Here's how you can understand and utilize the data surrounding your supply chain to increase efficiency and boost your bottom line.
Whether you're a startup or a seasoned business, your supply chain is the link between your customer and the production and distribution of their products. It impacts your customer experience, as well as how productive and profitable your organization is.
Do you know where your shipment is in real-time? Do your deliveries sit overnight in the warehouse? Do your products arrive late—or not at all? Does your back office have all the data on your order status? Do you ship too little or too much inventory or just enough?
Enter Penske Logistics. Its ClearChain® suite of technology solutions are meant to overcome the challenges of your supply chain, while increasing data transparency and efficiency. It consists of the best commercially available software, enhanced with proprietary Penske applications and processes, all supported with robust metrics and analytics.
We spoke with Andy Moses, senior vice president of sales and solutions at Penske Logistics, to get his insights. Moses has more than three decades of transportation industry experience and is also an author and noted speaker on supply chain.
Here are three ways Penske Logistics and its ClearChain solutions can offer valuable benefits to business owners.
Intangible and Tangible Benefits
Inventory with excess stock sitting around has an "immediate and tangible impact," Moses says. This translates to higher costs, which hits your bottom line on financial statements in tangible ways.
For instance, Penske created a cross-dock solution for an automobile manufacturer client to streamline logistic operations while cutting waste and redundancies. This entailed creating a centralized warehouse facility that consolidated material from multiple suppliers into one facility. So, inventory didn't need to be on-hand and sit for days since it was constantly coming in and going out.
Then there's the intangible impact to your brand and reputation, Moses says. For example, you want to avoid the negative brand impact of being unable to deliver a product on time—especially when your competitors can. As is said, perception (or rather, the customer experience) is reality.
Connecting Internal and External Key Stakeholders
"When we think about supply chain, there's a whole stakeholder conversation—both internal and external stakeholders," Moses says. "Ultimately, we aim to connect both in an appropriate manner, given the needs and degrees of separation and interaction."
Externally would be, for instance, a company's supplier (or perhaps thousands of suppliers). It could consist of shipping via air or ground or both, so the process can become matrixed and sophisticated. It's critical that they receive data from the supply chain team on delivery status. "We'll scale the interaction in a manner that's appropriate for their level of sophistication," Moses says.
Internal key stakeholders can consist of the contact center, finance and accounting teams, and customer service taking orders as well as the sales team. "What's happening with the status of orders?" Moses asks. "They need to know this, especially the exceptions before customers are aware of them."
Purchasing is also an internal stakeholder, with the delicate balance of managing inventory. You want to have enough merchandise to satisfy demand, but not too little or too much. And you don't want inventory staying idle for too long either, where it must be marked down or not sold at all.
Expert Support and Constant Enhancement
Then there's the in-house Professional Services consulting group at Penske. They serve to supplement the customer's IT team, which while skilled are not supply chain specialists. These consulting experts help to solve complex operational, logistics and supply chain gaps and turn them into a competitive edge.
In addition, ClearChain features are constantly being tested, updated and optimized. "So if a shipper goes out to do this on their own," Moses points out, "by the time they investigate and negotiate alternative technologies and consultants, they could have already changed.
"It all means acceleration," Moses adds. "Because we've done it many times, across multiple industries, with historical data and best practices. And the work being done enables us to get results much faster."
Learn more about Penske supply chain and logistics solutions and how they can improve your business today.
Originally published here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/303590