Multivendor supply chain planning and management is a complicated orchestration of many things that can go wrong. New and current businesses looking to break into big-box retail must pay special attention to detail, juggle various vendors, and manage a slew of regulatory obligations.
Using many vendors exposes the shipper to greater transportation costs, unreliable delivery, and tainted customer relationships. It can be intimidating.
Allowing a professional to oversee the process with a well-designed, bespoke retail consolidation program is the solution. Here are a few pointers to assist you in finding the best consolidator for your company.
1. Find the right transportation provider
Make sure the company you’re interviewing has an excellent track record and a lot of expertise with large retailers when it comes to consolidation.
Are there any similar vendors or retailers with whom the provider is actively collaborating? This might be advantageous if they already have an excellent business relationship with some of the same contacts.
Is it possible for them to supply intermodal, truckload, LTL, managed solutions, cross-docking, and last-mile solutions?
Are they aware of the necessary lead times for each?
Make sure to inquire about any other value-added services that will help you save money and time.
2. Harness the latest technology
It’s critical to find a provider with the most up-to-date transportation and warehouse management systems, as well as onboard monitoring devices for all types of transportation. By keeping everyone aware at all stages of the route, real-time visibility may help avert issues, resulting in stronger vendor, customer, and carrier relationships.
Human mistake, such as OS&Ds and unnecessary delays caused by missing or unsigned documents, is also reduced by new technology.
Reporting and analytics are used by a leading retail consolidator to estimate freight needs, monitor operations, and identify reoccurring issues for a simple change.
3. Does the consolidator have a favourable compliance record?
One of the most difficult challenges for retail shippers is keeping their schedules on track.
Meeting tight schedules, adhering to rigorous appointment-making requirements, delivery, unloading, and inspection all necessitate diligent control.
To keep the wheels running and expenses down, all these steps must be rigorously implemented and enforced. That is exactly what a sound and personalized retail consolidation program with managed solutions do.
4. Efficient use of capacity saves money
A well-thought-out consolidation program can help truckload carriers who wind up paying for empty cargo space. Less-than-truckload shipments and partial shipments are also good candidates for a system like this. Consolidation allows for more efficient use of trailer space and less handling.
5. Strategic planning and execution are key
Any retail consolidation plan’s ultimate aims are strategic planning, implementation, and final on-time delivery. It may lead to a more efficient order process, enhanced compliance metrics, and complete end-to-end visibility, giving all stakeholders peace of mind when done correctly.
These suggestions for identifying a retail consolidation program can serve as a springboard for a supply chain that is more efficient, cost-effective, and scalable.