Inbound Logistics recently ran an interesting article entitled “Boosting Supply Chain Sustainability”, which included informative tips to help companies reduce waste, cut costs and improve business margins. Our mission at AFN is to continuously help clients improve their business practices, so we’d like to share a few examples of ways these strategies are being implemented for our customers.
- Avoid reinventing the wheel. Currently, we are working with one customer to develop a new process to manage stock issues by minimizing wasted or redundant efforts in their supply chain. The process will help ensure that all parties have the necessary information/product to plan shipments at the lowest cost option.
- Map your supply chain. We always work with our customers to ensure that stops along their supply routes are well planned out. This helps save on transportation costs, and often saves time as well.
- Evaluate your packing. While it’s important to use as few packaging materials as possible, we are also focused on ensuring that our customers’ products arrive safely and without damage. When needed, we conduct packaging studies to test which options best enable the product to arrive in optimum condition. Our expertise might be applied to reviewing the pallet configuration, load locks, airbags or conducting a stretch wrap analysis. In one instance, we implemented air bags for a customer’s shipments. This solution kept the product safe, and offered a more cost effective and faster solution than changing the product packaging itself.
- Optimize your transport modes. We analyze each customer’s business goals to see which modes of transportation, or combinations of modes, will work best to create the lowest cost per unit/lb while still maintaining service levels.
- Consolidate and maximize space. At AFN, we utilize multiple stops, consolidated LTL shipments and pools to maximize efficiencies. Additionally, we continually review our customers’ analytics to find new ways to help them meet their goals.
- Tune in to technology. Our EDI system transmits shipping information in real-time. This helps our customers gain visibility into each shipment. We have an in-house EDI specialist on hand to make these transitions simple and easy.
- Assess your assembly strategy. When necessary, our team can review our customers’ assembly process to evaluate options and select the most effective one.
- Go paperless where possible. We are focused on doing our part to help the environment and conserve paper. AFN processes all claims via email, and our EDI invoicing is entirely paperless.
- Know your role in reverse. It’s important to understand how each decision in a supply chain impacts another area down the line. This is especially vital for customers who use just in time (JIT) inventory management systems. Currently, we work with customers to align PO patterns with their customers to create the least amount of stress on production and warehousing.
- Analyze your carriers. At AFN, we expect a lot from our carriers. We adhere to a strict carrier review process to ensure that we only utilize the most professional carriers for our customers’ freight. We only use carriers who have a satisfactory safety record with the FMCSA, or those who have not yet been rated.
To learn more about how AFN can help your company boost your supply chain sustainability, give us a call at 866-LOAD-AFN.