Expanding Your Supply Chain

Supply chains are complex and often fickle parts of doing business, but they are integral to the success of any manufacturer. The quality and efficiency of an internal supply chain can make or break a company, so it is important to run a well-oiled machine. However, there are many challenges when it comes to expanding your supply chain. Moving too quickly could lead to unnecessary costs, but waiting too long could put a lot of stress on your operations.

Expanding your supply chain could come with a variety of actions. Perhaps you need to build new warehouses to accommodate increased inventories or new product lines. It could also mean adding more back office workers to set up and operate newer, sophisticated IT systems. In any case, you want to do so only when the time is right. Inventory forecasting and analytics can help you determine whether or not you need to expand well ahead of time. And while you can’t expect 100% accuracy, you can get a good idea of where your company is headed by taking a proactive approach.

In addition to knowing when to expand your supply chain, you also need to know how to expand it. A trusted carrier can assist with this since they can help you expand into markets you wouldn’t normally have access to. Expanding your supply chain may focus more on an improved internal and external trucking network as well as extended hours to accommodate more dock shifts. You may even have a need for additional warehouse space if you’re increasing production, but as you can see many of these circumstances are a case by case basis.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that great service is the key to expanding a supply chain. A trusted carrier can help you expand and compete in distant markets as well as provide for you the options that will work with your business in expanding your supply chain. At Zip Xpress, we refer to these options as custom carrier solutions and we’ve helped many companies go from regional to national supply chains, providing access to the West Coast and beyond. To see what custom carrier solutions we can create for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

A World Without Truck Drivers

Truck drivers affect our everyday lives, whether or not we are consciously aware of it. From our food to online retail orders to industrial machines that manufacture the world around us, the vast majority of American products are delivered by truck. Even though some material may have come by boat or plane, there’s a good chance that a truck driver provided the final route for delivery. A world without truck drivers would indeed look very different – and probably not in a good way.

If drivers were to disappear, the first consequence would be a major decrease in available medical supplies. Since medical facilities receive multiple deliveries on a daily basis without this consistent schedule of replenishment, hospitals and trauma centers would run out of necessary goods to assist patients. Anyone receiving medical attention wouldn’t be able to get the care they’d desperately need.

Shortly after this, food supplies in almost every area would run low. Grocery distribution centers receive large deliveries every day, and they allocate these to local stores based on demand. But without truck drivers, these deliveries would not be fulfilled. You might look at a large grocery retailer and think there’s no way it could be picked over within 2 or 3 days, but a lot of people work behind the scenes to keep those shelves fully stocked – and truck drivers are an essential part of that.

Third we would start to see manufacturers begin shutting down because they can’t source the materials and machinery needed to make their products. Jobs would be lost because these companies have to shut down and countless other products would become unavailable to consumers and other businesses. As you can see, the American supply chain is a tight-knit, interconnected network and it is all built upon drivers ensuring those goods get delivered. It is important to remember the hard work and dedication these drivers have in getting their deliveries in on time.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the dedication drivers have in ensuring every delivery is made on time and undamaged. They are the face of every carrier and we pride our drivers on their friendliness and professionalism. We like to believe that every company who works with our drivers understands the peril we’d all be in if we didn’t have such dedicated individuals making these deliveries. If you’d like to experience working with us and our professional drivers for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

2020’s Impact on Manufacturing

2020 has changed how a lot of companies do business for the foreseeable future. One of the sectors that has been the most impacted is manufacturing, a sector that is having to reevaluate their supply chains to navigate a new set of challenges. Here are some of the key areas manufacturers are working on when it comes to redeveloping their supply chains.

Investment in Automation

Manufacturers are becoming increasingly interested in automation technologies. Due to labor shortages and enforced shutdowns companies are taking a second look into conveyors, robotics and other technologies that will begin a transition to automation. This trend will likely continue since manufacturers are looking into reshoring initiatives. In tandem with this is renewed interest in apprenticeships, which will provide young talent with the skills to manage and diagnose these machines.

Localized Sourcing

Manufacturers have been forced to refocus on where they source raw materials, products and services. Many companies are taking into consideration not only sourcing them within North America but they’re choosing to look locally as well. As a result, manufacturers will be apt to source local supply chain expertise as well, since those companies will understand those routes the best. With new supply chain partners, manufacturers will need to work closer than ever to ensure

Increased Learning and Support through Collaboration

The influx of changes have caused many manufacturers to turn to their supply chain partners during this time. The increase in communication and collaboration across industries has caused an increase in learning and support for companies across the entire supply chain. While transitions of this magnitude are not quick, many companies see them as necessary and are adapting faster than ever before. They’re also turning to outside the box solutions, which can only be found when they collaborate with their supply chain partners.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the dynamic changes manufacturers are going through. Re-evaluating supply chains is a large endeavor, but it’s a process that will create stronger companies in the years to come. We’ve helped many companies develop custom carrier solutions that have revitalized their supply chains as well as provided unique solutions to all of our partners. To see how we can develop a custom carrier solution for your organization, start today with Zip Xpress!

How 2020 Has Changed Logistics

2020 has been a strange year for the entire world. Individuals, economies, and entire industries have had to adapt to a world full of uncertainty and constant changes. Logistics is no exception, and we have already begun to see major changes to the industry in response to a virus that will change the way we do business for years to come. Let’s look at some of the ways that logistics and supply chains have been affected in the last nine months, and how they will continue to adapt.

Increased Volatility

Volatility has been a major factor during the pandemic, as demand for certain products (such as essential items) spiked initially but eventually fell sharply. Some industries slowed down drastically in the wake of the virus, but spiked in the middle of the summer, only to fall back to normal levels in more recent months. This means that supply chain partners can’t rely on predictability as much as they may have in the past. Manufacturers and carriers have had to allow for more flexibility in their supply planning. On top of this, there has been a large reduction in drivers, which has caused capacity to become very tight and inflated truckload rates.

Heightened Sensitivity

Time-sensitive shipments have become even more so, especially if we look back to the beginning of the pandemic. The need for everything from food to medical supplies became increasingly urgent, and supply chain partners needed to work together to ensure that deadlines could be met. Shipments that may have had more leeway in the past now needed to be ensured to deliver on time.

More Collaboration

As a result of increased volatility and sensitivity, collaboration has become key among supply partners. While the most effective organizations already prioritized such collaboration, it has become evident that the entire industry needs to focus on these efforts. There is a need for transparency, communication, and cooperation at every level of the supply chain – sometimes even among competitors. While the current situation may be keeping us physically apart, we are learning how essential it is to work together to remain successful.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need for stability. That’s why we communicate with our supply chain partners every step of the way. We collaborate internally and externally to ensure that every shipment will be delivered undamaged and on time, every time. 2020 has proven that our way of doing business is the right way and we’re ready to help our customers however we can. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!