supply chain management

Top 7 ways to future-proof your supply chain

Supply chain disruptions present a strong case for the inclusion of future-proof management techniques. However, it is the advent of digital technologies that actually helps companies foresee the risk and threats pertaining to the supply chain. Moreover, future proofing the hierarchy renders additional levels of efficiency, agility and even visibility to the retailers and industries, alike. That said, every supply chain management strategy thrives on availability for the customers. With retailers and suppliers battling it out for additional profits, there are times when the customer interests get compromised. Therefore, having a robust and futuristic supply chain helps companies reach higher levels of customer satisfaction by addressing the key concept of product availability.

In a nutshell, companies must strive for minimal disruption and better availability; clubbed together for an accelerated growth.

Digitizing the Supply Chain Hierarchy

The simplest approach towards minimizing disruptions involves leveraging big data and predictive analytics. Digitizing the entire network and integrating the same over a digital ecosystem involves raw material procurement, customer fulfillment and even logistics. However, digitizing the supply chain hierarchy allows business to aggregate insights from varied websites, systems and suppliers. This approach, therefore, improves supply chain visibility and allows end-to-end data orchestration. Basically, it’s all about investing in technology as it takes complexity out and simplifies the entire supply chain management process.

Having a United Vision towards Supply Chain Management

Future-proofing the supply chain requires a proactive approach and a unified vision towards growth. No technique would suffice if an organization isn’t even willing to take a pledge towards long-term supply and enabling relationships. Having a vision requires companies to create channels between sustainability, business continuity, quality and even relationships. Basically, it’s all about the vision and how organizations focus on the same.

Building Supplier and Manufacturer Capability

Customers aren’t actually bothered about the service levels but focus completely on the availability. Therefore, it is important that companies start focusing on establishing supplier and manufacturer capabilities by either partnering with them or innovating alongside for exchanging information. This approach aims at creating awareness about product availability and collaborating with suppliers for mitigating supply chain threats. This strategy also comes forth with enhanced levels of scrutiny and focuses on rendering transparency to the supply chain framework. Another way of building capabilities is to encourage healthy competition by often resorting to certain benchmarking tools or even performance indicators.

Collaborating with the Suppliers

As a matter of fact, no company would be able to future-proof the supply chain by just acting alone. Be it establishing healthy partnerships with suppliers or collaborating with the stakeholders over projects, a company can only grow if it supports coalitions and co-creates supply chain programs. Moreover, creating partnerships enables organizations to achieve a farsighted vision.

Concentrating on the Customers

Customer trust levels are integral to a robust supply chain. Companies must therefore look to provide the best value to the customers, regardless of the supply or manufacturing issues. In this era of cut-throat competition, the price is secondary and it’s all about establishing higher customer trust and satisfaction levels. Organizations that concentrate on customer satisfaction and overall trust levels can easily gain a competitive advantage over their contemporaries.

Working with the Multi-Channel Approach

One way of amplifying the existing supply chain hierarchy is to opt for a multi-channel approach. Having this strategy in place allows companies to offer products to the customers in more than one way. This way companies can scale newer heights in terms of customer satisfaction. Moreover, the multi-channel approach offers several insights into the customer experience by taking care of user interests.

Opting for Responsible Practices

Even in this increasingly competitive era, organizations must stand by the operational efficiencies and ethical supply chain management practices. The idea here is to opt for certain advanced risk and threat protection tools which in turn offer ethical and environmental risk monitoring options to the enterprises. In addition to that, a robust supply chain also calls for the inclusion of transformative technologies which assist in creating a collaborative and transparent network.

When it comes to future-proofing a supply chain, organizations must concentrate on sustainability while pursuing the digital vision. That said, the emphasis must be on the creating resilient production systems which will minimally impact the environment and even encourage cross-sector partnerships.



Top Tips to improve inventory management process

Senior executives and organizational CFOs understand the value of inventory management as any form of shortage or glut might lead to reduced productivity. Enterprises usually rely on external benchmarks for assessing the existing state of inventory and in the meanwhile, end up making erroneous operational assumptions. It needs to be understood that the inventory is probably the largest asset in a company and managing the same requires an extremely proactive approach. Be it right-sizing the same, identifying overstocks or liquidating certain products— improving the entire inventory management process requires an organization to deploy a host of innovative strategies.

Why Inventory Management is Important?

Inventory is the integral part of a supply chain and can be considered as an omnipresent metric. While having minimal inventory can lead to lower sales, excessive inventory cripples the organization by eating in to space, labor, money and even transportation costs. Moreover, enterprises with limited capital and resources should emphasize more on the inventory management process as tracking the same with accuracy can help them make better purchase decisions and improve stocking.

That said, inventory management isn’t a linear process and requires holistic attention. Organizations must concentrate equally on the quality, levels, records and even the physical aspects of the concerned inventory. Unless the enterprise is stocking the right form of inventory, it is pointless to go ahead with the discussions concerning the entire management process.

Tips for Improving the Inventory Management Process

It is essential to cover the ideas and perspectives that involve execution, planning and even investigations. An inventory management process aims at reviewing the critical aspects of supply chain while implementing cutting-edge technologies.

  1. Using Optimization Tools

Optimization tools for checking on the inventory management process have gathered massive levels of recognition.  While these can be as simple as the stand-alone tools like ERP and WMS systems, they typically consider demand and supply variability followed by a host of replenishment parameters and other supply chain metrics. The idea is to incorporate these tools into the transactional hierarchy of the concerned distribution center; thereby minimizing human interventions.

  1. Employing Business Solutions with Real-Time Analytics On-Board

Tracking the inventory management process with excel spreadsheets is obsolete. Instead, organizations must make the shift towards real-time analytics that offer a unified informational model followed by granular analysis and instant responses. These innovative business solutions also support stimulations and scenario planning; helping businesses take myriad planning decisions.

  1. Treating SKUs Differently

One expert tip would be to assess the demand and supply variability patterns of different products in different ways. Better termed as service-level segregation, this approach can help organizations maximize their resources while segmenting their diverse stocking policies.

  1. Keeping a Track of Suppliers

More often than not, suppliers can let organizations down by not adhering to deadlines or commitments. Monitoring the listed suppliers and tracking them using inbound receipts are certain strategies that might fit in with an inventory management process. In addition to that, checking the quality of the received products is also important.

  1. Tracking Essential Attributes

When it comes to approaching an inventory management process with proactivity, it’s all about tracking product traceability and genealogy. While some industries are restricted to tracking the lot numbers, other essential attributes are often ignored; thereby impairing an existing management plan. However, the best idea to approach this situation would be to capture attributes and process the same in context to the supply chain. Tracking also increases overall visibility and improves the decision making.

  1. Leveraging Mobile Devices

Mobile ecosystems are ubiquitous when it comes to capturing data and processing the same. Therefore, businesses must look to leverage the same by training employees about their usage and functionality. This strategy improves accuracy, speeds up the business, increases efficiency and even minimizes the delays associated with paper-centric operations.

  1. Handling Obsolete Sections Smartly

Businesses must be extra careful about the slow movers in an inventory management framework. There will definitely be some items that occupy greater spaces, utilize additional resources and aren’t even sold on a daily basis. The risk of obsolescence is therefore paramount when it comes to dealing with the SLOB i.e. Slow Moving and Obsolete Items.

  1. Giving Importance to Slotting

It is important to slot items beforehand in order to segregate the spatial arrangements. Moreover, slotting also minimizes the travel distance, maximizes throughput and even improves productivity.


Inventory Management is the key to organizational productivity and amplified customer experience. However, it’s all about putting these strategies to use, in order to improve the overall inventory management process.

10 Ideas for a Better Packaging Design

When it comes to product packaging, businesses need to address multiple requirements instead of concentrating more on aesthetics and creativity. Put simply, a packaging design need not be outstanding but should help amplify overall sales. Designers need to understand that anything that improves the sales figures is a great addition to the branding arsenal. Therefore, certain basic principles need to be followed in order to bring forth the best possible package design for a business, regardless of the aesthetics, grandeur and appeal.

Dealing with the Competition

At present, manufacturers are concentrating on making the product look good and saleable. In the process, they keep adding innovations to the packaging designs for holding and even glorifying the products. With several designs competing for customer attention, it becomes important to focus on functionality, logistical considerations and the catered audience, for a specific one to succeed. There are certain trends which should be kept in mind while designing a package and manufacturers must be well-versed with the same.

The Target Audience

Firstly, the efficacy of a designing campaign depends on the target audience. At the end, it’s all about understanding the market and working towards fulfilling the requirements of the loyal customer base. One such example would be Apple which has been sticking to a minimalistic yet elegant packaging design for all its products; precisely for living up to the expectations of its elite customer base.

Inspirational Designs

Most manufacturers tend to ignore the product in their quest towards an appealing packaging design. Instead, the package should drive inspiration from the product and designers must incorporate the identity of the latter in the design.

Practical Packaging

Customers prefer packages which are easier to use and open. While this doesn’t mean designing a package with minimal security features, it basically aims at making the designs practical enough. A customer would never want to spend most of his or her valuable time on the package and the design must simplify his way towards the actual product instead of hindering his advances.

Planning for Sales

Brands and the associated designers must try to keep the sales quotient in mind, while zeroing in on a packaging layout. While the outlook is important, it’s all comes down to amplifying the sales via a cohesive amalgamation of packaging and marketing. Therefore, the packaging design must cater equally to the retailers, distributors and varied sales channels.

Green Packaging

The modern era urges designers to opt for sustainable layouts by making Green packaging a norm. Using eco-friendly materials actually improves the sales efforts and persuades customers into making purchases.

Customer Attention

Adding innovations and subtleness to the packaging designs is as important as making it inspirational. It isn’t easy to grab the customer attention and therefore designers must toil harder towards achieving the same.

Protecting the Product

A sturdy yet appealing package is the need of the hour. There are products which need to be handled with care and therefore designers must look to create packages which can safeguard the sheltered entity from diverse elements.

The Aspect of Production

Companies usually manufacture products in bulk and therefore the packaging designs must also fulfill the same criterion. Inconsistent product packages are not advisable and designers must opt for something that easier to reproduce in case of reorders and bulk purchases.

Fonts and Colors

In simpler terms, a packaging design must address the requirements of customers, sales channels and even vendors. Therefore, it is advisable to opt for fonts and colors that evoke certain emotions; thereby skyrocketing the sales figures.


Last but not the least, choosing the right language is equally important when it comes to designing a package. To be precise, it actually depends on the sales channels and target audience. Creating content for the packaging designs can come in handy at times and this is where selecting the right language plays its part.

Companies and their respective branding teams work hard towards creating functional and holistic product packaging layouts. However, the entire process requires truckloads of efforts and exceptional graphic design prowess to come through as a successful one. While the quality of products is the most important metric for initiating sales, product packaging is a close second when it comes to persuading the leads and converting them into loyal customers.

Business Bar Code Alphabet Numbers

Guide to Barcode Types and Standards

When it comes to tracking inventory and assets across the supply chain hierarchy, barcode labels are the most functional tools. However, analyzing and putting the barcode information to use can get complicated if the industries aren’t well versed with the types and existing standard-issuing entities. While a host of barcode types exist, a specific industry needs to concentrate on select versions for labeling the physical inventory and establishing industry-wide consistencies. Moreover, barcode labels also make it easier for the organizations to transfer data across multiple channels.

Types of Barcodes

Myriad barcode types can be further grouped into three categories:

  1. Numeric-Only

These are typical one-dimensional barcodes that comprise only of numbers and represent data in the form of varying spaces and width of the parallel lines. These entities are further segregated into UPC and EAN codes. The former makes use of 12-digit codes; carrying the identity and identification number of the manufacturer. The EAN codes, on other hand, are quite similar to the UPC barcodes and support POS scanning. However, they have a 13-digit format and multiple variations like EAN-13, JAN-13, EAN-8, ISSN and ISBN.

Apart from that, there are Interleaved and Industrial 2 of 5 codes followed by Standard 2 of 5, Codabar, Code II and POSTNET codes.

  1. Alpha-Numeric

Alpha-Numeric barcodes are also one-dimensional entities that are created using a strategic combination of alphabetic characters and numbers. When it comes to detailed segregation, there are Plessy codes followed by Code 39, Code 93, Code 128 and LOGMARS. The Plessy codes are primarily used for retail groceries and shelf marking while the defense industries and automotive organizations use the Code 39 barcodes. A compacter version of the Code 39 is Code 93 where the barcodes use only 9 elements per character as compared to 15. Code 128 barcodes can be used for similar industries but they boast of a broader character set and better density.

Lastly, we have LOGMARS codes which stand for Logistics Applications of Automated Marking and Reading and are typically used by the Defense applications.

  1. Two-Dimensional

These barcodes have a definite shape, including the likes of a rectangle or square and also come with a unique arrangement of small dots. The best thing about using 2D barcodes is that they can hold a lot of informative data within smaller spaces. They can also be etched or printed on smaller areas. Typical examples of the same include QR codes or Quick Response codes, Data Matrix, Aztec and PDF417.

The QR codes are present virtually on everything that can be retailed, including the likes of books, beverage cups and what not. The Data matrix barcodes are used for document management, postal services, logistics and healthcare applications.  PDF417 makes its presence felt in transport, identification cards and inventory management. Lastly, 2D Aztec codes are best suited for boarding passes, tickets and literally anything that concerns the transportation industry. These codes, however, take minimal space and store a lot of important information.

Barcode Standards

While there is already an expansive collection of barcode types and applications, companies are constantly generating new ones for being proactive with the labeling ideas. However, with the inventory and supply chain requirements escalating with each passing day, consistency is required to streamline the information flow by issuing certain standards. This brings us to the important concept of barcode standardization, precisely by the governing bodies and varied industry regulators.

  1. AIM Global— Better termed as the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility, this is an authoritative body concerning automatic identification, networking and data collection. Myriad AIM standards gradually transform into ISO standards.
  2. ANSI— The voice of Conformity Assessment, ANSI focuses on global economy, environment protection and customer safety.
  3. AIAG— Automotive Industry Action Group or AIAG lays down industry-wide standards and brings together volunteers for achieving a common consensus.
  4. Defense Logistics Agency— This body defines standards for parts, supplies, procurement of materials and other activities pertaining to the DoD logistics system.
  5. EPA— Environmental Protection Agency aims at issuing standards and practices related to air and water compliance.
  6. FHWA— This barcode standard oversees highways signs and varied traffic regulations.
  7. FASB— Financial Accounting Standards Board concerns laying down standards for private and public companies.
  8. GASB— Government Accounting Standards Board aims at improving reporting standards and financial accounting for local and state governments.
  9. GS1— This standard aims at data capture, sharing and improved global collaboration.
  10. HIBCC— Here is a barcode standard that’s specific to the healthcare industry.
  11. ISO— International Organization for Standardization is probably the largest developer when it comes to the voluntary standards. This organization has already developed more than 21,000 standards, pertaining to business and technology.
  12. IWLA— This association develops standards for the logistics and warehousing industry.
  13. JAPIA— Here is an association that defines barcode standards for improving production, research and information related to auto parts.

While these are some of existing barcode standards, there are a few more that have specific roles when it comes to handling the labeling requirements of supply chain professionals and fixed asset professionals. It is therefore important to understand the role of barcodes in asset tracking and inventory management. With stricter industry regulations coming up, it is important for the industries to comply with the existing barcode standards. Moreover, these barcodes can positively impact the growth of a business by contributing towards its long-term success, in the form of monitoring and reporting compliance.

Warehouse sungsitix

Want to set up a successful warehouse? – Don’t miss on these

Predicting the future trends is important, especially when it comes to analyzing the supply chain. That said, warehousing is an integral part of supply chain management with many industries slowly shifting towards robotics for improving the organizational capabilities of the same. While the inclusion of automation has greatly improved the warehousing options, there are certain areas which need to be prioritized, in order to set up a successful warehouse. That said, industries must be wary of the modern warehousing trends as following them with dedication can certainly give them a competitive advantage over the competitors.

Practical Warehouse Considerations

Before we start discussing about the key focus areas related to warehousing, it is important to enlist the considerations without compromising on the budget.

The first and foremost warehouse consideration would be to facilitate effective and frequent communication with the workers. The management should always be transparent with the employees; thereby creating an environment of openness. This, in turn, involves mentioning the organizational goals, effective warehousing operations and key performance indicators or the KPIs. Transparency is one organizational consideration that improves employee productivity and the turnover.

Another important consideration is to reduce the potential variations associated with shift scheduling, unloading and facility management. Better known as standardization, this approach aims at reducing the errors and additional costs.

A successful warehouse thrives on the five-step approach, involving Definition, Measurement, Analysis, Improvement and Control. The best example of this approach would be DMAIC, the existent Six Sigma technology which aims at offering competitive costs and defect-free performances.

Other warehouse considerations include educating the leadership, creating strong training modules, assessing variations for increasing productivity, organizing team meetings, identifying exact levels of system automation and incorporating the perks of work-output analysis.

Key Areas of Focus

  1. Labor

For setting up a successful warehouse, the entire supply chain management system should save a special mention for the labor. Probably the largest warehouse expense, labor— including the likes of third-party logistics must be managed perfectly for reducing the costs and amplifying productivity. The best idea is to integrate a warehouse management system or WMS with labor management, precisely for improving overall performances.

Some of the existing strategies include cross-training employees, using flextime, revising the labor scheduling strategy, monitoring individual productivity, implementing ‘vendor management system’ and rewarding employees based on their performances.

  1. Operations

This focus area involves identifying the most yielding aspects of warehouse management and putting them to use. This includes identifying productive employees and segregating them into cross-functional teams for increasing overall productivity. Companies must focus on implementing cross-docking for reducing inventory requirements followed by achieving around 100 percent inventory accuracy under any condition. Operations, is one important focus area that readily optimizes space, processes overall returns and replaces overall checking with auditing.

  1. Equipment Use

For setting up a successful warehouse, industries must also focus on optimizing equipment usage. This involves standardizing batteries, opting for short term rentals, managing service vendors, using equipment for double shifts and concentrating more on leasing. Most importantly, this focus area also urges an industry to use preventive equipment maintenance for avoiding system failures.

  1. Technology

A successful warehouse is impossible to construct unless an efficient WMS is in place. Warehouse management is one technology that helps industries save additional costs while also minimizing the dwell time. Apart from that, WMS makes the best possible use of technology by implementing light picking systems and voice directed picking for reducing human interference. Lastly, interacting and communicating with suppliers via electronic data interface is yet another aspect of an efficient warehouse management system.

  1. Facilities Management

A successful warehouse is one that has all the facilities and resources in place. This aspect aims at fine-tuning the less prominent aspects of warehouse management. Be it investigating the efficiency of coolers and fans or buying resources in bulk— a successful warehouse is definitely a myth without these management techniques in place.

  1. Safety

Warehouse safety is of paramount importance and industries must look to implement strategies for securing there inventory and even the storage facilities. Giving attention to forklift operations, designating traffic pathways and prioritizing storage security are some of the best strategies to use.


If an industry is planning to setup a warehouse, it needs to prioritize organization in the first place. Apart from that, it must incorporate strict vigilance, logical pickup processes, quality control and other important metrics for fine-tuning the existing inventory-specific strategies. However, once the warehouse is up and running, proper focus should be on the safety and security of the same.

The Difference Between Cross-docking and Warehousing

In any distribution and fulfilment chain, warehousing is a large component and a costly proposition. In a distribution process, typically there is an incoming transport, and from there the goods are received and stored in a warehouse, and then again picked up for loading on to the outgoing transport bound for the desired destination. You incur charges for warehousing, and the process chain is lengthy.


What if you could eliminate the warehousing bit entirely, and just manage things cleverly so that the incoming goods already have their clients or destinations marked, and the logistics provider could pick up the goods and load them directly to the appropriate outgoing transport? It would completely eliminate the warehousing step, wouldn’t it?


The answer is yes, it is possible, and it is called cross-docking.


How is cross-docking different from traditional warehousing?


Cross-docking involves direct offloading and re-loading. The warehouse part is eliminated. But how’s it different from a process perspective, with respect to traditional warehousing?

In cross-docking the client is required to be pre-mapped to the incoming goods. And you need the services of a Third Party Logistics (3PL) Provider to manage the process of identifying the correct outgoing transport, and moving the goods directly from incoming to outgoing transport. The distributor has to manage multiple relationships with different agencies for picking, warehousing, and transporting. In the case of cross-docking, there are third party logistics (3PL) providers who will handle everything for you. This marks the major difference between cross-docking and warehousing.


The advantages of Cross-Docking over Warehousing


Advantage 1:  Cost Reduction


As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, storing goods in a warehouse is costly. Warehouse rental costs can deliver an unpleasant shock, and should be minimized. In cross-docking you are eliminating or minimising the storing period, and therefore saving on the steep costs of warehousing.


Advantage 2: Improved Efficiency


In traditional warehousing, there are multiple parties involved in the process chain, like trucking partners, logistics partners, and parcel delivery. In cross-docking, you can do away with multiple partners and do with a single 3PL who can handle things end-to-end.


Advantage 3: Increased Reliability of Delivery


Since Cross-docking involves fewer human hands needed to handle the products, the risk of damage and human errors is minimized and this improves the prospects of receiving the products in good conditions and on time. Elimination of the warehousing step also improves the speed of delivery.


Advantage 4: Reduced Inventory


Since the stock is picked and directly shipped out to the clients, the inventory pileup in the warehouse is reduced, and this naturally translates to moving towards just in time inventory models which benefit everyone in the chain.


What’s right for me – cross-docking or warehousing?


Now we come to the all-important question: Should you adopt cross-docking? Is it suitable for your business? There are a few criteria which can be used, to answer this question very easily.


– Are you willing to invest the higher management attention and planning that cross-docking takes, as compared to warehousing?


– Do you have sufficiently large volumes that make cross-docking effective? Cross-docking is not efficient at low volume levels.


– Are you able to undergo the long lead time and capex needed to construct the cross-docking terminal structures?


– Are the products you are receiving, customer-ready? Or do they require further processing before they can be shipped to customers?


If your answer to the above questions is ‘yes’, then cross-docking is the way forward for you. Go right ahead!



Warehouse, Pick and Packing

How is Pick and Pack Distribution Beneficial?

When you have to fulfil customer orders for products, often you might have to assemble a set of items together before shipping the complete package to your customer. Pick and Pack Distribution refers to the process where you receive the multiple components at a warehouse, and there they picked and assembled together by the warehouse staff, and then packaged and shipped to the relevant customers.


If you don’t use pick and pack distribution process, then the option for you is to set up your own assembly area, employ staff to receive, store and repackage the goods, and then send them out.


Both systems of working have their advantages and disadvantages, depending on various factors like the size of the business you are running, kind of products you are selling, what kinds of clients you serve, and so on.


Let us look at these aspects, in order to help you take a decision on what kind of distribution system you want to employ.



Pick and Pack: The Basics

Receiving the goods from different suppliers and storing them in a warehouse is an involved job that sorts and stores items in order to best utilize the warehouse space and logistics. Usually warehouses are shared between multiple businesses. There are different zones for storing items, according to their size classification – like full pallet, half pallet, case, individual item, etc.


A warehouse service provider receives goods meant for different businesses and stores them in the most efficient way possible. In the case of Pick and Pack Distribution, the warehouse staff receive the orders, then pick the items from the respective storage areas, assemble and package them, before sending them out.


Often, the orders are assembled by picking the goods belonging to different companies, as the final product to be shipped might be a composite one.


What are the Advantages of Pick and Pack?


  • Cost-effectiveness: Pick and Pack system is cost-effective because the warehouse space is shared and the overheads are distributed between multiple business; plus, the process involves no minimum order sizes and can be extremely flexible. Also, the business can avoid the cost and lead time of setting up their own assembly area and the corresponding staffing.


  • Efficiency: It is more efficient to store and assemble the orders from a single location as it reduces the transport and the different agencies involved in reshipping.


  • Agile and swift: Pick and Pack is a highly flexible and agile system, as we have seen, because of the elimination of redundant steps in the supply-chain, and is therefore quick and ensures shorter turnaround times for the end to end process.


So- what’s the recommendation for me, then?


Having understood the benefits offered by Pick and Pack, you need to evaluate whether your business will benefit from these efficiencies; and make a choice depending on the business model and processes that you employ. For example, if your final shipped packages are comprised of one or two items only, then it might be better for you to pack and dispatch them yourself. At the other extreme if your end package is extremely complex, requiring specialized knowledge to assemble it, then again it might be better for you to choose another method.


Another consideration for you to bear in mind is whether you enjoy the services of an efficient third-party logistics provider who can provide you these services. Because, Pick and Pack is great if done right, but can be horribly messy if it is in the wrong hands!


But if you need to harvest the benefits of efficient warehousing and outsourced product packaging and shipping, then Pick and Pack is the way forward for you. So, take your call, and be on your way to greater efficiencies!









Inventory Management

The Basics of Inventory Management: Warehousing, Picking, Packing and Shipping

Small businesses need to understand a simple strategy that concerns establishing coherence between customer demands and the existing supplies. More often than not, startups and even medium-sized enterprises fall short of resources— which in turn sabotages their credibility. While manufacturing is never really an issue with technological innovations at the helm, it is the product distribution that takes a beating.


Major issues include inadequacies related to product picking, packing and shipping. In addition to that, certain businesses also find it hard to store their products in an efficient manner. However, if businesses continue worrying about these aspects of inventory management, it becomes hard for them to grow and even outrun the competition. Moreover, delayed shipments can easily kill off the customer satisfaction levels with companies failing to deliver products on time.


There are several firms which readily outsource the pick and pack services— in order to save time and even overhead costs. Pick and Pack warehousing is a comparatively newer aspect that combines the essentials of product storage with excellent shipping services. Companies that worry about storing their products in a secured environment are better off hiring 3PL service providers which emphasize on Pick and Pack warehousing. While it easily mitigates the storage constraints, a host of other benefits are also available for businesses to leverage.


Meeting Customer Demands


Having specialized warehousing services at the helm can help enterprises meet varied customer requirements. Once a business starts blossoming and growing rapidly, it becomes important to stay on track with the persistent user preferences. This is where outsourcing comes in handy, especially by offering excellent Pick and Pack storage and distribution services to the concerned organizations.


Fulfilling the Storage Requirements


Before we delve any deeper into the basics of Pick and Pack services, it is important to understand the influence of outsourcing in regards to handling the storage needs. Manufacturing industries usually need to ship extensively and having a restricted storage space can actually slow them down. While it is always possible to hire specialized warehousing services, most companies look for cohesive options that can cover multiple bases. Having one logistics company handle the basics of storage, picking, packing and shipping can be the best possible option when the manufacturer is looking to minimize the costs.


Efficient, off-site warehousing is one aspect of this cohesive program that allows an enterprise to manage inventory without opting for contract or distribution warehouses. Online warehouse management is also possible. Unlike other warehouses that solely offer storage options, facilities synonymous to the Pick and Pack management believe in dispatching the products, almost instantly. To be exact, enterprises can enjoy the benefits of a dynamic storage system where products aren’t dumped for an eternity but are expedited immediately.


Understanding Picking and Packing Better


Unlike conventional warehouses that offer storage facilities, managerial flexibilities and a host of other features, enterprises relying on Pick and Pack services are best served when it comes to the holistic catalogue of services. These include a variety of Inbound and Outbound services, dedicated towards amplifying the revenues and serving the customers better.

The best part about using Pick and Pack Distribution is that a shared warehouse can serve the purpose for multiple organizations. The products are then immediately packed and distributed to the concerned customer base. As we could already infer from the discussion, this form of inventory management is affordable and exceedingly cost-effective. With small businesses using Pick and Pack services rather extensively, the popularity seems to be validated.


In addition to that, outsourced pick and pack services also assist manufacturers with their inventory solutions. Firstly, the designed warehouses managed by these specialized 3PL service providers are organized and extremely efficient. Apart from that, they offer advanced inventory management solutions like stock replenishment and necessary intimations. As the part of a holistic cycle, these solutions also involve picking up manufactured products from the companies, storing them in bespoke warehouses, packing them accordingly and finally, shipping them across multiple channels.




An inventory-specific business model requires higher levels of cohesion between warehousing, packaging and distribution. While hiring a 3rd party fulfillment service for the specifics is a good option, pick and pack service providers are actually best suited for a retail-specific business. This form of inventory management works wonders for small to medium business owners, thereby helping them save additional costs and efforts.



Warehouse 3pl

How Outsourcing Impacts Warehousing, Distribution and Packaging Services?

Running a company is a time-consuming affair— regardless of the involved manpower and existing technologies. Despite the operations being tedious and stressful, it is important for the companies to abide by the federal guidelines when it comes to the quality of products. Manufacturers, therefore, are responsible when it comes to the quality standards and there are times when addressing the aspects of warehousing, packaging and distribution becomes nearly impossible. In this keenly contested arena, it is always advisable to outsource certain services by hiring experienced professionals. A good logistics company can therefore do the trick for the entrepreneurs, assisting them with some of the trickier aspects of retail.

Outsourcing Warehouse Services: Enumerating the Benefits

Maintaining a sizeable warehouse space is difficult, especially for companies that are already manufacturing the products. While constructing personalized storage facilities can incur massive costs, hiring specialized services from logistics companies of repute is always a better option. Needless to say, a startup or even a medium-sized firm cannot afford to spend recklessly on building and operating a bespoke warehouse. Therefore, outsourcing warehouse services is one of the most efficient techniques to grow bigger in this competitive market.

That said, an outsourced warehouse usually functions on a contractual basis which simplifies things further for the manufacturers. Shared storage facilities are quite common as the warehouse expenses are then distributed among select manufactures. A large warehouse offers a host of amenities and multiple small businesses can make the best use of the same without paying up exorbitant rates.

Why Packaging Services Need to be outsourced?

Ecommerce Warehouse

In the modern era, product packaging is more of a compulsion and less of a choice. The entire process is a highly regulated marketing charade that influences a product’s state of well-being. It is necessary that manufacturers opt for the most appropriate form of packaging based on the product and its longevity. Then again, it gets extremely hard for the manufacturers to plan out the packaging strategies, all by themselves. This is why companies need to hire specialized 3PL service providers for outsourcing their packaging requirements. One must understand that packaging is a highly technical process and should only be handled by specialists.

Is it Important to Outsource Distribution Services?

Warehouse Distribution , Logistics 3PL

Put simply, the answer to the question asked would definitely be a big ‘Yes’. For manufacturers to grow their business, it is important for them to cater to diverse customer bases. However, a lot of planning is involved when it comes to making the products available to the customers, via offline and online retail chains. Outsourcing distribution services can help as logistics companies maintain sizeable fleets of dispatchers and skilled drivers, helping the manufacturers with the outreach. While it is important to manufacture a quality product, making it available within a competitive marketplace is what solidifies the position of the concerned brand. Customers will keep purchasing only if the product is delivered to them with care. Proper packaging, as mentioned previously, is an important aspect, synonymous to distribution centers.

The Concept of Outsourcing

Entrepreneurs prefer maximizing revenues without having to invest a lot. For this to materialize, they should take strategic decisions involving qualified 3PL service providers. Product manufacturers already have their hands full and it is therefore necessary that they rely on 3rd party fulfillment services for handling warehousing, distribution and even packaging.

While packaging is essentially a technical aspect, most 3PL service providers basically concentrate on warehousing and distribution for serving the manufacturers better. For a business to grow, it needs to gain competitive advantage as a startup. Outsourcing can eventually simplify the entire process of growth by offering best-in-class benefits to the concerned organization. The good thing about hiring third party services is that the storage facilities and distribution warehouses offered by them are closer to the client base. As outsourcing is mostly a contractual process, it becomes all the more important for the logistics company to offer the best set of services for the existing price point. This approach makes the retail sector extremely scalable.

Bottom Line

Based on a reliable study i.e. The State of Logistics Outsourcing, 2007— at least 69 percent of companies across the globe rely on third party logistics for handling warehousing and distribution services and a majority could already measure the return on investment, synonymous to these services.

Outsourcing isn’t a complicated process when it comes to the implementation. However, the perfect service provider must be zeroed in, based on a company’s manufacturing and marketing requirements.

Warehouse Distribution , Logistics 3PL

How Distribution Warehousing via 3PL Services Improve the Market Conditions?

Enterprises focusing solely on the retail sector usually have a lot of things to worry about. While direct sales can be initiated via contract and owned warehouses, certain companies prefer third party logistics companies for distributing their products, in an efficient manner. The concept of Distribution Warehouse takes us back to the time when product distribution used to happen via retail outlets. Manufacturers would first assemble or create a product and then send over the same to shops for retail purposes. However, with a massive increase in product volume and amplified online exposure, it became imperative for the manufacturers to opt for a second line of defense.

Distribution Warehouse signifies a facility that is dedicated towards storing manufacturer’s product before the same is packed and distributed to the retail customers. The concept of Distribution warehouse actually brings the distributor into the picture, in addition to the manufacturer and customer. Not just product distribution, these warehouses also assist companies with pick & pack and efficient order fulfillment.

How Holistic is a Distribution Warehouse?

Unlike a logistics company that offers warehouses for sale and even on lease, a distribution warehouse is the brainchild of product distributors who act as the connecting link between manufacturers and retail customers. However, when it comes to reaping the benefits, every section of the sales funnel is taken into account.

For the manufacturers, distribution warehouse is a blessing in disguise. While the profit share gets compromised to a certain extent with distributors taking their cut, the flexibility on offer certainly outweighs this minor pitfall. These warehouses have also improved the market condition for third party distributors as they are the ones who invest money, workforce and time in order to amplify the storage options for manufacturers.

The last cog in this retail-centric wheel happens to be the retail outlets. With distribution warehouses supplying products to the offline and online retail stores, the credibility quotient is always maintained. The retail stores directly place product requirements and requests to these warehouses and stocks are released upon the availability.

Therefore, a distribution warehouse impacts every part of the sales funnel and comes forth as an integral part of the overall, entrepreneurial logistics arrangement.

Advantages on Offer

Distribution warehouses actually cut the clutter and simply things for the manufacturers and customers alike. Put simply, a product goes straight into a warehouse after it’s manufactured. The workers, synonymous to the distribution warehouse, pack and expedite the products via reliable courier services. Not just the mentioned perk but a distribution warehouse usually has a host of functional advantages.

  1. Timeliness

It is the duty of distributors to pack and dispatch products to customers and even select offline retailers. Most of these facilities are equipped with warehouse storage systems which keep a track of products and their desired dispatch points. Overall, the distribution warehouse offers a cohesive outlook to how the products are stored and how they need to be dispatched. This organized approach saves a lot of effort and even time— especially when the workers are concerned.

  1. Budget Friendliness
Cost friendly Logistics
Forklift with cardboxes on calculator. Calculation of shipping delivery costs concept. 3d illustration

The best part of having a distribution warehouse is that products are stored in a secured environment. Be it inclement weather conditions or the influx of rodents, a properly managed distribution warehouse is probably the best possible solution for storing the manufactured goods. This eventually cuts additional costs and the retail chains get the products in the best possible condition. Specialized packing and management services within the warehouse help amplify the revenue generation process. Be it temperature-specific storage units or something on the lines of a cold storage system— a distribution warehouse is loaded with technological innovations, precisely for preserving the condition and quality of products. This approach minimizes product damages and therefore reduces additional overhead costs.

  1. Reliability

More than the sales figures, it is the peace of mind that excites a manufacturer. While sending out products for retail purposes is quite a taxing job, distribution warehouses simplify things for the manufacturers. Since the products are sheltered in an organized and secured place, manufacturers are well assured that their business will move forward.


A distribution warehouse is probably the most important link between demand and supply chain management. Moreover, with an increase in the number of manufactures and retail products, it literally becomes inevitable to have a storage facility solely dedicated towards distribution. However, warehouse safety and management standards must also be looked at before moving ahead with any 3PL service provider.