Improving Customer Service in Supply Chain Logistics

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People behind supply chain logistics systems are constantly looking for new ways to reduce costs and make their operations more productive. In the rapidly changing economic climate we have today, such initiatives are becoming essential for staying on top of the competition. While there are adjustments that can help businesses save money, surprisingly, the same processes can often be used to render better service and greater customer satisfaction.

Evaluate hiring, retention and turnover

Labour is often the largest expense after outbound freight in the warehouse. Your goal should be to reduce the turnover, so you need to identify the reasons behind work attrition and potentially high turnover rate. Perhaps your company’s hiring, retention, and training practices are insufficient to provide you with streamlined influx of labour, essential for operation peaks.

Introduce PCMs

Holding pre-work communication meetings (PCMs) with your shipping operation or warehouse employees two or three minutes before the shift starts is a good way for outlining specific goals for the day. These meetings are especially effective if you have a busy day ahead, so you can remind the workers to stay focused and motivated. Make it a practice to end every meeting with a safety reminder.

Minimize handling and touches

The principle is simple – the fewer touches the product is exposed to, the less it will cost for an order to be fulfilled and shipped. In order to improve customer service, your team needs to streamline the supply chain logistics operation, and apply the best practices the industry has to offer to reduce handling and touches.

Facilitate seamless picking and packing

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that picking and packing labour in supply chain logistics accounts for more than 50% of direct labour expenses. What you need to determine is whether you are using the picking method that best matches your order profiles. Your packing area needs to be redesigned for productivity, with readily available cartons, inserts, variable height adjustments for pack tables, packed cartons takeaway, etc.

Consider on-demand packaging

Efforts in right-size packaging are more critical to supply chain logistics that ever, as the dimensional weight has become an industry standard. With on-demand packaging, a machine die cuts the right size box for each order from rolls of corrugated cardboard. The benefits of on-demand packaging include reduced packaging and transportation costs, as well as enhanced sustainability, which has become an increasingly important consideration for customers.

Advanced slotting

Effective slotting solutions can lower your supply chain logistics labour costs for picking, replenishment, and putaway. As a cornerstone of a streamlined logistical operation, contemporary pallet racking systemsthat stack up are the proven solution which has been designed and tested to the highest industry standards. Increase the storage density for swift dispatch of large single SKU (single keeping unit) orders by installing the deep racking systems which are easy to access through dual pantograph or sliding fork attachments – ideal for small businesses that deliver in high volumes.

Use available resources more productively

This has been a phrase that we’ve heard a lot in supply chain logistics today. Through a professional assessment, your supply chain logistics operation will become more productive by optimizing the layout, increasing the product storage and staff efficiency. Failing to meet these basic requirements often leads to increased costs of the warehouse operation. Without physical expansion, every warehouse can increase its current capacity by exploiting that capacity more effectively.

Rethink transportation modes and routes

You can make savings on multi-piece shipments that don’t involve a full pallet or multiple pallets if you use small parcel carriers. By comparing small parcel to LTL carriers(less than truckload) or LTL to truckloads, you can see the price difference for various weight and zone break points. This consideration is especially interesting for id market shippers, where changing the routing and mode of shipment can pay off significantly.

Establish vendor scorecard

Instruct your Merchandising, Inventory Control, Supply Chain Logistics and Accounting departments to evaluate vendors. They should include sales, margin, on-time delivery, recurring problems, etc. make a practice to review the score several times a year with the vendors, or consider establishing a vendor recognition program.

Increase information visibility

By eliminating slow, unreliable spreadsheets, and by sharing the latest information through current technology solutions, you’ll make your logistics processes more transparent to both your workforce and your clients. Alternatively, you can increase information sharing by taking advantage of big data analytics, measuring supply chain metrics, and involving employees in finding hot spots in the system. By having your workforce informed, you create an opportunity for innovation, while by informing the clients you increase their satisfaction.

These are some of the most successful tips for reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction. A thorough analysis of your current supply chain logistics operation can lead to big savings, which enables you to increase your turnover capacity, productivity, and space available without physical expansion.

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