The consumer landscape is has changed. Consumers now demand same-day delivery, free shipping and near instant access to more items than a brick and mortar store can hold. Current changes are happening in retail and the impending doom for traditional store models are in the foreseeable future. In order to compete with monster companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target, smaller businesses (which is most at this point) must re-evaluate how they are storing, stocking and shipping.
Relying on the status quo in supply chain management means stagnation. And for retailers and vendors, stagnation means almost certain failure. By introducing techniques from Just-In-Time inventory control and delivery, businesses can avoid the pitfalls and grow revenue to allow them to stand a fighting chance.
What is Just-In-Time Delivery?
Historically, manufacturers utilized what’s now referred to as a “just in case” logistics model. With this model, every item that the manufacturing operation could require – from nuts and bolts to packaging materials – was kept on-hand by the manufacturer “just in case” it was needed. On the other hand, Just-In-Time (JIT) logistics operate under the concept of receiving raw materials, products and parts as they are needed, rather than days or even weeks before. This allows businesses to significantly cut inventory costs by having fewer unnecessary supplies on hand and far less material to store. With dropshipping being the increasingly preferred method of order fulfillment for smaller e-commerce retailers, JIT delivery is even more appealing.
Expanding consumer demands for same- and next-day delivery and other features has put order delivery speed at the very top of supply chain management. But since production for Just-In-Time delivery happens only for specific customer orders, Just-In-Time services are somewhat backward from normal supply chain fulfillment in the way that goods are pulled through the supply chain versus pushed through. So, the production process only begins when a customer places an order, and inventory stock is only delivered as-needed.
As effective as Just-in-Time Delivery is, it can be difficult to coordinate large amounts of shipments efficiently, especially when dealing with shipments that vary in size and destination. With Just-in-Time Delivery services from Expedited Transportation, our team of experts and superior customer service can coordinate your shipments for you; freeing you up to focus on what’s important – your business’ bottom line.
With Just-In-Time Delivery from Flex Logistics, you can take the hassle and headaches out of coordinating multiple shipments. With capabilities and services that stretch across every facet of domestic logistics, trust Expedited Transportation as your partner in cost-efficient, prompt and dependable shipping.
- Systems design for streamlined manufacturing
- Reduced complexity through focused, transparent operations
- General practices that support continuous improvement and the elimination of waste
- Enhancing process flows with strategic production line arrangement
- Use of robust and flexible machines that are also relatively small and easy to use
- Involving staff in operational improvements and problem-solving
- Expanding flexibility capacity by minimizing setup and changeover timelines
- Encouraging and sustaining reliability by employing total productive maintenance
Benefits of Just-In-Time Delivery
Holding your inventory in a safe location can be extremely comforting but it is also very expensive and can easily chip away at your bottom line. Once you start to hold excess inventory you begin locking away your cash aimlessly. A JIT warehouse allows a company to spend less money on items because only the resources that are needed to fulfill orders are held. Along with keeping warehouse space needs low, production runs are shortened so that manufacturers can ship products more quickly.
One of the greatest benefits of the JIT system is it allows you to carry low inventory. Our Just-in-Time Trucking services coordinate with you and your schedule, as well as with numerous carriers across North America to get your shipments to their destinations right before they are needed, allowing you to maximize space and efficiency while lowering costs through reduced inventory on-hand.
Another benefit of a JIT system is the reduction of waste. If material goes beyond its expiration date, corrodes or becomes unusable, the ultimate cost of material rises. By eliminating waste, you can control your business expenses.
A third key benefit of Just-In-Time Delivery Services is high-quality production. Since you will only be dealing with suppliers that you trust, your needs and quality control will be of the utmost importance. This will eliminate rejected parts through your quality control process and quicker consumption rates.
Creating a Successful Just-In-Time Delivery Process
The main objectives in implementing a JIT logistics process are:
A coordinated and transparent system will ensure that you meet your objectives seamlessly and reduce waste. Specialized infrastructure and a capable production line team are required to execute the strategic plan. Flex Logistics has both the infrastructure and the experienced staff to help you design and execute a low-risk JIT delivery process that will help you maximize profits and reduce friction points.
Order Accuracy & Quality
The single most important aspect of e-commerce logistics success is customer satisfaction, which demands accuracy and quality in orders. When an order is missing parts, arrives late or is the wrong item, the customer is disappointed and it can be difficult to impossible to overcome a poor online shopping experience. E-commerce retailers need to use whatever means necessary to ensure order accuracy, while also working with reliably fast fulfillment partners to get orders delivered in a timely fashion.
Balanced Inventory Management
Warehouse regionalization is becoming much more prevalent as retailers turn away from massive distribution centers and opt for many more, yet smaller centers that are strategically located for minimized shipping times. Retailers understand that it is more expensive to ship to customers all over the U.S. from a single location, while meeting consumer expectations for delivery times.
Accurate demand forecasting is a significant challenge with modern logistics. It really comes down to having the right amount of inventory available when it is needed and stored at the right location for optimal shipping and delivery times.
The key questions every e-commerce retailer must ask when forecasting inventory include:
- Determining the actual cost of inventory
- How much inventory you typically need to have on hand to fulfill orders
- The predictability of demand
- How inventory is replenished to minimize out-of-stock situations
Order Accuracy and Reduced Costs
Reducing costs and enhancing the customer experience are probably the most persuasive benefits of using Just-In-Time delivery services to support e-commerce fulfillment. Incorporating JIT delivery into your supply chain greatly reduces warehousing costs since parts and products are only received when orders call for them. This system also eliminates wasted space on the warehouse floor, thereby cutting inventory management. The reduction in payroll costs as employees become more efficient cannot not be undersold.
JIT delivery results in improved order accuracy. With parts and materials only arriving as they are needed, there is less risk of mistakes as parts are automatically added to the supply chain immediately as they are received.
Who Needs Just-In-Time Delivery Service?
Since unsold stock sitting on shelves increases inventory holding costs and takes up space, companies looking for cost-containment inventory strategies should consider utilizing a JIT delivery company like Flex Logistics. Our JIT services ensure that you will have items only when you need them.
If you are holding inventory on site, taking advantage of Just-In-Time logistics will free up both space in your facility and capital so that you can invest more in other projects that help grow your company. As a Just-In-Time delivery service, we are always looking for ways to improve on your current stock control methods and our team will work closely with you to accurately forecast demand so that you are able to remain responsive to variable customer needs.
The FLEX Logistics Team is Here to Help!
Our team understands the importance of getting your products to the market. That is why we aim to understand your business and build lasting relationships with you and your team. Whether you are looking to add a new warehouse to your existing operations, growing and need to increase your distribution efforts, or starting a new company, FLEX has the solutions to meet your supply chain needs.
Contact us today to discuss your current and future warehousing and logistics needs. We will work together with you to understand your requirements and develop a solution that will set you up for future success.