The freight forwarding industry must deliver quality services at narrow profit margins. A large part of this requires companies to choose the most cutting-edge and updated technology and software to ensure operations are as streamlined as possible. Click here to find out the 10 questions you should ask when selecting the best freight forwarding software for your business.
Developing and executing effective retail rollouts and distributions require detailed planning to create a solid foundation for success. It is critical that all parties are strategically aligned for a rollout to be successful and the logistics plan to be effective. There are several strategies that can better streamline rollouts and distributions when ensuring a timely and superior program.
There are three primary strategies that should be followed to guarantee successful retail rollouts and distributions. These strategies include risk management, scheduling and project optimization.
As with all business practices, retail rollouts and distributions require a variety of decisions throughout the entire process. Every decision contributes to the success or failure of the project. Therefore, to ensure that correct decisions are made, all potential scenarios must be anticipated, communicated and assessed with regards to risks and benefits. These decisions effect cost, timeline and quality of the retail rollout.
To successfully implement the risk management strategy, it is critical to evaluate all risks and compare them with the benefits. This process comprises taking risk information and organizing it into a useable format thus allowing team members to be ahead of any issues that may arise. Then, take the implications and evaluate them to determine a risk-to-benefit situation for rollouts and distributions.
Another critical strategy is implementing correct scheduling to ensure milestones are met for the rollout and distributions timeline. It takes a specific amount of time to properly complete each task. Timelines for launches, revenue deadlines, marketing campaigns, lease payments and a number of other factors can affect timing, presenting a challenging situation in which those involved are expected to complete the work under tight deadlines. This increases risk in that the quality of the work may be substandard and can lead to errors or missing timeline milestones.
To mitigate this issue with a proper scheduling strategy, it is important to have confirmation from all parties on the amount of time for each to complete their required task. This allows them to be held accountable for completing the work on-time and with the highest possible quality. This strategy is fundamental in managing expectations and delivering the best opportunity for success with rollouts and distributions.
Searching for project optimization methods during the retail prototyping phase relies on a variety of factors. First, they are required to develop the identity of the brand. This includes materials, colors, environment and feel; all of which help to build or maintain product identity. As a result of time restraints, the designer cannot analyze every option and not all processes can be optimized from the beginning. In some instances, the products may not be available at the time of the prototyping due to long lead-times or could only be available through select suppliers.
Therefore, a project optimization strategy must rely on value engineering, an organized process for cost reduction while minimizing performance impact. This piece is commonly integrated with the entire design process and should be a factor that the designers are constantly considering. Processes must be streamlined and the result is efficiencies that equate to cost savings and overall improved rollouts and distributions.
Risk management, scheduling and project optimization are three vital strategies that can be implemented to maximize rollout and distribution success. These three approaches anticipate issues, streamline the process while improving accountability and save on costs. These are typically three areas that fail during rollouts and distributions if not properly planned at the beginning of the project.
STC Logistics specializes in solutions to streamline the logistics process for rollouts and distributions. To learn more about our retail specialties, give us a call at 1-800-547-4324 or click below.
Retail planning for the holiday season can be a daunting task. Having the right decorations and an accurate inventory full of all the new specialty products for the season is essential for business success. To meet these retail planning challenges, many savvy retailers turn to 3PL providers to make sure their logistics needs are managed properly. Here’s why:
3PL Providers Meet Deadlines
In retail planning, it’s critical to have freight shipments arrive on time. 3PL providers like STC Logistics utilize an infrastructure based on state-of-the-art technology which recognizes an impeccable route for each specific shipment. The needs of freight shipments are handled and processed by high speed machines, ensuring superlative delivery times. Experienced 3PL providers communicate with affiliates from all over the world in order to consider each possible mode of transportation before deciding on the quickest freight shipment route. Utilizing a retail-specialized provider during holiday freight campaigns begins with computerized recognition of efficient routes with economical rates and ends with precise timing for delivery arrival before the holidays.
3PL Providers Save Time and Money
Distance, equipment, handlers, consolidation and deadlines factor into freight shipment prices. Retail-specialized 3PL providers analyze each freight shipment with a customized rate program to ensure that the most amicable and economical rates available are offered. Optimal logistical efficiency means money is saved in every possible way while the fastest freight shipment routes are taken. Freight may be combined in order to provide additional saving opportunities during the process of transportation for retail planning. Individualized electronic rate quote numbers are created when a freight shipment is rated and this number is used to reference pricing when freight is booked and tracking numbers are generated. This enables the rates and routing to be exact.
The Benefits of Electronic Logistics Format
Multiple rollouts, destinations or assembly services are no issue with STC’s Electronic Logistics Format (ELF). It is a proprietary service which STC Logistics utilizes in order to give clients the advantage. It has been specifically designed to provide an awareness of information between all involved parties during the distribution process. Customized rollouts are drafted, many containing multiple destinations for distribution, along with pieces, sizes and weights and then the spreadsheet for a freight shipment will be received by means of EDI transfer. Updates and changes are simply made and reviewing an entire program now becomes straightforward.
Before the very first pickup is made, outlined instructions that detail requirements for pickup and delivery will already have been prepared and awaiting client approval. Once approved, the ELF will be published to a custom mini-website accessible to clients through the STC Logistics client portal. Status updates are easily viewed, tracking is in real time and reports are easily manufactured. Receiving holiday freight shipments this season in a timely and cost-efficient manner by utilizing STC Logistics enables distribution that is stress-free.
3PL Providers Use Efficient Freight Shipment Methods
Retail planning requires research when partnering with a logistics provider in order to grant an overall flawless process in retail planning. Having a 3PL provider facilitate freight shipments guarantees an enhanced and well-researched process for finding available logistics. Placing an emphasis on the process of retail planning before the transportation plan occurs enables retailers to confidently be assured of the quality they are receiving during a freight shipment. Providing easily accessible status updates and paying sufficient attention to concerns with detailed instructions ensures optimal efficiency during the shipping process.
STC Logistics has established an impeccable reputation throughout its 45 years of experience as a 3PL provider. We offer unbeatable freight shipment delivery times on land, air, and sea—all while enhancing a client’s retail planning process. Our unrivaled technology and catered retail planning programs ensure time and money are saved during the transportation process. Additionally, with a damage rate of less than 1%, our customers can feel confident their shipments will arrive in pristine condition ready to be stocked for the holiday season.
A successful new store launch requires a meticulous rollout management plan. Everything from advertising and deadlines to budget and risk management has to be planned in great detail for a seamless process from start to finish. However, the first step towards success is recognizing logistics and supply-chain management as a crucial part of the strategy for the entire process.
Why Opt for 3PL (Third Party Logistics) Providers for Retail Logistic Best Practices and Good Rollout Management?
1) Speed and Responsiveness
Supply chain speed and responsiveness are usually considered more often than the price of a logistics service, but too often, many supply chain tiers are skipped by working with companies that are not experienced in all aspects of logistics. This is why logistics services should not be bundled blindly; for example, ordering transportation directly from a POP display manufacturer is far from optimal in terms of responsiveness, speed, and cost (they specialize in POP displays, not transportation, after all).
By opting to work with a 3PL provider, store owners don’t have to order various products through multiple supply chains. 3PL providers can handle all moving parts of the supply chain, so they serve almost as a one-stop shop for retailers. On top of time-efficiency, reliable and trusted 3PLs eliminate supply chain risks that come with bundled services and facilitate communications during the rollout management process.
2) Dynamic and Resilient Logistics Strategy
During rollout distribution management, it is crucial to adopt logistic practices that focus on execution-based processes and technologies that will not be interrupted by internal and external changes. For example, if a store owner is forced to swap electronic equipment due to legislation change, postponing the opening of the store should absolutely not be the result.
Trusted 3PL providers can identify and adapt to these changes as they happen because of the logistics management software programs they use. These software programs can identify bottlenecks and problems before they can impact a store owner. This helps the store owner in responding to changes in competitive and regulatory retail environments.
3) Fast Mall Deliveries
It’s obvious that supply chain speed is crucial for a timely launch of a new store opening, but there is no need to force a rush delivery for store merchandise when display shelves are arriving at least a week after. It is especially important that POP displays and other display shelves are delivered to the appropriate location before merchandise arrives and well in advance of the new store opening to ensure store layout and placement details are correct. Store managers should be able to count on reliable 3PL providers to meet the tightest deadlines and simplify the process for new store owners so they can focus all energy on opening up the store.
With leading transportation and logistics technology, STC Logistics not only provides a full, well-rounded solution for new store openings and mall deliveries, but also takes pride in providing clients with effective rollout management and distribution plans, regardless of the industry sector. To learn more about our specialized logistics specialties, including retail, marketing and advertising, click below!
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.