In 2011, improving visibility was one of the top projects undertaken by logistics companies. In short, logistics visibility is the development and method in which clients can be a viewer to the whole system. They become a spectator, and in a way, an overseer to each 3PL service. Clients want to understand how their product is doing at all stages of service. It is not because clients want to have full control or are obsessive over their inventory, but rather that a service that becomes transparent allows flexibility and adaptation. Below we will talk about why visibility is important and its benefits.
In 2000, the big boom of logistics began to occur. Technology was blossoming and service was quickly speeding up. Clients had shorter timelines and more on the line with their products. Demand in commerce meant more demand from their service providers, with service providers being logistics companies. Prior to this big explosion of commerce, technology service, especially within logistics, was kept secretive. Companies had to invest trust into their provider in order to participate. On the other hand, that meant the 3PL service had to always deliver and always voice back to the client that “Everything is going great.” But what if it wasn’t? What if their product was mislabeled or they actually needed two hundred shipped instead of fifty? This is when visibility becomes crucial. Having the technology that allows clients to see their product’s progress at all stages gives them the reassurance that everything is okay, and if it isn’t, it is fixed immediately.
The benefits of visibility are simple. It creates reliability, trust, and promotes efficiency. More importantly, it helps meet the high demand within logistics. Prior to having this technology, problems were found often too late. But now, with technology like real-time barcode scanning and web portals to access their products information, problems show themselves right as they happen. It is important for logistic services to adopt visibility within their company because it shows compassion to their clients. An understanding that tells clients, “We know what it’s like, so we want you to be a part of it.”
At Draco, we love that our clients become a part of the process, and we thrive on it. It pushes us to work harder and builds our client relationships stronger. Contact us and learn more about our supply chain management solutions and 3PL services. We can walk you through our technology systems and show you how we can work together, with a transparent process, every step of the way.
1. Know and think like your audience & customer
Each and every business, even online, has a key following of customers. Like all business models it is critical to know who those customers are, what they want and of course what they don’t. One of the many ways to do this is to conduct research. Put out a survey on your social media sites. If you don’t use social media, sign up now. Social media is the best and easiest way to directly access your customer base. When seeking information, be sure to remember to think like they do. Morph and construct how your business speaks, sells, and looks like to their desires and needs. Very successful companies tailor their business to their customers.
2. Keep it simple and focus
Sometimes when businesses develop an online presence, the assumption is to sell a variety of products that appeal to a variety of consumers. However, when you really are trying to grow a business, you have to focus. You need to know what products are your specialty or sell the best early in the process and put that product(s) on a high pedestal. Of course, you can still sell all types of objects, but often enough when consumers think of a business they think about one or a few main items they sell or are known for.
3. Time is money and customer happiness
One of the hardest things to capture is someone’s time and money. Customers are constantly seeking faster and cheaper ways to access their goods. Now, for most businesses it is really hard to lower prices enough to compete with major corporations, but what you can provide is great customer service and delivery speed. Using a third party logistics company can provide an online business with a way to ensure precision in fulfilling a customer’s order and shipping it out with speed. Keeping at least one of these areas in the forefront of your business model can keep your company growing, and more importantly your customers happy and returning.
4. Update and stay relevant
In the past ten years or so, the online world has changed immensely. Websites are in the billions and web design is a growing. It is key to any ecommerce site to always be on new trends in the world of web design and content. Make sure to have a well designed and functional website because for most customers, it is easier to find the product elsewhere rather than trying to understand a poorly designed website. Generate constant content, as well. Put out promotions, start a blog, and engage in social media. These tactics can really change how consumers view your business and will pass on the word to others.
5. Develop partnerships and network
It is a known fact that success often comes from networking and having key partners by your side. This goes for physical companies and the ones that live on the web. Use services and the skills of the people you know. Join a local networking group. Often enough, a referral or a strong partnership can boost your online sales. Engaging with professionals around you can truly boost both credibility and the bottom line.
As we all know the business world is a hectic place. Clear communication, accuracy, and teamwork are critical aspects of a successful company. However, sometimes there are tasks that need to be done but no one has time or the funds to accomplish them. This is where a fulfillment service can come in handy. Here at Draco, we want alleviate those stresses that block a company’s vision, but at the same time help them accomplish their goals. So why should your business bring aboard a fulfillment service? Let’s find out.
1. Focus On What You Do Best
Every business has a vision and a goal. They have a step-by-step plan of what they hope to achieve. But does that plan include packaging, labeling, shipping, etc.? We’re guessing not. Draco LLC wants your business to have the most optimal time and resources to accomplish your goals, or in other words “let us do the rest”.
2. Time is Money
It’s an age-old phrase, but yet it still holds true. In a competitive marketplace, every penny and minute counts. Hiring employees just for the side work like packaging and shipping is an added cost to the company, which could easily be outsourced to third parties like us. Doing this will eliminate the overhead costs of hiring, training, and developing a whole other side of your company for one task––which means more money and time for you.
3. Variable vs. Fixed Cost
Let’s imagine that your company is a massive e-commerce company selling shoes. At some point, your needs may outgrow your home or office. This means purchasing or leasing a warehouse ––at a fixed cost. Here at Draco, we focus our rates depending on your sales. It’s simple; sell more, pay more and vice versa. This will put less pressure on your company to sell more shoes, faster and quicker to cover your overhead costs. As we all know sometimes our businesses have “bad months or quarters”. Draco accounts for that and thus adjusts your service rate to your selling rate.
4. Customer Service
This benefit is always crucially important for a competitive edge. Often when providing goods, companies have to develop whole areas of employees focusing strictly on customer service. Draco can help you improve your customer service. We can lower shipping costs by applying bulk rates through shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. We can also lower the time it takes for your product to get to your customer. Our warehouses and employees move fast and efficiently, thus quickening the purchasing and shipping cycle. It’s a win-win situation.
5. Seasonal Friendly
Selling and shipping rates vary from season to season. As we all know, the October to January range is quite hectic for most businesses. Most of the yearly profits are made within a four-month period. This obviously puts more stress on the company, which usually includes hiring temps to cover the excess work. However, a fulfillment service can both lower the stress and prevent a major hire each season. We can handle the overload of products and still ship them on time and more importantly on budget.
All in all, a fulfillment service is a great companion to have as a thriving business. At Draco, we want to be your partner that helps in achieving your goals while keeping stress and costs down. We understand what it’s like, and we aspire to work hard just as much as you do, everyday.
The words “logistics” and “supply chain management” can be confusing to those who really don’t know what they mean even though both terms affect almost every facet of our lives everyday. Simply defined, logistics means to get things where they need to be when they need to be. Time and place are major factors to logistics. On the other hand, supply chain management involves satisfying the customer and manufacturers needs by developing an organized way to manage the production and movement of goods. Most people believe that these terms are only associated with industrial equipment and factories, but in fact it applies to most everything, even something as simple as a pencil.
Look around you. If you see pens, papers, a computer, or a cup you are also looking at logistics and supply chain management. All of those items, even though simple in form, are part of a much more complex process. Take a look at the pencil. It’s made of wood, has lead, and an eraser. Each one of those aspects of the pencil has a trail of processes behind it. The wood has to be cut down, shipped, processed, shipped again, cut into a pencil, then packaged and shipped once more. All of those steps take careful organization and planning––services that logistics and supply chain companies thrive in. When these processes are well planned, it both generates profit for the manufacturer and drives cost down for you, the client. So the next time you pick up a pencil to jot down a note, think about what would happen if there wasn’t an organization involved in keeping the costs down to bring that pencil together. Hello $300.00 pencil!
Keeping things running smoothly and efficient is not just about shipping your product out on time. It’s also about keeping the business wheel balanced and alive. Businesses need to make a profit. It is all about equilibrium and supply chain management and logistic services that can help any business, big or small, achieve their company’s goals. Let Draco help you achieve those goals. Talk to us about your supply chain management processes today.