment such as x-ray machines or MRI devices that are extremely sensitive to problems such as:
- Vibrations or jostling during transit
- Dirt and dust
- Corrosion or oxidation
Since even the smallest transit issues can lead to medical equipment needing to be recalibrated or becoming unusable, logistics companies respond by offering packaging assessments. Suggestions for the use of foam packaging, including bumpers and floating bases, both of which can effectively cushion equipment properly, adequate crating, and weight distribution. This, combined with accurate dimensions and weights, valuations and pictures will allow even the most sensitive pieces of equipment to be handled properly.
A Complete Solution:
The most reliable logistics companies know how to handle all aspects of medical equipment shipping. This means that their customers can count on complete service solutions. Thanks to concepts like proper packaging, real-time tracking, and white glove service, these delicate yet expensive shipments will always be handled with grace. STC Logistics is a trusted provider of logistics solutions for the medical industry. Call us at 1-800-547-4324 or click here to learn more.
There are many things to consider when hiring a third party logistics company today. While the basics involve utilizing air, land, or sea transportation to move goods from one point to another, there are many intricacies that are added to the process in order to increase efficiency—both for the customer and the logistics company itself. With shifting trends and the notion of new logistics technologies being ever present, there are many concepts that are improving the way freight gets moved.
Overall, the most revolutionary changes that are happening in logistics technologies today are widely due to advances in mobile logistics technologies. In the past, there were only primitive ruggedized devices that were specifically put into use for supply chain environments. Now, the lines between consumer and commercial grade equipment are becoming blurred because of new logistics technologies. This provides customers, as well as professionals, with crucial solutions to improve processes in every step of the supply chain.
Technology and Logistics in the Warehouse
The utilization of mobile logistics technologies in the warehouse has completely changed the way that companies think about setting up, as well as sorting and segregating inventory. With a single smart phone, warehouse employees are now able to:
- View inventory counts remotely
- Scan inventory both short and long range
- Use voice activated commands to conduct operations hands free
- Send information through the cloud for instant results
- Track and trace transportation itineraries and transit times
Another warehouse trend that cloud-based logistics technologies have set is the use of complete mobile solutions. Because logistics technologies have spider-webbed into so many devices, warehouse teams can now use smart phones and tablets in combination with mobile printers. These scanning devices enable the warehouse workers to reduce the need to move back and forth to different stations in the warehouse. This eliminates issues with sorting, segregating, picking and packing, setting up RFID solutions, scanning barcodes and printing.
For the Customer
Mobile logistics technologies have made the customer end of logistics more productive than ever before. With app development at an all time high, the customer now has more information at their fingertips than ever before. These logistics technologies allow the customer to forgo contacting 3PLs directly in regards to queries such as:
- Inventory quantities
- Price quotes
- Real-time transit status updates
- Delivery times
- Confirmation of POD
Tracking has always been a huge issue for customers until recently because there was little information available without making hard inquiries by phone. But now, trucks, trains, ships, and planes can be outfitted with GPS trackers that the customer can dial into from their smart phone to see exactly where their freight is. This allows them to not only satisfy their curiosity, but plan accordingly based on suggested arrival times.
For the Driver
Utilizing the same type of logistics technologies, truck drivers can now perform many functions with far greater efficiency. Smart phones allow drivers to accurately capture customer signatures upon delivery, track their hours, and even examine statistics about their driving performance. GPS systems can also provide real time data about traffic situations so that they know about areas that should be avoided to achieve shorter transit times.
The Wave of the Future
The smart phone based logistics technologies available today are completely changing the way that everyone thinks about logistics. It is even paving the way for other advances in the future such as 3D printing and greater use of green solutions. For now, 3PLs and customers alike can enjoy the way that mobile logistics technologies has helped to improve the process overall.
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