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West Coast and California Logistics Blog

An Introduction to EDI

Oct 25, 2016 / by Richard Grennon posted in Logistics Technology, Electronic Data Interchange

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What is EDI?  EDI is an acronym for Electronic Data Interchange and is commonly defined as: an electronic communication method that provides standards for exchanging data via electronic means without human intervention. 

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5 Tips for a Productive and Efficient Warehouse

Feb 5, 2016 / by Eden Castaneda posted in West Coast Distribution, Shared Warehousing, Logistics Technology, Productivity

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In the logistics and supply chain industry some of today’s biggest buzzwords are efficiency and productivity. Finding a warehouse that operates efficiently & productively will ultimately reduce costs, so who doesn’t want that!

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Say Goodbye to End of Year Inventories

Dec 28, 2015 / by Eden Castaneda posted in Warehouse operations, Logistics Technology, Inventory Control

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In the past, annual inventories were executed at the end of the year based on an organizations accounting year. While that was a method to get a good annual inventory count, it had its challenges with the following:

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Benefits of an Upgraded Transportation Management System

Sep 17, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in Transportation Strategies, Logistics Technology, Refrigerated Trucking, LTL

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Our society today is all about upgrading to the next big thing. We wait in line for hours and hours to get ahold of the newest gadgets. Why? Because, they are usually smarter, better, faster and stronger. Who doesn’t want that, right? Well, a new upgraded transportation management system (TMS) has made Weber’s transportation services smarter, better, faster and stronger. We are excited about its functionality and the capabilities it brings to our team. Here is a list of functions that you can also benefit from by having a provider that utilizes an upgraded TMS.

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Become the Holiday Hero: Prepare your DC for the Food and Beverage Industry during Peak Season

Aug 6, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in West Coast Distribution, Logistics Technology, Food Supply Chain

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When you think of the holidays, what pops into your mind? Is it a winter wonderland, super sales, nonstop festive music, or is it all the FOOD! Can you image the holidays without your favorite holiday food and drinks to enjoy and share. The holidays would be ruined!

At Weber we don’t want to spoil the holiday spirit. Peak Season is approaching for the food and beverage industry and most are gearing up for holiday distribution. In order to ensure Weber can accommodate all our customer’s needs during this time, here are a few golden rules we use:

 

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Outsourcing B2B and B2C Fulfillment to Reduce Costs and Complexity

Jul 23, 2015 / by Connie Anderson posted in Logistics Technology, eCommerce Fulfillment, Multi Channel Fulfillment

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Online shopping continues to grow at exponential rates. As the volume of online sales rises, many companies continue to struggle with managing the distinct fulfillment differences between B2B and B2C channels. The trick is adapting processes to handle picking and packing of individual items for eCommerce fulfillment.

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Cold Chain Distribution: Check out this 2-Minute Video

Dec 30, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Logistics Technology, Cold Chain Managment, Refrigerated Trucking

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Do you manage distribution for temperature-controlled products?

If so, you know that expiration date management and product integrity are constant worries. Choosing an experienced partner for cold chain warehousing and transportation is critical.

Check out this 2-minute video from Weber Logistics on cold chain logistics management. 

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VIDEO: Integrate B2B and B2C Distribution to Reduce Cost, Complexity

Nov 25, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in eCommerce Fulfillment, Multi Channel Fulfillment, Logistics Technology

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As the volume of online sales rises, many companies continue to struggle with managing the distinct fulfillment differences between B2B and B2C channels.  The trick is adapting processes to handle picking and packing of individual items for eCommerce fulfillment.

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Video: Manage Multi-channel Fulfillment from One Facility and System

Sep 10, 2014 / by Connie Anderson posted in Multi Channel Fulfillment, Fulfillment B2C, Logistics Technology

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With more and more consumers shopping online, companies have had to adapt fulfillment to handle picking and shipping of individual items.  Operationally, multi-channel fulfillment is a big shift. So big, in fact, that many companies have chosen to separately manage fulfillment of bulk retail orders and fulfillment of individual eCommerce orders.

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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.

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