Retailers and major manufacturers are the industrial forces that propel the world’s vast consumer landscape. Companies everywhere depend on various strategies to secure and organize raw materials, engineer those materials into tangible goods, and then transport those finished products into stores to make them available for purchase. Logistics and supply chain management are the crucial links between industrial manufacturing and consumer culture. This article will take a closer look at strategies companies can utilize to streamline manufacturing, shipping, and logistics.
What is Manufacturing Logistics?
Manufacturing logistics involves obtaining, storing, creating, and transporting materials needed in the production and distribution of consumer goods. Major manufacturers require different raw goods and supply chain steps to fulfill customer orders. In describing a typical example, we might focus on the steps necessary for a name-brand chip company to produce and distribute its salty snacks. First, the company obtains the essential ingredients: potatoes, oils, salts and seasoning, plastics, and paper packaging. The company locates shippers to buy these raw materials, which are delivered and handled at a production facility. The goods are then stored and utilized for the production of the snacks; the potatoes are rinsed, soaked, sliced, and dried, and the oils necessary for frying the chips are fed into large mechanized friers. Salt and seasoning coat the chips soon after, before workers (or machines) load the chips into the consumer packaging. The glue then seals the bags shut, and the chips are packed into cardboard boxes and loaded onto pallets and into a warehouse awaiting purchase orders and transportation. Companies then arrange the logistics necessary to deliver the order to a retailer, which may require full truckload (FTL), less-than-truckload (LTL), or courier transport.
This typical example describes what steps are necessary within manufacturing logistics.
What are the Benefits of Having Efficiency in Manufacturing Logistics?
Having an optimally performing supply chain is the essential goal for every logistics manager and director within the manufacturing industry. A shortage of raw materials slows factory production. A lack of warehouse space creates problems handling the overflow of produced goods. Without a diversified carrier network, transportation options might be limited during seasonal changes. Logistics managers are sometimes under enormous pressure to ensure that all steps within manufacturing logistics are running as smoothly as possible. One of the strategies that companies employ to help alleviate this stress is by leaning on transportation providers who offer value-added services designed to optimize their supply chain.
Companies like Wicker Park Logistics offer shippers options like GPS monitoring, route optimization, and data analytics to help shippers gain more visibility on the current freight market and their own truckloads as well. Their goal is to reduce delivery times, improve operational service, and lower transportation costs for thousands of companies.
Identifying Areas for Improvement within Manufacturing Logistics
Finding areas where a company can improve its manufacturing logistics is a proven way to reduce redundancies, improve production and storage efficiencies, and cut down on the bottom line of transportation costs. Thousands of companies depend on third-party logistics providers to support their current operations, ensuring that raw materials are sourced effectively and finished products get delivered on time.
One of the key benefits of partnering with a provider specializing in manufacturing logistics is that the entity has experience managing complex supply chain networks from start to finish. With the benefit of technology, companies that offer a range of services and tech platforms to help shippers gain visibility into their operations can ensure that supply chains run smoothly year-round.
Factoring in the Cost of Acquisition for Raw Materials
Certain externalities regularly affect business profitability in the manufacturing logistics space. Right now, the three prevalent factors contributing to the stresses on manufacturers are elevated fuel costs, a lack of dedicated truck capacity, and the inefficient management and distribution of owned commodities. All of these factors are deeply tied to the current marketplace of the logistics industry. Customers are forever demanding the retail products needed to replenish stores, and they rarely contemplate the pressures logistics managers face when it comes to getting those goods—it’s more about having them delivered on time!
The Cost of Storage and Warehouse Space
Indeed, one of the underlying costs that many major manufacturers incorporate into their bottom line is the fees associated with warehouse and storage. All manufacturers want to keep their factories open; it signals good business. Depending on the commodity produced, companies often store their overstock products for future sales orders. Whether these organizations build their own warehouse facilities or rely on third-party entities, the costs involve factoring into their bottom line. That’s why it’s important for manufacturers to partner with logistics providers that offer value-added services that work to optimize the supply chains for manufacturers.
Poor Route Optimization
One core issue affecting just about everyone connected with the logistics industry is poor route optimization. The “lost” miles that carriers have each day have real costs that are often passed onto the customer. Some logistics companies have embraced technologies that help shippers optimize their supply chain. By providing a variety of tech stacks and data integration, modern freight brokerages can help shippers not only gain more visibility on their live loads, but optimize their supply chain to improve overall route running efficiency.
Optimize Your Manufacturing Logistics by Partnering with Wicker Park
When logistics leaders choose third-party logistics providers for solutions to some of the nagging issues that affect their supply chain, they look for companies that add real value to their business. Every day, thousands of companies depend on Wicker Park Logistics, a 3PL that offers a wide range of services specifically tailored to help manufacturers streamline their supply chain. Wicker Park Logistics provides a consultative approach to its business partners. Wicker Park’s dedicated staff of logistics professionals have decades of experience working with companies to analyze their current operations and find effective ways to reduce freight costs while improving the overall delivery of their shipments. Whether you are looking for a provider to source capacity on a difficult lane, need additional warehouse space, or are looking for a dedicated service provider to improve on-time delivery, Wicker Park can find ways to improve your supply chain. Wicker Park combines their service with the latest technologies designed to give logistics leaders the tools necessary to reduce freight costs. Reach out to Wicker Park Logistics today!