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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

3PL’s can Help with Seasonal Fluctuations

Dec 8, 2015 / by Eden Castaneda posted in 3PL, Logistics Systems, Inventory Control

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As the final holiday push for many companies sends merchandise out of the warehouse and to retailers’ shelves, inventories become minimal and can leave many paying for empty warehouse space. Third party logistics providers are a great option for companies who have fluctuation in their inventories. To save costs, you need someone who can handle these fluctuations with an appropriate structure.

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You Can’t Build Success on a Rocky Foundation: Things to Consider During Onboarding

Sep 10, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in West Coast Distribution, Third Party Logistics, Logistics Systems, Logistics Customer Service

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Any good relationship requires a solid foundation to build upon. In order to establish a solid foundation you need trust, respect and commitment. This same foundation is necessary when partnering with a new third party logistics company. Although each person has their own way of doing things in a relationship, both individuals must trust the other has their best interest in hand. The same principal applies with the client – provider supply chain relationship.

As the onboarding process begins, clients should be open to accepting the standard operating procedures (SOP’s) of their new logistics partner. At Weber we have found may clients want to replicate the systems and procedures they were previously utilizing. If you bring your same routine to your new 3PL partner, you will experience the same results and will NOT maximize efficiencies. Leaving old systems and procedures behind are crucial steps to establish the foundation for success in the short term and long term.

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7 Frequent Chargebacks and Steps to Reduce Them

Jun 11, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in Vendor Compliance, Chargebacks, Logistics Systems

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Are you receiving chargeback after chargeback after chargeback? Well, you are not the only one my friend. Companies can lose hundreds of thousands in profit if they do not resolve inadequacies in compliance.

Over the past few decades retailers have amped up their vendor compliance with a view to speeding their order-to-cash cycle times and making their distribution centers maximally efficient.  When goods are not received before or after the expected date or contain errors in labeling the vendor is subject to a chargeback based on the percentage of the value of the shipment.

Seven of the most frequent chargebacks by category include:

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Is Commercial Warehouse Pricing Simple?

Aug 20, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Warehouse operations, Warehouse Rates, Logistics Systems

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Well, yes and no.

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California Port Logistics: 5 Ways To Process Containers Faster

Apr 18, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Southern California Ports, Logistics Systems, Port Logistics

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Your container is at the port.  Now what?  Receiving your goods in a timely and economical fashion is paramount, whether your goods are for further production or for distribution locally or country wide.  There are many aspects of getting your container to your chosen facility from the Port. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach present particular challenges since these ports handle nearly 40,000 TEUs per day.  Even on a slow day, the web of roads to retrieve them are congested and complex. 

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Container Drayage – Time is Money

Apr 2, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Southern California Ports, Drayage, Logistics Systems

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Turn times at Southern California ports.  Does it ever seem like the time to retrieve your container is as long as the ocean transit time? 

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Rules for Good Customer Service in Logistics

Jan 2, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Logistics Management, Third Party Logistics, Logistics Systems

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Good customer service is the lifeblood of a logistics business.  It’s all about retaining your customers and sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your company to others.  The essence of customer service logistics is forming a relationship that customers want to sustain over time.

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Back to Basics: An Answer to Improving Warehouse Efficiency

Dec 18, 2013 / by Bill Jozefowicz posted in 3PL, Warehouse operations, Logistics Systems

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I just finished reading the results of the latest annual Warehouse and Distribution Center Operations Survey (Peerless Research Group).  One of the clear takeaways was that companies need to take cost out of operations, but they are carrying out warehouse efficiency initiatives that don’t involve major investments in systems and equipment.

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Logistics Technology Systems: A Primer

Oct 24, 2013 / by Richard Grennon posted in Logistics Management, Logistics Technology, Logistics Systems

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In today’s fast-moving logistics marketplace, logistics technology plays a key role in determining how quickly, how accurately, and how correctly product can be delivered to the customer.  But what kind of system, or systems, do you need?  The major components are:

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) – This is the ‘Main Frame’ of old.  This is the system where anything to do with your product is stored.  Usually purchasing of raw goods through planning and building the finished goods, through handling customer orders and invoicing, flow through this system.  It knows how much of what is where and in what stage of production it is in.

FMS (Finance Management System) – This system manages all your dollars, assets and liabilities.  Sometimes this system is ‘built into’ the ERP system to help manage the costs of each step of your operation.  Other times the ERP is interfaced to supply just the financial information to this system.

WMS (Warehouse Management System) – This system knows exactly how many and where every widget is within your warehouse(s).  It can help drive better productivity by managing building layouts and travel time, and usually will direct your labor force via wireless devices vs. utilizing paper printouts.  It is usually interfaced to your ERP in order to electronically communicate all receipts and shipments from the warehouse(s).  There are MANY varieties of WMS systems, from generalized ‘do it all’ systems to specialized, one-purpose systems.  It can be a daunting task to choose the logistics technology that fits your business, and your warehouse, the best.

TMS (Transportation Management System) – This is an often overlooked system as most businesses see this as a Carrier’s system vs. a system that can help save them money.  All your goods have to get from your manufacturing site to the customer somehow, right?  Having a good TMS that helps route and consolidate your shipments the quickest, most efficient, least expensive way can save you big dollars in the long run.  This system needs to communicate to your ERP, FMS, and WMS systems to be the most efficient.

LMS (Labor Management System) – This is also an overlooked system as it deals primarily with productivity only.  This system’s goal is to inform you of how efficiently your labor force is actually performing and help you plan future work more efficiently.  Without some kind of LMS in place, how do you really know that all your employees are being as efficient as possible?  How do you know how many people you need for the tasks planned to be completed tomorrow?  This system should be tightly integrated with your ERP (for production work) and WMS.

Most companies have some sort of ERP and FMS systems already in place that work well for them.  Some larger ERP systems have modules that try to handle WMS, FMS, or LMS tasks – but most have found these modules to be lacking the true, flexible functionality that specialized systems can provide.  Where companies can save significant dollars is by investing in a true WMS, a TMS, and a LMS. 

In a lot of cases manufacturers want to focus on manufacturing, not warehousing and shipping – hence they outsource these functions to 3PLs (Third Party Logistics providers) who already operate efficient WMS and/or TMS and/or LMS systems.  The best 3PLs run all three systems as a tightly integrated logistics technology suite, increasing their accuracy and efficiency during every step of handling the logistics side of their customer’s business.  Every penny saved by the 3PL not only transfers directly to their bottom line, it also transfers to their customers’ bottom lines with lower transactional rates, higher accuracy, less compliance chargebacks, and the ability to know exactly where every order, receipt, and widget is within the supply chain.

 Contact  Weber Logistics

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