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How 3PLs Can Assist Manufacturers with Supply Chain Modeling

By Virginia Goss, Operations Specialist

Technical Transportation, Inc

Supply chain modeling is typically defined as the processes needed to better understand a manufacturer’s supply chain – all with the goal of bringing order to the company’s operations while achieving company-specific objectives such as lower costs and higher customer satisfaction.

While there are many steps and processes on the production and inventory side of supply chain modeling, many companies do not have the resources or expertise to incorporate the part of the supply chain that involves your product making its way to the end customer. For most companies, this can involve additional warehousing, distribution, first and final mile delivery processes.

Ideally, a 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) partner can help companies manage and optimize this part of the supply chain for increased efficiency and cost savings. In fact, a 3PL should make a manufacturer’s supply chain modeling and operations simpler and more efficient overall. Some ways they can accomplish this include:

  • Becoming your single – source logistics provider – The ideal 3PL firm will take the lead on your logistics so you don’t have to worry about it. They should manage all the moving parts (the people, the products, the invoices) and you should only have to deal with one person and one bill.
  • Expediting delivery – 3PL partners should have a network of carriers and delivery providers who can tailor expedited delivery options to meet your needs. For example, at TechTrans, we recently added Grand Aire to our network, expanding our client’s delivery options and capabilities. With this new provider, our customers can even arrange emergency hand-carry delivery of essential items.
    Using a 3PL partner with a nationwide network of transport options allows a manufacturer to realize the savings that comes with the 3PL’s preferred status.
  • Creating flexible warehousing – Building in efficiencies into your supply chain can also be achieved through creating temporary or permanent strategic warehousing hubs across the country at 3PL-owned or rented facilities. This approach lets manufacturers use more economical intermodal options like full truckload inventory deliveries to these hubs so they can be continually and efficiently stocked to combat supply chain shortages or delays and reduce the overall transportation expenses.
    The 3PL teams can then ensure same-day or overnight delivery from these facilities to customers to meet on-demand needs. The warehouses can even be used by the 3PL as a local pick-and-pack distribution center.
  • Providing enhanced tracking – Any quality 3PL will have electronic shipment tracking as part of their logistics process, usually in the form of a mobile app or online portal. But the top providers will go a step further and include enhanced features such as waybill visibility, proof of delivery, photos of delivery, on-demand activity reports and more.
    This offers manufacturers a real-time view for where their shipment is and allows them to incorporate all shipping stages into their internal reporting.
  • Managing the final mile (plus) – 3PLs naturally handle the transportation and delivery of products, but how they do so and the value-added services they provide make all the difference.
    The best providers offer in-room white-glove delivery for high-end and sensitive products, but also go a step further by training their staff on how to set up, install and instruct users on those products so they’re ready to use. Having the 3PL manage this function allows the manufacturer’s field service teams to focus on revenue-producing service calls ultimately saving time and resources.

If you’re looking for a logistics partner who can assist with supply chain modeling, then contact us today to learn more.

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