August 25, 2020
Enterprise supply chains require speed more than ever. Booms in e-commerce business create new markets daily. A global pandemic shuts down warehouses and manufacturing plants. Market crashes, natural disasters, and rapidly changing consumer expectations all shift demand. Inventory footprints must adapt fast to avoid sunk costs.
Imagine a 12% tariff increase on imported goods from your biggest international supplier. Implementation begins in one month.
You make large orders of necessary goods and best-selling inventory to ride out the coming spike in import costs and freight rates. You begin sourcing temporary warehouse space for safety stock and overflow storage. Unfortunately, so is everyone else in your industry. The market is tight and warehouses are not fond of small footprints for small periods of time. But you have to find a solution quickly; containers can’t just sit at the port full of inventory or they’ll start to rack up significant demurrage charges.
You find three options right outside your port. The first, operated by a nationwide 3PL, has competitive pricing, but they are not willing to implement specific operation procedures for your pickier customers. The second is a mom and pop warehouse with equally competitive pricing, but their idea of a WMS is sending a daily email with an Excel spreadsheet of inventory levels attached. Your third option is a regional 3PL which operates several facilities around the port. They propose a 3 month integration timeline and seem to want to understand your operating procedures better, and the quote is far below other market rates. This could be an okay fit. But you’re smart and dig deeper. You track down a former shipper who worked with this 3PL and find out they had received final invoices with accessorial markups 20% higher than originally quoted.
Which sacrifice do you make in this situation: service in line with your SOPs, inventory visibility, or costs? Your management is most concerned with mitigating costs because the company is already battling the tariffs. You cannot afford to lose any customers so your SOPs and lead times have to stay perfect. But your concern has always been accurate, real-time order visibility. You cannot make the best future decisions about this facility and the overall supply chain in this uncertain environment without it.
There is a fourth option. A supply chain partner with a nationwide logistics footprint and competitive pricing who adopts your best operating practices and works with you to improve upon them. This partner knows that to make the best decisions for your supply chain you need to have all your inventory data available and clean in real time.
Stord was purpose built to solve the supply chain fragmentation companies experience when scaling inventory quickly. Let’s go back to our original scenario:
Imagine an additional 12% duty tax has been placed on your imported goods and this new tariff will be implemented in one month. You make large orders of necessary goods and best-selling inventory to ride out the coming spike in import costs and freight rates.
You reach out to Stord instead of spending weeks shopping around for a solution. Stord works with you to understand the full picture. Our supply chain team works with you to scope out the entirety of your best operating procedures in detail. One of our integration specialists works with you to develop an integration project timeline to get warehouse data flowing into your ERP within weeks.
Stord taps into our facility network and presents you with two facilities right outside your port. The team also presents a third, longer-term option outlining how a change in ports would reduce overall freight costs and better meet demand. We also provide FTL/LTL rates for inbound and outbound freight from the warehouses so you have complete solutions. You choose a facility, sign a one-time contract with Stord, and begin moving inventory within 2 weeks. After one month operations have significantly improved; some of our customers have seen order to pick times reduced by an hour. Lead times also improve and you service more customers than before. If you need to expand to another location, you’re already integrated to 400+ of these flexible facilities that you know will work with you on a full solution.
Here’s how Stord does it:
We keep costs competitive because we operate over 43 million square feet of warehouse space, all on a flexible, Op Ex model so there are no long term leases or minimum footprints. Our cloud software was built FOR integrations so returns on investment are seen in weeks, not months. Robust data science and supply chain operations teams compliment our footprint and software creating a holistic, digital, and agile partner to support your most complex supply chain optimizations.
Speed will put your supply chain ahead of your competitors. The ability to react while maintaining a clean source of data will stabilize operations during times of uncertainty. Stord supports both.