Advanced Logistics Technology: The Benefits of Proprietary Logistics Services

boxes world-resized-600.jpgWhether you run a new or established business, you know how important it is to have your goods carefully prepared, shipped and arrive at their destination on time. Failure to do so can have a negative impact on your customers—and even more so on your business—when issues like delivery delays, damaged items and cost overruns. Your reputation suffers and you can lose out on revenue, resulting in a black eye to your bottom line.

A New Advanced  Logistics Technology

How do you choose the right 3PL provider for you? You can shop around for a logistics solution and review all of your options or quickly choose a 3PL provider and simply live with your choice, hoping your goods don’t get damaged by trial and error.

Rather than take a chance with just any 3PL provider, STC makes available a new technology for all of our clients.  Electronic Logistics Format, also known as E.L.F., manages the logistics, shipping, and tracking of your freight, alongside our logistics team and allows for visibility and flexibility. This tool is a proprietary services logistics technology that supports traffic managers or anyone who handles major regional or nationwide distributions, pickup assembly services, and multi-location rollouts.

What the E.L.F. Logistics Technology Does

E.L.F. logistics technology helps you accomplish a number of tasks. First of all, this service coordinates every stage of your shipping order. You would send our logistics experts at STC a spreadsheet that contains your shipment’s information; we can receive information by EDI, Excel or any format you prefer to use. STC will then develop a customized rollout or a multi-destination distribution blueprint.

From there, STC Logistics uses the E.L.F. logistics technology to plan, organize, and arrange for the final delivery of your cargo. The shipment’s progress is also tracked and traced through its numerous steps, in conjunction with our expert customer service team; we will never lose sight of your goods.

Before your freight goes into transit, you will review and approve the logistics plan, pickup and delivery specifications, your pricing estimates, and the shipment’s delivery date. Everything is sorted out well before your shipment’s pickup is made.  Preplanning is a key factor for a successful logistics design.

Your Own Mini-Website

top sidebar-resized-292.jpgAfter your shipment’s order is approved, STC’s IT department publishes your E.L.F. logistics technology design to a web-based viewing area. This is your very own “mini-website” for the distribution project. Your web portal is linked directly to STC’s internal operating system and is updated in real-time. You’ll be able to see the status of any of your shipments as they happen and delivery POD’s as they arrive.

Any relevant parties you choose will be granted access to the “mini-website” and allow them to follow the status of your shipment. This way, everyone who you’ve appointed will see that the shipment is picked up, shipped, and arrived on time to the correct recipient.

The Benefits of Proprietary Logistics

When you partner with a 3PL provider like STC Logistics, you can enjoy the logistics technology benefits that you wouldn’t necessarily see from other logistics technology products. Consider these perks:

  • Eliminates the confusion experienced when random shippers pick up and deliver your items. Using STC Logistics as an extension of your team keeps everything under one roof.
  • Improves pick up times, length time in transit, and the actual delivery date and time by providing a schedule in advance.
  • Reliable nationwide affiliates allow for consolidation of goods, TSA certified access to all airports and strong networks to meet your deadlines. We are all linked together through the system.
  • You receive an entirely coordinated effort from the team to ensure that your shipment arrives safely, undamaged, and on time. Adjustments are easily made and updates are in real-time.

STC Logistics uses the very latest in advanced technology with its specialized Electronic Logistics Format logistics technology. For more information or to obtain a quote for your next shipment, contact us 24/7 at 800-547-4324. To learn more about the industries we specialize in, click the button below.

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Rollout Management and New Store Openings: Mall Deliveries

outside store in mall-resized-600.jpgA 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

on time delivery 2-resized-600.jpgIt’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!

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Using Technology for Product Launch and Rollout Distribution

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-thedot’ 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.

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Open Your New Store with a Third Party Logistics (3PL) Provider

shutterstock_78683872-resized-600.jpgThird 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
  • Flexibility
  • Optimization
  • Resource network

Cost Savings

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.

Extensive Knowledge

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.

Flexibility

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.

Optimization

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.

Resource Network

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!

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Choosing a Logistics Provider for Your Pop-Up Store

the_beatles_double_decker_pop-up_bus-resized-600.jpgPop-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.

Choosing a reliable retail procurement logistics professional will ensure a smooth new-store opening. To learn more about our services, click here or contact us today.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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The Logistics Behind New Retail Store Openings

warehouse-resized-600.jpgIn 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!

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Reliable Logistics Solutions for Retail Fixtures and Displays

store display jackets-resized-600.jpgHaving 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.

Timing

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.

Care

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.

Selecting a Logistics Provider with Quality Shipping Tracking Software

digital-dreams-1160562-m-resized-600.jpgInformation 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!

Retail Logistics: Why Timing is Everything

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!

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Retail Procurement: Preparing for the Holiday Season

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.

Smart Planning

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
4. Negotiation
5. Fulfillment
6. Consumption
7. Renewal

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.

Order Quantities

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
  • Over-stocking
  • Under-stocking

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!

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