7 Best Practices for Multi-Channel Inventory Management

7-best-practices-for-multi-channel-inventory-management
Enhance operational efficiency by implementing industry-approved methods for multi-channel inventory management. Taking a holistic approach to control inventory helps multiple sales channels grow.

Multi-channel inventory management is a crucial aspect of the supply chain process that ensures the goods are available to customers through different sales channels. However, with growing penetration of ecommerce technologies and the increasing complexity of supply chain networks, managing inventory across multiple channels has become daunting for businesses. The ability to accurately track inventory levels, ensure stock availability across channels, and optimize fulfillment processes has become critical to achieve success in today's competitive business landscape.

Managing inventory across multiple channels require real-time visibility and tracking of inventory levels which further streamlines the complex process. Inaccurate inventory data can lead to stockouts, overstocking, and lost sales, negatively impacting the business's bottom line. To combat these challenges, businesses must implement a robust multi-channel inventory management system to track inventory across all channels, synchronize stock levels, and automate order fulfillment processes.
An inventory management system can offer businesses a consolidated view of inventory at various locations, such as warehouses, stores, and even online channels. An organized approach is crucial while managing multi-channel inventory or keeping track of moving inventory. Implementing an effective inventory management procedure, managing multi-channel inventory becomes more streamlined and simplified, as well as provides a comprehensive overview.

In addition, as businesses continue to expand their sales channels, multi-channel inventory management has become a vital component of supply chain management. By adopting best practices in multi-channel inventory management, businesses can ensure on-demand access, accurate inventory data, and seamless order fulfilment processes. Additionally, implementing the right procedures will allow organizations to observe an increase in customer satisfaction and experience significant business growth.

The article takes an in-depth look at key benefits, potential challenges, procedural considerations, and the significance of multi-channel inventory management. It delves into the impact of this approach on supply chain performance while providing valuable insights into best practices.


1. Centralize Inventory Management Process

Centralizing multi-channel inventory helps manage supply chain businesses across various channels and locations. Businesses can gain better visibility and control over their inventory processes by consolidating inventory data. However, centralizing inventory management is not without its challenges. One of the major obstacles faced by organizations is ensuring the accuracy and consistency of data across different locations and channels.
Another barrier is integrating various inventory management tools and technologies into a single system. Despite these challenges, centralizing inventory management offers significant benefits, including improved efficiency and reduced costs. In addition, businesses can leverage cloud-based inventory management software and standard operating procedures to centralize and optimize inventory management processes effectively.


2. Adopt Lean Inventory Management Approach

The lean inventory management approach is adequate for managing multi-channel inventory in supply chain businesses. This approach involves reducing excess inventory and only stocking items in demand. While implementation of the approach is complex due to the need for accurate demand forecasting and inventory tracking, it offers multiple advantages, such as reduced inventory carrying costs, improved cash flow, and increased customer satisfaction. To implement a lean inventory management approach in the supply chain business, follow these steps:
  • Conduct inventory analysis
  • Categorize items based on value and demand
  • Implement just-in-time (JIT) replenishment
  • Leverage forecasting tools
  • Establish cycle counting and monitoring procedures
  • Strive for continuous process improvement

This approach helps businesses achieve better inventory accuracy, increase operational agility, and meet customer demands across multiple channels.


3. Utilize ABC Inventory Analysis

ABC inventory analysis is a widely used best practice for multi-channel inventory management in the supply chain. This method categorizes inventory based on its level of importance to the business. ABC inventory analysis categorizes goods into A, B, and C categories based on their impact on overall inventory cost. Category A consists of the most valuable products, category B includes items that fall in between, and category C covers small transactions that are vital for overall profit but have less individual impact. Supply chain businesses can prioritize their resources and make informed decisions by focusing on high-value inventory.
However, implementing this method can be challenging, especially when dealing with extensive inventory data. To successfully address challenges associated with implementing ABC inventory analysis for multi-channel inventory management, businesses must focus on accurate data classification, utilization of advanced analytics tools, and fostering effective team collaboration.


4. Optimize Order Management Process

Optimizing order management involves automating and streamlining order fulfilment for efficient and accurate processing across sales channels. The process ensures optimal inventory control, minimizes fulfilment time, and enhances customer satisfaction, providing a competitive advantage. Aligning inventory levels with actual demand prevents overstocking and reduces holding costs. Additionally, businesses can efficiently allocate inventory from various sources to fulfil orders, reducing the need for excess storage and transportation. The optimization is achieved by adopting automation, system integration, and data analysis. In addition, comprehensive multi-channel order management system offers multiple benefits, including native e-commerce integrations, flexible order fulfilment options, multi-location inventory management, integrated POS capabilities, data-driven inventory planning, and workflow automation, among others.


5. Integrate Sales Channels

Integrating sales channels provides businesses with a unified view of inventory, sales, and customer data, enabling informed decision-making based on real-time information. It helps accurately track products across channels as well as adjust inventory levels based on individual selling rates. The process involves synchronizing channels through a centralized system, ensuring seamless data flow and consistent product information. It includes setting up API integrations, mapping inventory, and conducting thorough testing for smooth order processing. To implement the integration, businesses must utilize technology solutions like inventory management software and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Additionally, it establishes clear communication channels among teams managing different sales channels.


6. Set Cross-Channel Metrics

Cross-channel metrics measure and analyze each sales channel's performance, including online & offline sales, and identify areas for improvement. To set cross-channel metrics for multi-channel inventory, businesses must identify relevant metrics, establish benchmarks, and regularly monitor and evaluate performance. Implementing cross-channel metrics allows businesses to make data-driven decisions based on actual performance rather than relying on assumptions or incomplete data. In addition, supply chain businesses can leverage technology solutions, such as cloud-based inventory management software, to manage and consolidate their data sources effectively. Enforcing cross-channel metrics in multi-channel inventory management helps overcome several challenges, such as lack of visibility across sales channels, difficulty in identifying slow-moving products, and inefficiencies in resource allocation.


7. Automate Supply chain

Automating the supply chain and implementing advanced software systems helps businesses to optimize supply chain processes. Automation reduces manual errors, enhances efficiency, and improves overall productivity. It enables real-time inventory tracking, seamless order processing, and accurate demand forecasting. Businesses can easily overcome manual inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and data discrepancies by automating the supply chain process. The process includes integration of automation tools like inventory management software, order management systems, and warehouse management systems. The systems integrate with sales channels, suppliers, and logistics partners to automate order processing, inventory tracking, and shipment management tasks. Ultimately, businesses achieve better inventory control, faster order fulfilment, and increased customer satisfaction by automating supply chain operations.


Final Thoughts

As the supply chain market evolves, businesses must adopt innovative approaches for multi-channel inventory management. Incorporating additional sales channels into conventional brick-and-mortar operations presents a valuable opportunity to expand customer reach, boost sales, and enhance the overall customer experience. To effectively implement multi-channel sales and inventory management within a retail organization, acquiring a robust retail management system capable of efficiently monitoring inventory levels and facilitating business growth becomes essential. The adoption of an effective system can assist businesses to ensure seamless inventory control and propel sustained success in the competitive market.

Spotlight

Trans Carriers

Founded in 1982, Transcarriers, Inc. is a privately owned and operated motor carrier falling under the corporate umbrella of Daco Corporation, which also consists of Peterbilt of Memphis and Daco Trailer Leasing. Today, Transcarriers operates over 250 late model trucks and 500 dry vans. Its scope of business includes over the road dry vans operating in 48 contiguous states but primarily the eastern two thirds of the United States, intermodal drayage within a 150 miles radius of Memphis, dedicated city operations, trailer parking and storage.

OTHER ARTICLES
Supply Chain

Transform Supply Chain with Effective Demand Forecasting Techniques

Article | April 26, 2023

Efficient demand forecasting techniques transform supply chain management, help optimize inventory levels, streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction, and achieve a competitive edge. Contents 1. How Accurate Demand Forecasting Impacts Business Operations and Profitability? 2. Navigating the Pitfalls of Traditional Demand Forecasting 2.1 Limitations of Manual Forecasting Methods 2.2 Inaccuracy and Inconsistency in Demand Prediction 2.3 Multiple Products and Markets Challenges 2.4 Influence of External Factors on Demand Forecasting 3. Advanced Demand Forecasting Techniques for Supply Chain Management 3.1 Statistical Forecasting 3.2 Collaborative Demand Planning 3.3 Demand Sensing and Real-time Data Analytics 3.4 Agile Supply Chain Management Practices 4 Summing up 1. How Accurate Demand Forecasting Impacts Business Operations and Profitability? Accurate demand forecasting plays a vital role in determining the operations and profitability of a business. By anticipating future demand, companies can more effectively plan their production, inventory management, and supply chain activities to meet customer needs while minimizing costs. Additionally, accurate demand forecasting can aid businesses in enhancing customer satisfaction by proactively meeting customer needs and expectations, improving customer experiences and increasing customer loyalty. To generate actionable insights that drive informed decision-making, businesses must leverage advanced analytics and predictive modeling techniques that combine data from various sources with industry-specific knowledge and expertise. “Businesses that leverage advanced analytics and predictive modeling techniques for demand forecasting report an average of 5% improvement in their supply chain efficiency.” (Source: A survey by Deloitte) Supply chain businesses frequently rely on sales data from the past, which may not be sufficient in the complex and rapidly changing business environment. Businesses might not observe an improvement in operations and profitability if they rely solely on conventional methods. 2. Navigating the Pitfalls of Traditional Demand Forecasting As businesses strive to optimize their supply chain operations and meet customer demand, traditional demand forecasting methods can often hinder their efforts. In this context, it is essential to navigate the pitfalls of such techniques to achieve success in supply chain management. 2.1 Limitations of Manual Forecasting Methods Manual forecasting methods have limitations that can affect demand forecasting accuracy in supply chain management. Frequently based on historical data, these methods can overlook emerging trends in supply chain management and alterations in customer behavior. In addition, manual processes are time-consuming, prone to error, and incapable of incorporating real-time supply chain data. As a result, businesses struggle to optimize supply chain operations and meet customer demand. In addition, traditional forecasting methods can influence the ability to accurately predict demand, resulting in overstocked inventory, delivery delays, and, ultimately, poor customer satisfaction. Inaccurate demand forecasts can also result in poor purchasing decisions and increased carrying costs, negatively impacting profitability. 2.2 Inaccuracy and Inconsistency in Demand Prediction Inaccuracy and inconsistency in demand forecasting pose significant obstacles in managing the supply chain. This is the case in the dynamic business environment, where market conditions can change rapidly, making it challenging for companies to keep up with shifting demand patterns. As traditional demand forecasting methods depend heavily on historical data, they produce inaccurate forecasts that do not reflect real-time market changes. In addition, inconsistency in demand forecasting can also result in a mismatch between supply and demand, leading to missed opportunities or excess inventory. As a result, creating an effect on company’s bottom line in addition to customer satisfaction. 2.3 Multiple Products and Markets Challenges Accurate demand forecasting is crucial to the success of supply chain management. When there are multiple products and markets to manage, it becomes a challenge for traditional demand forecasting. Different products and markets may have varying demand patterns and drivers, making it difficult for businesses to accurately forecast demand. Manual processes and siloed data can hinder visibility and the ability to identify cross-product or cross-market trends, making supply chain optimization operations and meeting customer demand more complex. Managing multiple products and markets is one of the challenges of traditional demand forecasting when businesses operate in various markets with varying customer preferences and demand patterns for products. 2.4 Influence of External Factors on Demand Forecasting External factors can significantly impact the demand forecasting accuracy for supply chain optimization. These factors are often unpredictable, and conventional methods may not account for them. The external factors affecting the supply chain include natural disasters, economic recessions, and sudden changes in consumer behavior. In addition, political and regulatory modifications, such as tariffs or trade agreements, can affect the supply and demand of particular products. Therefore, businesses must incorporate these external factors into their demand forecasting models and advance the process, as traditional demand forecasting methods cannot predict accurate future demand patterns and ensure optimal supply chain operations. 3. Advanced Demand Forecasting Techniques for Supply Chain Management To avoid the above-mentioned pitfalls, companies need to adopt advanced demand forecasting techniques that enable capturing and analyzing huge data from various sources to generate accurate and real-time demand forecasts. 3.1 Statistical Forecasting Statistical forecasting is an advanced method for demand forecasting in supply chain management that utilizes complex algorithms and statistical models to analyze historical data, identify trends, and generate forecasts. This method employs numerous statistical techniques, including regression analysis, time-series analysis, and exponential smoothing, among others. Statistical forecasting can help businesses overcome some of the limitations of traditional manual forecasting methods because it is more objective, data-driven, and capable of identifying trends and patterns which are not apparent with manual forecasting methods. As a result, by utilizing statistical forecasting, businesses can increase demand forecasting accuracy, optimize inventory management, and better align supply and demand, resulting in enhanced customer satisfaction, greater efficiency, and lower costs. 3.2 Collaborative Demand Planning Collaborative Demand Planning combines intensive forecasting algorithms to predict future demand and a set of ML techniques to achieve better demand forecasting. It involves collaboration between suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders. The advanced data and insights sharing technique improve the comprehensive understanding of demand drivers and trends, leading to more accurate demand forecasting. The collaborative approach enables real-time adjustments to demand forecasts, which can help businesses respond promptly to market conditions and customer demand changes. In addition, using advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms can help identify patterns and trends that would otherwise go unnoticed. That enables businesses to optimize inventory levels, reduce under and overstocking, and enhance customer service levels. In the dynamic business environment, it helps transform the supply chain that is better equipped to meet the ever-changing demands of customers. 3.3 Demand Sensing and Real-time Data Analytics Demand Sensing and Real-time Data Analytics are advanced demand forecasting techniques that can assist businesses in overcoming the challenges that multiple products and markets pose to the supply chain. By utilizing real-time data from various sources, such as social media, point-of-sale systems, and weather reports, businesses can better understand customer demand patterns, adjust inventory and production planning, reduce delay, and increase responsiveness. In addition to implementing demand sensing, businesses can begin with sell-in data obtained from supply chain planning or an ERP system in supply chain management and then incorporate all relevant data sources and external factors to broaden the forecasting horizon. 3.4 Agile Supply Chain Management Practices Agile supply chain management practices are a collection of methodologies and strategies emphasizing supply chain operations' adaptability, responsiveness, and flexibility. These practices involve utilizing real-time data analytics, collaborative planning, and other advanced technologies to enable businesses to respond swiftly to changes in customer demand, market conditions, and other external factors. Adopting an agile model allows the organization to act swiftly and decisively and achieve successful business outcomes despite adverse conditions. Agile supply chain management practices can give companies greater visibility and control over their supply chains, enabling them to adapt more effectively and efficiently to fluctuating market conditions in the context of external factors influencing demand forecasting. By cultivating a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and customer value, agile supply chain management practices have the potential to transform into modern supply chain. 4. Summing up Demand forecasting accuracy is crucial for supply chain management and profitability. Manual forecasting methods hinder operational optimization and customer demand fulfillment. Customer satisfaction, purchasing decisions, and carrying costs suffer from inaccurate forecasting. In order to avoid these pitfalls, businesses can leverage statistical forecasting and collaborative demand. These methods recognize trends and patterns, optimize inventory levels, reduce over- and under-stocking, and improve customer service using advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms. As the supply chain evolves and becomes more complex, businesses must adopt advanced demand forecasting techniques. Implementing these techniques will enable businesses to optimize their supply chain management by better-aligning supply and demand, resulting in increased productivity, decreased costs, and ultimately increased profits.

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Warehousing and Distribution

Top Certifications for Distribution & Warehousing Logistics Professionals

Article | June 27, 2023

Maintain a competitive advantage by effectively managing supply chain. Discover the potential opportunities and enhance the career in logistics with warehousing and distribution certificates. The rapidly changing and fiercely competitive business landscape necessitates that professionals must go an extra mile to maintain a leading edge and propel their careers forward. Taking the initiative to pursue warehousing and logistics certifications can significantly boost your career. By obtaining a recognized designation, you demonstrate a steadfast dedication to your profession, enhancing your appeal to potential employers. Furthermore, earning a respected certification can open doors to advancement opportunities and increase making potential within your current organization. Moreover, pursuing ongoing education offers rewards, keeping you engaged and ensuring you remain at the forefront of industry developments. 1. Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate Supply Chain Warehousing Certificate is a comprehensive program for individuals seeking expertise in warehousing and logistics. Developed by ASCM and Prologis, it covers essential topics such as inventory management, packaging, shipping, and sustainability in logistics. This self-paced course offers flexibility and can be accessed on mobile devices. Earning one of the exclusive warehousing and distribution certifications demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in managing inventory and helps you stand out in the competitive job market. Employers will recognize your ability to handle shipping processes, improve order fulfilment, and make informed transportation decisions. 2. SAP Extended Warehouse Management Training Enhance your expertise in warehousing management with this top-tier online certification course. Gain in-depth knowledge of extended warehouse management, including warehousing structures, expert data, and warehouse organization. This warehousing and distribution course includes techniques for processing received and shipping goods, slotting, replenishment methods, and physical inventory. Delivered through video and text-based modules, it provides comprehensive warehousing and distribution center operations training. In addition, this course will expand your career opportunities and help you excel in the dynamic field of warehousing management. 3. Storage and Distribution Certification Storage and Distribution Certification is a complete course that addresses the critical need for supply chain safety and integrity in today's complex logistics landscape. This supply chain warehousing certificate is focused on distribution and is designed for warehousing, logistics, and supply chain management professionals. The program covers supply chain visibility, risk management, and optimizing physical-flow networks. There are no specific eligibility criteria for this course, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals seeking to enhance their skills and knowledge. By obtaining this one amongst many warehousing certifications in this course , you'll be equipped with the expertise to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities, improve operational resilience, and meet the evolving demands of the modern marketplace. 4. Certified International Warehouse and Inventory Manager The Certified International Warehouse & Inventory Manager certification offered by Blue Ocean Academy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi provides professionals with comprehensive training in warehouse management. Blue Ocean Academy, recognized as an industry leader in this field, offers the best warehouse and inventory management training courses. The Warehouse Management Certification Program focuses on the strategic role of warehousing within the broader context of supply chain management and logistics. Participants will gain knowledge and skills in the latest methods for storing and safeguarding high-value inventories and best practices for modern warehousing. The program also covers techniques to achieve accurate record-keeping and successful cycle counting, methods for conducting warehouse audits, and the operational and financial performance aspects of warehousing. 5. Warehouse Excellence Certification (WAREX) Developed by the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM), Warehouse Excellence Certification (WAREX) helps to elevate your warehousing career. This logistics warehousing and distribution program offers a range of qualifications catering to professionals at various stages of their logistics, warehousing, and distribution journeys. WAREX covers a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge, from entry-level to strategic management positions. Whether you're new to the industry or a seasoned professional, this certification equips you with the expertise to optimize warehouse operations, enhance inventory management, and drive overall supply chain efficiency. 6. Six Sigma Certification in Warehousing: Overview & Career Options Six Sigma Certification in warehousing is a specialized program that equips professionals with the tools and methodologies to optimize warehouse operations, eliminate defects, and achieve near-perfect efficiency levels of 99.997%. By applying Six Sigma processes, businesses can identify and solve warehouse problems, resulting in improved customer satisfaction, increased revenue, reduced errors, efficient inventory management, and enhanced overall profitability. With this warehouse certification program, you'll stand out in the job market with higher employability, salary potential, and opportunities with renowned companies like Amazon, Samsung, Boeing, FedEx, DHL, and UPS. 7. Certified International Warehouse & Inventory Manager This certificate in warehousing management is specifically designed to equip professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the dynamic world of warehouse operations. This program covers a wide range of essential topics, from strategic warehouse management to inventory optimization and sustainable practices. Participants will learn about warehouse design, storage techniques, materials handling, inventory control, performance measurement, warehouse management systems, risk management, and sustainability. This warehousing and logistics certification is ideal for warehouse managers, logistics professionals, supply chain executives, and individuals seeking to enhance their expertise in warehouse operations. 8. WHSEOPSCERT - Warehouse Operations Certificate The Warehouse Operations Certificate program offers essential training to develop fundamental warehousing skills and gain certifications in material handling equipment. This program is crafted to enhance participants' employability within the warehousing and distribution industries. It covers various topics, including warehouse operations, supply chain fundamentals, order fulfillment, shipping concepts, and lift truck certification training. The courses provide a comprehensive understanding of warehouse functions, inventory management, storage procedures, supply chain principles, and problem-solving strategies. Upon completion, graduates will be equipped for entry-level positions such as Order Puller, Warehouse Technician, Logistics Analyst, and more. 9. JHSC Certification Part Two - Warehousing & Distribution The JHSC Certification Part Two - Warehousing & Distribution is an essential training program designed to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to recognize and control hazards within their warehousing and distribution workplaces. After completing both Part One and Part Two training, this certification is the final step in becoming a certified member of a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC). Aligned with the Ministry of Labour's JHSC Certification Training Program Standard, this interactive 2-day course strengthens participants' understanding of the RACE process (Recognition, Assessment, Control, and Evaluation) for all workplace hazards. Delivered by experienced health and safety experts familiar with the industry, this training covers sector-specific risks such as MSDs, slips and falls, motor vehicle incidents, unguarded machinery, unsafe material handling, and hazardous chemicals. Completing this certification ensures compliance with legal requirements, empowers individuals to make informed decisions regarding workplace safety, and enhances overall hazard management in the warehousing and distribution sector. 10. Warehouse Distribution, Continuing Education Workforce Certificate Warehouse Distribution Continuing Education Workforce Certificate is a comprehensive training program to equip individuals with the necessary skills for higher-skilled, frontline material handling roles within the supply chain industry. Ideal for individuals seeking employment in various supply chain facilities, such as warehouses, distribution centers, and transporters, this program prepares students for different job positions, including forklift operators, logistics specialists, freight handlers, and customer support representatives. By completing this certificate, learners will not only gain essential knowledge in waste reduction, logistics security, and forklift safety, but they will also have the opportunity to obtain the Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) credential from the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) and other relevant certificates. This certification provides a concrete foundation for entry-level careers in the logistics field and offers individuals a competitive edge in the job market. Conclusion Logistics and supply chain management professionals thrive on the exhilarating pace of constant change. Each day brings fresh challenges, opportunities, and innovative tools that enhance tracking, analysis, forecasting, and more. By actively pursuing a logistics or supply chain certification and diligently fulfilling the required continuing education hours, ensure that you remain at the forefront of these exciting industry advancements. This commitment positions you to leverage the latest insights and technologies, allowing you to optimize and streamline your supply chains for maximum efficiency. As a result, you stay ahead of the curve and empower your organization to achieve peak performance and drive continued success. Embrace the transformative power of certifications and embark on a journey of growth and excellence in logistics and supply chain management.

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Transportation

Schneider Electric for suppliers

Article | April 26, 2023

At Schneider Electric, meeting our customers’ expectations is a key priority. As concern over COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) grows, we are monitoring developments to this situation globally, as well as following local health and government regulations, continually assessing and responding to changes. Our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has been tested and implemented in geographies impacted. This plan includes health and safety, supply chain, lifecycle management services, and IT infrastructure. Schneider Electric operations meet the criteria of an essential critical infrastructure as defined by most governments. While we do not anticipate interruptions to our operations, local governments may require temporary containment measures. In these cases, we comply with local laws, and in most cases seek support from local authorities to maintain critical business operations as an essential business for our communities.

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3 Ways to Benchmark to Boost Supply Chain Performance

Article | April 20, 2021

You might be wondering what the benefits are of benchmarking. Well, imagine you are training for a 100 metre sprint in your district. What would be the key number, or metric that you would need to know? It would, of course, be what the winning time was when this race was last run in your district. Without that information, you don’t know what you’re trying to target. It would be impossible to know if you’ll have any chance at all of winning the race. It’s exactly the same in business. If, for example, you are concerned about the pick rates in your warehouse, or your transport costs, or your inventory accuracy, benchmarking can help you because it can show you exactly where your performance is compared to others in your industry. A few years ago, I was working with an automotive parts business. They had a little issue with their picking productivity in the warehouse. They wondered how good it was, whether they could improve it. They actually thought it was okay. We looked at the figures and compared them with other businesses. This helped us realise that their picking productivity should be three times better than it was. And believe it or not, over a few months they did begin to improve their productivity. Why? Because benchmarking opened their eyes to the fact that they were at a level quite far below others in the industry. That’s the beauty of benchmarking. Until you know what others are doing, you can’t be sure how good your performance is. If you’ve never tried benchmarking, there are three ways you could do it. 1. Informal Benchmarking This exercise would involve you measuring particular functions or aspects of your business and comparing that against other parts of your business. Let’s say you have a warehouse operating in one city and another operating in another city. You might start to measure the same metrics and see which one is performing better. You might know other people in the industry who are also operating warehouses so you might agree to share some data with them. This is probably the easiest way to start off, but it has some downsides: You’re only measuring against a very small sample size. If all of you in the pool are not that good, how would you know what good is? You have to make sure that the businesses are similar and you are measuring things in exactly the same way. It’s very important in benchmarking to have a standard way of applying the metric. 2. Formal Benchmarking This can work for much larger businesses. Perhaps you have operations in many different countries. You could agree a formal structure for how you are going to measure performance. You could do monthly or quarterly benchmarks with all the parts of your international organisation. You could learn from each other and share best practice. This method is okay but you’re not getting access to a very large pool of results to measure yourself against. You will find that companies are very reluctant to give out benchmarking data. You might also be operating in an environment where the performance is quite low right across the business. 3. Hire a Professional Benchmarking Firm This is the ultimate way to do it, although there are not a lot of professional benchmarking firms such as ours around. If you do manage to find one, you will quickly realise that there are significant benefits to be had by bringing in the professionals: The metrics are put together in exactly the same way: When we do a benchmarking exercise for our consulting clients, we go through a very robust data-gathering process and then make sure all the costs, for example, are in the same buckets as everyone else’s in the database. You gain access to a big pool of results: Professionals have measured hundreds, if not thousands, of companies. This enables you to say, ‘Our company is this size, it operates in this industry, these are the characteristics of our supply chain, who else in that pool of results is like us? We want to be measured against them.” It’s no good measuring the performance of a grocery retailer, for example, against an industrial product supplier. They have different supply chains. You need to be measuring like with like.

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Spotlight

Trans Carriers

Founded in 1982, Transcarriers, Inc. is a privately owned and operated motor carrier falling under the corporate umbrella of Daco Corporation, which also consists of Peterbilt of Memphis and Daco Trailer Leasing. Today, Transcarriers operates over 250 late model trucks and 500 dry vans. Its scope of business includes over the road dry vans operating in 48 contiguous states but primarily the eastern two thirds of the United States, intermodal drayage within a 150 miles radius of Memphis, dedicated city operations, trailer parking and storage.

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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Logistics, Supply Chain, Transportation

AIT Worldwide Logistics Acquires Global Transport Solutions Group

Business Wire | February 05, 2024

AIT Worldwide Logistics, one of the world’s leaders in global supply chain solutions, has acquired Global Transport Solutions Group (GTS), a prominent international freight forwarder specializing in time-critical marine spare parts logistics. Headquartered in the Netherlands, GTS and its more than 600 teammates across 16 locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, serve over 2,000 ports around the world. The GTS network also includes nine consolidation hubs totaling more than 45,000 square meters of warehouse space. AIT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vaughn Moore, said, “I’d like to welcome our new GTS teammates to the global AIT network. This is the largest acquisition in our company’s history and GTS’ marine spare parts business is an excellent complement to AIT’s time-critical supply chain solutions.” The company’s business is divided into two sub-brands: Marinetrans (founded in 1991), excelling in “door-to-deck” spare parts logistics for ship owners and managers, and Best Global Logistics (founded in 2007), providing time-critical solutions and general forwarding for other industries, including life sciences shippers. According to AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg Weigel, the acquisition provides the company with new geographic presence in Greece, Japan and the Nordic region while adding significant capacity and subject matter expertise to existing AIT networks in China, the Netherlands and Singapore. The deal also provides a strong foundation to expand GTS’ world-class marine spare parts solutions via AIT’s expansive global freight network. “The acquisition of GTS creates an incredible portfolio of solutions serving the maritime industry with delivery of time-critical spare parts across all geographies. This is a perfect complement to AIT’s vertical strategies focused on expedited mission-critical services like our Critical Solutions Group, government and AOG team, and Life Sciences Division,” Weigel said. “We plan to rapidly invest and expand GTS’ North American operations by capitalizing on AIT’s robust salesforce in the United States and offering maritime customers a world-class spare parts logistics solution in every port.” AIT President and Chief Operating Officer, Keith Tholan, noted that the GTS core values – customer first, operational excellence, and partnership and collaboration – closely mirror AIT’s core values. “We are delighted to welcome GTS teammates to AIT,” Tholan said. “Their deep marine logistics expertise and three decades of proven on-time performance in a very demanding segment will complement the diverse solutions we offer across our vertical sector strategy. We also expect our best-in-class global air freight procurement will instantly benefit their time-critical operations.” According to GTS co-CEO John Burgstra, the acquisition is an opportunity for GTS to further expand their worldwide operations. “We aim to provide our clients an unrivaled experience when it comes to global visibility, transparency and on-time performance, fully unburdening them of the required logistical handling of their vessels’ spare parts,” he said. “We are excited about becoming part of a larger group and the global development opportunities this acquisition will provide for our teammates.” “Because of the highly fragmented and international nature of our clients’ requirements, they need a trusted partner with a vetted and effective global network,” added GTS co-CEO Vegard Prytz. “GTS will gain enormous benefits from leveraging the global AIT infrastructure, creating an even more integrated and seamless solution for clients around the world.”

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Operations, Warehousing and Distribution

LA Kings Partner with Lexani Performance Tires

PR Newswire | January 26, 2024

Turbo Wholesale Tires, and two-time Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings have announced a powerful brand partnership. As part of the multi-year agreement, brokered by AEG Global Partnerships, Lexani Performance Tires will become an official partner of the LA Kings, reaching millions of passionate sports fans. As an official partner of the LA Kings, Lexani Performance Tires will have the unique opportunity to engage fans each week during the season as a presenting sponsor of the LA Kings "Game Preview," which will appear on the team's official social channels. Lexani Performance Tire will also benefit from in-arena signage via dasher boards and scoreboard branding during all LA Kings home games at Crypto.com Arena. "We are proud to partner with the LA Kings and their global fanbase," said Phillip Kane, CEO of Turbo Wholesale Tires. "The Kings have a strong international brand and passionate following, we look forward to introducing their supporters to Lexani Performance Tire products." Turbo Wholesale Tires has been a trusted tire supplier, leading the industry with a strong emphasis and understanding of the independent tire dealer. Turbo Wholesale Tires has evolved into a national and international supplier of its proprietary brands, Lexani Performance Tire, RBP Tires and Lionhart Tires. With nearly a million square feet of warehouse space nationwide, Turbo Wholesale Tires continues to exceed the needs of its tire customers. "We are honored to be teaming up with Lexani Performance Tires," said Josh Veilleux, senior vice president, AEG Global Partnerships. "This collaboration not only brings a renowned tire supplier into our Kings family, but also introduces new ways for our fans to interact with its brand. We look forward to the positive impact this new partnership will bring to the team, Lexani Performance Tires and our incredible community of fans."

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