One of the most significant expenses in supply chain management is transportation. More and more, companies are seeking to control these costs by implementing a comprehensive inbound freight management plan. All too often, businesses have placed little priority on overseeing inbound freight operations. This is a mistake. Getting a clear picture of what’s going on with your incoming shipments — what’s working and what’s not — opens up the opportunity to cut waste significantly.
Why Good Inbound Freight Management Matters
Effective inbound management can net you a host of rewards, including significant cost reduction through increased efficiency. More deliveries will be on time, purchasing lead times can be reduced, inventory levels and carrying costs can be scaled down, and you’ll be able to provide more responsive customer service. When you’re monitoring your inbound deliveries and seeing how things play out in real time, you can make adjustments accordingly to minimize waste and improve efficiency. You can also find and root out potential issues before they become major problems.
Ironing Out Internal Issues
If you decide to manage your own inbound freight, it’s vital to develop a protocol and to establish a system of communication between departments. Otherwise, there is likely to be a significant disconnect between them as each has a different perspective on what is important. Without a clear idea of the bigger picture and a common goal, procurement may end up at odds with logistics, creating a situation where internal handling of incoming freight becomes anti-productive and far more trouble than it’s worth. That’s why getting everyone on the same page is imperative. It’s vitally important to make sure that all parties always have access to the data they need to efficiently manage all aspects of freight hauling and unloading.
Smoothing Things Out With Suppliers
If you’re planning on taking over the management of your inbound freight, you might find that some suppliers aren’t too keen on the idea. They may have a large contract with a particular carrier with rates negotiated based on a minimal flow of product — a flow that includes the shipments you are now proposing to take over. However, if you are paying for the freight, you should have the final say in who handles it. In order to figure out whether it really is more cost-effective for you to pull the freight handling from your suppliers, you’ll need to start by having some honest communication with each of them.
Consult With Experts First
While there are some significant hurdles to clear in order to create and maintain a smooth and efficient freight unloading, the payoff is well worth it. Of course, large-scale handling of inbound freight can be complicated. Implementing a faulty or underdeveloped inbound freight management plan can create even more problems and confusion, costing you more in the long run.
Costa Solutions can help you navigate your warehouse management and work with you to come up with the solutions you need to streamline your operations and provide better service to your customers. From smart software implementation to hauling and stocking, Costa provides a range of services to help get your business running as smoothly as possible. Contact Costa anytime for a free assessment to see how you can improve your inbound freight management.