How to Achieve Perfect Order Fulfillment

One of Zip’s primary goals is to achieve what is known as ‘Perfect Order Fulfillment.’ This is described by the Supply Chain Council as a discrete measurement defined as the percentage of orders delivered to the right place, with the right product, at the right time, in the right condition, in the right package, in the right quantity, with the right documentation, to the right customer, with the correct invoice.

The best method to achieve perfect order fulfillment is by extended visibility across the supply chain. Zip does this by making every step of the fulfillment process as visible as possible with our employees. We’ve designed the layout of the office, dispatch board and shipment binder to make every step of the process as easy to understand as possible. Our goal is to have everyone trained to be ready to step in and help out at a moment’s notice. We track each shipment carefully from start to finish and keep communication with the customer as open as possible.

We monitor the entire process of the shipment, searching for ways we can improve service to the customer. We keep desks neat and tidy to ensure orders don’t get mixed up. We collaborate together to find shipping solutions and ensure everyone gets what they need in order to achieve satisfaction.

Finally, we focus on making every step of the process as consistent as possible. Our team is in constant communication with one another, ensuring that if there’s a problem we’ll fix it right away. Our team of experts has been consistent for years, which allows us to provide the same results shipment after shipment.

Perfect order fulfillment is not simple, or even easy, but it can be achieved. It is a process, one that we strive for every day. It is a challenge we love taking on, and if you’d like to see how we can make your order perfect, get started with Zip Xpress today!

Manufacturing Metrics Supply Chain

Key Metrics for Manufacturing in Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is a challenging area of business for manufacturing companies. A well-run manufacturer must find a healthy balance of communication, logic, and execution in order to ensure that their supply chain is running smoothly. There are many metrics that these organizations can use to evaluate their performance. Here are some of what we believe are the most important metrics for a supply chain’s success.

Perfect Order Fulfillment

This is a discrete measurement that essentially shows the percentage of orders that are fulfilled without any errors. A perfect order is one that sees the right product being delivered to the right place at the right time in the right condition. By constantly working to improve perfect order percentages, manufacturers show that they are working in the best interests of their customers.

Customer Order Cycle Time

This metric measures the average time that it takes to fulfill a customer delivery after a purchase order has been received by the manufacturer. This is an important metric to analyze the efficiency of your supply chain, as it shows how well different departments work together to complete a job after a customer makes a request.

Freight Cost per Unit Shipped

This calculation involves dividing the total freight costs incurred by the number of total units shipped. Generally, these are calculated over a certain period of time, e.g. weeks, months, quarters, or years. It’s important to compare this to the total cost of producing individual units, since each time product breaks during shipment means your company will have to manufacture a replacement.

On Time Shipping Rate

This metric is the percentage of items or order value that arrives on or before the requested ship date. The On Time Shipping Rate is the key to customer satisfaction. A high rate indicates an efficient supply chain. The more accurately your supply chain can get the product into customer’s hands, the happier they will be, and that will build long-lasting trust between you and your customer.

We hope that we provided some insight into how you can measure the performance of your supply chain management. Our goal is to be as efficient as possible while keeping our customer as our number one priority. To learn first hand how we do this with each shipment, start today with Zip Xpress.

How We Build Custom Carrier Solutions

At month’s end within Zip Xpress, it’s a hive of activity. We know the days will be long, fulfilling orders that come flying in. We order pizza, our sales staff brings in sweet treats and there are bowls of gummy bears everywhere. We dig in, prepare for our month-end shipments, and most don’t leave until it’s done.

Across Zip Xpress, every employee knows about every shipment. We’re always solving problems, asking questions out loud of what we do with shipments that require our special attention. Anyone who has an idea can chime in, which helps us come up with the most innovative solutions. As we deliberate, everyone passes by our new customer board, which lists in big bold letters who our newest customers are.

Everyone at Zip is trained on how to give a basic quote. It’s not uncommon to see someone running from one computer to another to fill out a quote because our goal is to get a customer a quote within five minutes of receiving an inquiry. We want you to be able to make a decision as quickly as possible, and respect your time in the process.

We build our shipments by stacking our slips in order of delivery, which is shuffled multiple times right up until the shipment leaves our dock. When building each shipment, we have to consider the route and the order the products are placed within the trailers. Our warehouse experts work diligently to secure each customer’s product, doing their best to ensure nothing will move during transit.

Everyone at Zip is ready to answer the phone. Every call comes in, and the first person who’s available answers the call. That’s why whenever you call Zip Xpress, you’ll talk to a human being and you’ll never have to wait on hold listening to a machine.

At Zip Xpress, every part of our system is built to serve the customer. We work to solve problems, and include everyone in the company because collaboration creates great ideas. Everyone in our company is here to serve, so if you’d like to see us in action, feel free to schedule a tour or better yet, start today with Zip Xpress and see for yourself!

The Hidden Costs of Damaged Freight

Every shipper, receiver, and carrier will be affected by damaged freight at some point in time. While it may seem like you simply need to replace the damaged product and move on, there is more to it than that. Lost product is not the only cost that is incurred when a shipment shows up with damage. In fact, there are several ways that damaged freight can be financially harmful for everybody involved in the supply chain.

If a replacement is required, manufacturers incur the costs of making new product and shipping it to the destination. The receiving warehouse will lose funds since they will be unable to sell the damaged product. All of these coordination efforts require the attention of customer service reps and warehouse workers, consuming hours to replace an order rather than make new sales. Employees need to be paid, and that lost productivity is has a hidden cost as well. Whenever a product shows up damaged, the multiple steps taken to replace it take time away from other more pressing tasks. Even if a company employs OS&D specialists, they are spending money for the sole purpose of fixing issues that arise from lost or damaged freight, not with generating revenue.

In addition to the traceable costs incurred from shipping damage, there are even more hidden costs in the form of relationships. One damaged product can often be forgiven, but if it is a regular occurrence, customers will start blaming the carrier or the manufacturer. Whether they believe it is due to poor packaging or subpar equipment, they will begin to question if it is worth the effort to maintain the relationship. This lost trust can lead to a customer switching to a competitor, and the attrition will hurt any company’s bottom line. This is why it is so important to minimize damage and to have a solid, efficient process to follow when the inevitable problems occur. To see how we can prevent damage with your next shipment, get started with Zip Xpress today!

Handling Mergers and Acquisitions in the Supply Chain

One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in the manufacturing industries is an uptick in mergers and acquisitions. When one company acquires or merges with another, it has a significant effect on the employees, departments, and strategies of both organizations involved. It is important for these companies to have a solid plan to seamlessly integrate their supply chain operations. Each entity brings with them different techniques, responsibilities, and even corporate cultures. The executives and employees alike must do everything they can to work together during this newly formed partnership in order to maintain order and continue to provide high levels of customer satisfaction.

Supply chain managers need to be involved in every major decision during the merger or acquisition process. They need to be aware of any change in organizational structure or strategy so that they can work to streamline their operations and explain the changes to their employees. It is imperative for supply chain workers to get to know the processes and systems with which they will be working. Even if both companies previously operated with the same supply chain software, there are bound to be differences in culture and requirements between the two. Employees from both companies should be trained on what to expect and the changes that need to be made moving forward. Zip Xpress prides itself on being integrated with this process, as we work so closely with our customer’s supply chain that we can develop a standardized process between the two entities and bring them together as one.

Customers should also be kept in the loop throughout the entire process. It is the responsibility of the supply chain manager to let their customers know that there are changes being made and that the organization is doing everything in their power to keep things running smoothly. However, it is likely that mistakes will be made, and it is better for a customer to be prepared for these rather than being blindsided or left in the dark. Mergers and acquisitions can cause confusion, delays, and even chaos for both the shipping team and customers, so communication is key, and teamwork needs to remain a central focus throughout the transition. We know the importance of collaboration and communication here at Zip Xpress, and we can provide the stability you need to guide your business growth. To see how we can help you navigate your growing supply chain, get started with Zip Xpress today!

The Importance of People in the Supply Chain

As technology continues to progress at record paces, people are beginning to worry about their own place in the workforce. Robots have taken over certain manufacturing jobs and computers are beginning to take over in the service industries. Those who work in logistics have expressed concern about technologies such as self-driving trucks and rideshare programs. These are valid concerns, but the truth is that people are always going to have a place in the supply chain and are vital in developing and maintaining relationships.

Logistics is an industry that has always adapted to change, and newer technologies will never change that. In fact, there will be even more opportunities for humans in logistics as we begin to harness the power of these technologies. Someone will have to maintain the newer, more advanced trucks, and people are always going to have to interact with the customer. No matter how far artificial intelligence comes, it will never replace the value that an experienced professional person brings to the table. Vendors, suppliers, and customers all value the relationships that they have with each other, and robots are not going to change that. At Zip Xpress, we understand that these technologies are designed to assist on the delivery end, and that nothing can replace the keen eye of a well put together dispatch board. Everyone in the company knows about every shipment, and every single person can provide a customer with a quote.

Instead of worrying that computers are going to take over our positions, we should ask ourselves what we can do to maximize our presence in the supply chain. Technology should be seen as a tool to help us become more efficient, not as a threat to our livelihood. If we can use technology to improve our personal relationships with our customers, then we are taking a step in the right direction. Logistics professionals should not make the mistake of letting computers take over for them, instead they should be using these technologies as supplemental devices that are simply there to let humans focus on our most important tasks and ideas, like figuring out how to make an impossible shipment happen for a customer. To connect with one of our human experts, get started with Zip Xpress today!

Wishing You a Very Happy 4th of July

It’s that pinnacle time during summer where we celebrate our independence. As you enjoy fun in the sun and backyard barbecues, we hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday. Remember all of those who have helped make this country great as we celebrate the birth of this wonderful nation!

How to Help Truckers Stay Motivated

In any field of work, there are going to be periods where it is hard to stay motivated. Driving a truck is no different, but sometimes motivation can be even more difficult to find. Driving long hours and long distances every day can result in burnout, and many truckers feel as though they are not appreciated enough to continue to put in the hard work. Some drivers are able to find inspiration from within, but there are ways carriers can encourage their drivers to stay on the road.

One universal motivating factor is good pay. Some carriers continue to shortchange their drivers and offer minimal compensation packages. This is no way to keep employees motivated. Coming up with a fair payment plan is the first step a carrier can take to inspire their drivers and prevent employee turnover. With many boomers retiring from the profession, carriers will need to entice millennials to become their replacements, and the promise of a strong income is something many younger workers are looking for.

Companies should also focus on providing a good work-life balance. It can be difficult for drivers to be away from their families for long periods of time, and carriers should not abuse their willingness to be on the road. Drivers should have the flexibility to be able to come home and spend time with their kids if that’s what they value. Of course, a driver knows that he will be on the road when he signs up for the job, but he is more likely to continue performing at a high level if his job doesn’t interfere with his ability to enjoy life.

Other small incentives can work wonders. A hundred dollar reward to drivers for getting a load delivered quicker than expected is a great incentive. Gift cards or tickets to sports events also show truckers how much you appreciate their hard work. Little rewards go a long way to keeping morale up.

It’s important that driver motivation should come from within. However, the more carriers can align their goals with those of the drivers, the more successful they will be. The more prepared drivers are for the future, the more they’ll understand the importance of hard work. When they realize the reward at the end of the road, they may find more motivation throughout their career. At Zip Xpress, we treat our drivers with the utmost respect, and we do everything we can to ensure they can have time to be with their families. We take the extra steps in coordinating the delivery to make our driver’s job as simple as possible. To see how our drivers can help with your next shipment, get started with Zip Xpress today!

The Benefits of Headload and Partial Shipments

Transporting goods continues to become more expensive thanks to new laws and a dire shortage of truck drivers. Capacity is on a constant decline. There are more candidates entering the truckload workforce, but the influx of workers hasn’t offset the demand for trucks. These issues have been costly for shippers, but there are multiple strategies to alleviate the stress that decreased capacity has put on transportation customers. One such strategy is utilizing headload and partial truckloads rather than moving all shipments as full truckloads.

Many customers make the common mistake that the most cost-effective method is to ship the freight as a full truckload – even if it only takes up half of a trailer. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. In many cases – especially on cross-country runs – finding partial or headload solutions will be cheaper than LTL rates with common carriers. Here at Zip Xpress we offer competitive rates and provide superior service with our headload hauls by consolidating our shipments and minimizing terminal transfers.

When shippers employ a truck driver to haul a partial load as a full shipment, they are driving rates up across the country by contributing to the tight capacity shortage. They are also adding to the wear and tear of our highways since an excessive number of trucks are being put to work. If customers take a strong look at their truck usage, they may find that they are not working at maximum efficiency levels. Utilizing partial and headload shipping options can be a substantial cost-saver as well as help shippers to better coordinate their production and transportation schedules. To see how we can utilize our headload shipping service with your business, get started with Zip Xpress today!

supply chain risk

Risk Management in Logistics

Logistics is an industry that requires strong risk management. There is a lot of uncertainty in logistics, particularly with timely deliveries, so it’s vital for companies to plan ahead to reduce the risk of failure. With capacity becoming tighter in the current market and only getting worse in upcoming quarters, there are many things that shippers can do to develop their risk management strategies. Our goal is to bring you superior planning skills and attention to detail when it comes to managing the risk of your product.

Managing costs is a major pain point for shippers and customers as truckload rates experience high levels of volatility in today’s market. Zip Xpress tries to alleviate the burden of these increasing costs by offering a variety of headload solutions including expedites high value or sensitive handling and crew waiting shipment. What these mean that the customer only pays for the space they need. It’s important to save as much money as possible when shipping partial loads, and the headload solution is a great way to allocate the correct funds while benefiting from fast, reliable service.

With minimal handling throughout the shipping process, Zip Xpress reduces a customer’s risk of lost or damaged freight. They provide direct, door-to-door deliveries on air-ride trailers, so customers can be assured that their shipment is in good hands. Instead of being shuffled through countless terminals,

The experienced professionals at Zip Xpress are detail-oriented, making sure to pay attention to every line of the BOL and confirm that all of the information is verified. Seemingly inconsequential inaccuracies can cause major disruptions in your service to the customer, and Zip makes every effort to eradicate these errors before they even happen. This dedication to risk management and efficient shipping processes is what makes Zip Xpress such a respected organization in the transportation world. To learn more about how Zip can manage your supply chain’s risk, get started with Zip Xpress today!