Medium Sized Logistics Companies May Be Just the Right Fit

Contrary to popular opinion, bigger is not always better. This may be particularly true when it comes to choosing a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. Large companies may be too distracted to give you the customized attention you need. Smaller companies may struggle to provide necessary products and services. A mid-sized company may be just the right fit. Below are some of the advantages of that choice.

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3 Ways to Improve Your Forecasting and Planning

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major disruptor of the logistics industry, with shortages and delays being the norm over the past year. Many companies are still not in full recovery. Moving forward, those companies that can take a fresh look at how they forecast and plan, stand the best chance of remaining viable. Here we will explore three ways to do that.

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3 Ways Omni-Channel is Transforming the Logistics Industry

Omni-channel is a hot topic right now, but what does it mean? If you look up “omni” in a dictionary it is defined as all/everywhere. Applying this to logistics means that you can tailor the process to meet the needs of individual customers. Third Party Logistics (3PL) companies that are doing business in this fashion are transforming the industry. There are three areas where this true.

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5 Ways to Turn Your Warehouse into a Well-Oiled Machine

To see a warehouse running like a well-oiled machine is a thing of beauty. It seems that it would be simple enough to achieve, but there are numerous areas where breakdowns in the process can occur. Learning what to look for, and ways to improve and even optimize operations, is possible. Warehouse efficiency, as well as good warehouse real estate management, is attainable with a focus on the following five key areas.

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COVID One Year Later: How Have You Adapted?

It has now been one year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. To say that it has been a challenging time is an understatement. Disruptions and restrictions were common. Shortages and delays were the norm. Moving forward, those companies that have found ways to adapt will thrive. A focus on the areas discussed below will become even more valuable as circumstances continue to change.

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5 Potential Pitfalls to Using 3PL And How to Avoid Them

Third-party logistics (3PL) is a multi-billion dollar industry. Most of the Fortune 1000 companies use some sort of 3PL services; but for your business, you may be questioning whether the timing is right for you to take the plunge. The decision to contract with a fulfillment partner is a big one. There may be some hesitation due to unanswered questions. Knowing what to look for and what to ask of a potential provider is important. Here are five common concerns and ways to turn them to your advantage.

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Guide to the Different Order Picking Systems & Methods in a Warehouse

Your warehouse management system is an integral component of your business, especially if you run an eCommerce business. Customer satisfaction depends on how efficiently you can process orders. If your warehouse picker takes too much time walking from one place to another, chances are you won't deliver your customers' orders on time. When you work with Aero, you will get guaranteed quality service within your warehouse. 

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Seasonal Labor Strategies During Peak Season

With one of the tightest labor markets on record it’s not surprising that many HR departments are struggling in the areas of hiring and retention. And while hiring and retention have always been a challenge, the impact of eCommerce is raising the stakes to a whole new level – if your company has adopted a direct to consumer (D2C) eCommerce channel – the time window for fulfilling the majority of your orders during peak season has shrunk, in many cases, from months to weeks.

In this article we’ll be focusing on a few key areas of a successful hiring and retention strategy, with specific attention to eCommerce fulfillment during peak season(s). While all these strategies have merit, it can be helpful to review these ideas based on their ability to support and improve your own company culture.

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Using Warehouse Layout Strategies to Make Warehousing More Efficient

The measure of success for a warehouse is typically determined by results: the units of product successfully and efficiently received, processed and shipped, minimal inventory damages, no injury incidents. If target numbers for categories like these are achieved, warehousing strategies might not venture beyond maintaining the status quo — the adage of "don't fix what isn't broken" at work. What fulfillment center managers often fail to realize, however, is that assessing and improving warehousing layout can move a business from treading water to real change, the lasting kind that bolsters the all-important bottom line.

Is your warehouse working as hard for you as it should be?

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Expand Your Warehouse versus Outsource Your Fulfillment Needs

It’s no secret that managing warehousing expenses has always been tricky for COOs and supply chain managers. What happens when your warehouse is reaching capacity? Do you build, relocate or outsource your fulfillment needs?

Space doesn't come cheap and can't easily be expanded in small increments. When a company decides to build new warehouse, it typically must build more than it presently needs. In the near-term, much of the new capacity will probably sit empty. On the other hand, space limitations will cap your company's potential revenue or potentially create safety issues for your associates. In both instances, something must change.

How do you strike a balance between current warehousing needs, anticipated future warehousing needs and justifying the projected budget? If you’re looking to expand, follow these steps to determine if it’s time to outsource your fulfillment needs.

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Finding and Keeping the Best Talent in Your Warehouse

What makes a warehousing and distribution center a standout among its industry peers? Is it great geographical positioning, superior IoT-enabled technology, or it’s beneficial contracts with carriers? The truth is, without the individuals who keep a given warehouse stocked, organized and able to pack and ship at a moment’s notice, it's little more than a very large concrete or metal box, filled with disorganized products. A trustworthy, intelligent employee is worth more, over time, than just about any product or component you could possibly stock.

From learned industry behaviors to innovative thinking, the humans between your shelves are the "brain cells" that keep your warehouse running. Lose too many of those cells, and you lose industry standing and reputation right along with them. Just as tasks like 3PL contract negotiations or making space for new product lines are integral parts of a logistics managers' job, so is the responsibility of attracting and retaining employees. Having too many new employees means a heavy burden of training and newcomer mistakes to contend with — so make sure you get it right the first time, and keep your talent in place. 

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Take Your Warehousing to the Next Level, 7 Tips for Operations Managers

One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make is believing there's no way to improve, especially when it comes to warehouse processes. It's not a stretch to say that continuous improvement is the only surefire way to remain competitive, that standing still essentially means falling behind in the current business arena. Even if your team and facility work amazingly well together, chances are there's at least a few of these seven warehousing and logistics tips you can leverage towards fine-tuning.

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How to Find and Keep the Best Talent in Your Warehouse

What makes a warehousing and distribution center a standout among its industry peers? Is it great geographical positioning, superior IoT-enabled technology, or perhaps it’s beneficial contracts with carriers? The truth is, without the individuals who keep a given warehouse stocked, organized and able to pack and ship at a moment’s notice, it's little more than a very large concrete or metal box, filled with disorganized products. A trustworthy, intelligent employee is worth more, over time, than just about any product or component you could possibly stock.

From learned industry behaviors to innovative thinking, the humans between your shelves are the "brain cells" that keep your warehouse running. Lose too many of those cells, and you lose industry standing and reputation right along with them. Just as tasks like 3PL contract negotiations or making space for new product lines are integral parts of a logistics managers' job, so is the responsibility of attracting and retaining employees. Having too many new employees means a heavy burden of training and newcomer mistakes to contend with — so make sure you get it right the first time, and keep your talent in place. 

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Protecting Your Warehousing Data: How to Eliminate Worry

Data storage and movement, especially in the age of the Internet of Things, is an intrinsic part of efficient warehousing and distribution. Properly compiled, updated and leveraged, data points such as items-on-hand, overall stock volume and sales trends can help your warehouse team meet challenges head-on, with little to no downtime needed to fully assess operational needs. Fed into your system through a combination of warehouse technology connections and periodic updates through inventory checks, it's a true treasure trove of actionable insights within your company. Unfortunately, like most treasure troves, it has a tendency to attract worrisome interest from outsiders as well.

The key to using data responsibly is to maximize access for the right individuals while minimizing risk from the wrong ones. Here are a few guidelines to help you build your secure warehousing data plan:

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How Warehousing and Distribution Drive Customer Satisfaction

Deciding on a location for your new warehousing space often requires a strategy that relies heavily on company resources. This, in turn means that a disproportional amount of thought is given to immediate and short-term cost over long-term customer satisfaction. Granted, certain considerations — overall cost of operations, proximity to major suppliers, ease of access to 3PL partners — are necessary components of a smart warehouse location, but your search may highlight a need to step back and reanalyze your decision making process.

If moving shop causes your delivery targets to slip and your customer satisfaction scores to wane, here are a few tools to pivot back to success.

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The Essential KPIs You Need to Measure Your Warehousing Efficiency

Assessing the health of a human being generally involves a specific set of tests that each have a certain set of guiding numbers, with a hearty pulse accepted as the first signal of overall health. In contrast, though a warehouse may have a metaphorical "heart" in its management, there is no universal pulse to examine, nor one-size-fits-all readings to compare against. Each business and warehouse is a self-contained environment, created through a mix of industry, niche, volume, staff and dozens of other variables that defy casual categorization. So how do you determine which warehousing metrics you should gather and follow

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How to Create a Warehousing Strategy Geared Towards Growth

The very concept of optimizing warehousing and logistics has completely changed shape and boundaries since the emergence of the omni-channel movement. Rather than a single, clear road to success, keeping fulfillment capabilities on par with business growth has become more like several concepts simultaneously navigating a maze that changes from moment to moment. It can be dizzying for a strong, slow-moving portion of a company like traditional warehousing to keep up with the fast pace of change. But for a business to remain wholly competitive, it must develop a warehousing strategy that mimics or surpasses the ambitions of sales and marketing efforts — otherwise the latter will quickly outpace the former. But how can an evolving company effectively transfer and apply techniques designed for another department to the heart of their fulfillment center?

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3 Unconventional Warehousing Layout Strategies That Work

You've invested in great people, great shelving and a great location, so why aren't your warehousing layout / KPI (key performance indicators) strategies working? Omni-channel has disrupted the comfort and familiarity of the “one true way” style of warehouse management. Innovators like Amazon are shaking the very foundations of tried-and-true workflows to uncover hidden caches of efficiency and cost savings. Automation and connectivity is strapping the equivalent of seven-league boots to your staff, allowing them to work harder and smarter without wearing themselves down. While these advancements require some decision-making and resource allocation to function, the best possible environment is one that allows them to properly flourish: an intelligently-designed warehouse.

Here are three “outside the box” strategies that will guide your “inside the box” product picking and packing to a successful outcome.

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Most Important Questions Every Warehousing Manager Should Be Able to Answer

Just as a farmer knows the lay of the land and a surgeon knows the body's inner workings, a warehousing manager needs to know the state of his or her warehouse at all times. This includes not only operational warehouse management data, but warehousing KPIs that speak to the day's work — not merely the materials involved in it. These trends are important, not only for internal improvements, but for reporting and collaborating with supply chain partners as well. If pushing to achieve X goal requires Y products and Z service, for example, the latter two must be consulted in order for the first to manifest. What metrics does your warehouse need to read to succeed?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you try to zero in on these elements.

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Struggling With Lackluster Warehousing and Distribution? Take These 5 Steps.

Have you ever looked at the operational data coming out of your warehouse and felt you could do better? Are you puzzled by the low efficiency scores, bad fill rates or sluggish speeds that keep showing up within your workflow? Is the C-Suite leaning on you to improve your turnaround time or output? Getting the results you need out of your warehousing and distribution requires knowledge and proactive examination at every step, but the effort only demands five simple steps in all.

It's time for your fulfillment center to set up a framework that gathers data and runs like a well-oiled engine of commerce, but where do you start?

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