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Running out of inventory is a recipe for disaster in just about any industry. This is what is commonly referred to as a stockout.
When stockout situations happen, it is bad news for the company. Not only can this result in lost sales, but it can also drastically tarnish a companies reputation as being reliable.
Sure, big-box retailers can stick to the idea and assurance that their customers will just buy a similar item. However, for smaller retail operations and vendors, this is not a luxury they can afford. Apply this same problem to a manufacturer and you can really see how devastating it can be to deal with a stockout.
Inventory management is, by far, one of the most difficult tasks in most businesses.
In fact, companies spend millions of dollars on hiring inventory control specialists and updating tech solutions in an effort to stop this from happening. But what role do carriers play in all of it?
Honestly, quite a lot as it turns out!
Poor carrier performance is a major contributor to inventory issues. Luckily, it is also the one factor that can be controlled by retailers, manufacturers, and distributors - with very little financial cost involved.
In this blog post, we will be talking about the roles that carriers have in stockouts. Furthermore, we will give you a few strategies to employ to help prevent the dreaded stockout.
Once your company has established inventory control levels that are acceptable, the next step for avoiding a stockout is to upgrade your technology.
One of the major pushes for tech in the logistics industry in 2019 has been automation. Everything from cobots to that new robotic unloader we wrote about is being used in warehouses and distribution centers around the country. This tech trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere and many have embraced it as the future of logistics.
With all this fanfare, any logistics company not using these innovations is sure to go the way of the dinosaur over the next year or two.
However, there is a good reason for its adoption in this industry. Aside from the fact that automation makes most things a lot simpler, when applied to inventory controls, it can greatly reduce the potential of a stockout.
Many stockout situations can be contributed directly to delayed shipments.
Missed deliveries, whether due to restricted shipping hours or freight delays at the terminal with LTL shipments, can all impact inventory levels.
Working with a carrier with proven results and delivery standards is a vital step toward improving inventory controls. While it is attractive for many companies to focus on carrier pricing, and for good reason to an extent, microscopic cost-saving efforts can end up negatively impacting the company in the form of a stockout.
When that happens, it doesn't really matter how much money you saved. You might be losing even more than that!
Probably one of the best things that a company can do to avoid a stockout is to employ a robust CMS platform.
This type of software solution is generally fairly easy to install. And once it is up and running, it is merely a matter of training your employees on its proper use and maintenance. Finally, it gets put into action alongside any other software solutions you utilize.
As a bonus, most CMS platforms are able to sync up to other software suites to further expand their capabilities.
Modern carrier management systems are designed right out the gate with robust technology. Tools that you will commonly find aboard these dashboards include the ability to log and review deliveries, document delays, and measure various other carrier KPIs. Just log on, search carriers based on a variety of factors such as locality, availability, and cost. The platform does all the rest and matches you with carriers that best fit your criteria.
Furthermore, you can save these carrier profiles for future shipments and even rate them across the network.
Carriers create stockout situations in a variety of ways. Anytime they perform poorly, run into multiple delivery delays or are slow to respond to customer inquiries increases the potential. Using the best carriers when possible and keeping track of their quality over time goes a long way!
One of the best ways to acquire and implement a customized CMS is with the help of a well-rounded 3PL.
Redwood Logistics is at the forefront of logistics tech implementation. Through our experience and large partner network, we are able to help our clients stay on top of inventory control.
Whether you are a distributor, retailer or manufacturer, we can help you implement your new CMS.
Reach out to our team today and let us get to work for you!