Control Supply Chain Costs by Asking the Right Questions

Control Supply Chain Costs by Asking the Right Questions

When the going gets tough in the supply chain, the tough cut costs.   But, where to begin?

Purchasing, warehousing, sourcing, production, customer fulfillment, logistics, shipping, packaging, transportation — there are so many targets to choose from. 

Yet, by demeaning any one of them in a rash budget slash you may risk hurting your bottom line rather than improving it.  Each link in the chain is essential and important.

Instead of taking a slash and burn approach, a strategy of continuous improvement may prove more beneficial, because every link in the supply chain can be influenced by making even the smallest adjustment in the cost or the time it takes to complete a task.

No matter how many times you’ve done a task, shipped a piece of heavy freight or used a supplier, it pays to hold onto the belief that there just may be a better way to get the job done.

Ask yourself: 

  • Are my suppliers getting their raw materials from the best source?  If you wonder, ask them.
  • Are my warehousing costs too high? Am I storing supplies that could be delivered just in time?
  • Am I confident that my shipping partner is looking out for my best interests when it comes to packaging, transportation and documentation control?
  • Have I looked in all the right places for the kinds of costs that can go undetected without special attention?
    • As your business grows, product lines change or you switch carriers, work with your logistics and freight partners to ensure that the terms of your contracts continue to be fair and advantageous.
    • How are your incoming and outgoing shipments routed?  Can you save money by changing ports, adjusting the shipping schedule, pre-booking or generally planning ahead?
    • Do you have the expertise on staff to judiciously review all invoices for the kinds of errors that often go unnoticed for months or years?     

At ICAT we use a system of checks and balances to plan and execute the logistics and freight shipping needs of our clients.  We find it takes a team to review and verify the details behind every shipment — not only to assess possible risk, but also to ensure the best and most cost-effective plan for our client.  If we suggest a new way of packing a heavy, oversize equipment shipment, for example, we’ve discussed it and stress tested it.  If we’ve brought in a new supplier, there has already been an extensive vetting process and there is trust.

Trimming the costs and reducing the time to production are our aims, too.   But years of practical experience in our business tells us that the best savings come when we focus on the day-to-day details.

We're your custom shipping resource. Solutions to our customers' most challenging issues are derived from decades of success in global logistics. https://www.icatlogisticsdtw.com/

 

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