How TMS Technology Can Benefit a Supply Chain

Posted by PLS Logistics August 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM

While operating in a progressively complex logistics world, companies in this day and age need all the help they can get to help them work smarter, easier and more efficiently. Customers are becoming increasingly more demanding, and the need for more improved supply chain visibility continues to pose a challenge for companies. Technology like Transportation Management Systems (TMS) are now more important than ever. The TMS plays a crucial role in helping shippers overcome these challenges and thrive in the increasingly competitive logistics industry.

Since more and more additions to TMS are continuously being tested for the future, it is important that your business isn't left behind. Here are some reasons we believe investing in a TMS could be beneficial to your supply chain.

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What Your Inventory Reveals about Your Reverse Logistics

Posted by PLS Logistics December 8, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Supply chains share common goals: increase productivity, reduce costs, mitigate risks. Common goals for reverse logistics are to improve customer satisfaction, cut costs, maximize return on assets. Reversing the supply chain means taking in returns, recalls, damaged goods and overstocked merchandise and recapturing its value or disposing of it. With the popularity of online shopping, the supply chain has become more multifaceted, increasing the importance of an organization’s reverse logistics strategy and inventory management practices.

The Importance of Reverse Logistics

Of all products sold, an average of 8%-12% are returned, and the cost to return those units is 2-3 times more than bringing them to market.

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Declining Inventories: Are Shippers Improving E-Commerce Fulfillment?

Posted by PLS Logistics August 12, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The 27th Annual State of Logistics Report shows that inventory levels are down and logistics costs are rising.

Given the extreme demands of the hundreds of millions of online consumers who expect free shipping and fast delivery, e-commerce interrupts transportation budgets and regular shipping strategies. In 2015, transportation costs rose 1.3% year-over-year.

Now, shippers are adding DCs, improving warehouse technology and rethinking traditional inventories in order to meet demand while containing costs.

Retailers, manufacturers and suppliers hold inventory to reduce costs and/or to improve customer service. Having too much inventory can cause excess merchandise to be wasted, and not having enough inventory can leave customers without the products they ordered.

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More Inventory, Less Warehouse Space: How Virtual Inventory Works

Posted by PLS Logistics March 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM

The omni-channel environment consists of demanding, knowledgeable consumers who expect a seamless, customized shopping experience. They want to order from anywhere, at any time - these empowered shoppers have changed fulfillment and transportation in retail supply chains.

To enhance the customer’s shopping experience, retailers are building virtual inventories. Virtual inventory is an all-inclusive list of a company’s products that can be sold to a consumer; the products might be in a retail store, stock room or warehouse.

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Tips for Delivering Temperature-Sensitive Goods

Posted by PLS Logistics February 11, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Shippers are able to manage the challenge of transporting temperature-sensitive goods; from farm produce to fresh flowers, thanks to refrigerated shipping trailers. Refrigerated trailers can remove or pump heat or create a cool environment for products to be transported in. Refrigerated trailers are designed to maintain the pre-cooled cargo temperature. Maintaining the temperature in a refrigerated shipping trailer, or reefer, is necessary in order to not compromise the product. Failing to maintain the proper shipment temperature can result in serious consequences like wasted or damaged products and sunken costs.

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This Year’s 5 Biggest Trends in Consumer Packaged Goods Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics November 18, 2015 at 1:00 PM

It has been another tough year for consumer packaged goods (CPG) shippers. In 2015, CPG shippers were hurt by the same trends that affected the industry last year, despite increased efforts to cut logistics costs and improve service.  Data collected from 2014 sheds light on what affected CPG shippers in 2015. Here are 5 trends that continue to affect CPG shippers in 2015:

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How to Prepare Transportation for Holiday Returns

Posted by PLS Logistics November 13, 2015 at 2:00 PM

The holiday season is upon us, and retailers must be prepared to avoid seasonal challenges. One major obstacle facing retailers: the rising number of e-commerce returns.

Return rates have amplified as the percentage of internet sales continues to develop. The shift to e-commerce sales, especially during the holidays, prompts impulse buying and a greater chance of the customer’s later regret, which results in higher return rates. The predicted rate of returns of total retail sales for the 2015 holiday season is 8.1%. Establishing an effective reverse logistics process allows retailers to minimize processing costs and increase the recovery value of returned goods.

Supply chain managers will face more complexity during the holiday season, Pitney Bowes 2015 Holiday Shipping Survey shows. The majority of shoppers prefer to return purchases in a nearby store, while 38% of shoppers choose to return a package through a shipping provider. Only 20% of shoppers like to have a carrier pick up a package from their home.

In order to keep up with competition, companies must offer a few return options and analyze sales in order to successfully condense returns.

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E-commerce and Unpredictable Demand

Posted by PLS Logistics October 14, 2015 at 1:00 PM

New Juniper Research has shared interesting insight on the current and future state of e-commerce: global online retail sales are estimated to reach $1.7 trillion by the end of 2015, which is 17% higher than 2014’s total. Among the factors that propel e-commerce growth are public Wi-Fi deployment, 4G and LTE rollouts, and social media’s trend of “buy” buttons.

Another aspect of the research touches on the same day delivery trend. It argues that more online retailers struggle to reduce the time-to-consumer metric when offering same day delivery and several delivery/pick-up options for clients. Fast delivery is becoming a decisive factor for online retailers who want to increase orders. When launching same day delivery, retailers should consider the significant costs, all possible disruptions and good or bad experiences of industry giants.

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How IoT Will Completely Change Supply Chain

Posted by PLS Logistics October 7, 2015 at 1:00 PM

You might not realize it, but we live in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, where the internet integrates with physical objects. The Internet of Things (IoT) is slowly becoming the reality; millions of smart devices connect to the internet and communicate with one another seamlessly.

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Reduce Cycle Time, Improve Efficiency

Posted by PLS Logistics August 19, 2015 at 10:00 AM

In logistics, time is critical. A company’s cycle time is a significant, yet complex process that runs from the time a vendor ships materials to you through the point when you ship the final product to the customer. Cycle time is a measurement of how many units of product are received, produced and shipped in a certain period of time, and it indicates the general efficiency of the supply chain. A company’s cycle time consists of several linked parts:

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