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.

manufacturing shipping

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!

Ugly Freight

Unique Freight in Grand Rapids

Whether your freight is too big, too small, too heavy or too light, too dangerous or just plain awkward, it’s unique. It’s what drives your business It might not fit in a pallet space or in a box but it’s just as important as the standard box and pallet freight.   

Often times carriers avoid your unique freight because it does require special attention. Too small and it may require “inefficient” handling. Too large and it may need special equipment to handle the weight. Too big and it won’t fit nicely with other freight and transport assets. Does the phrase, “If it fits it ships” ring a bell?

Sometimes it doesn’t fit but it still needs to ship. Whether you’re shipping fragile computer or IT equipment, uncrated machinery or hazardous chemicals, it has to go where it’s needed. Most shippers choose not to deal in your unique shipping requirements because it’s not “easy.” Most things worth doing aren’t easy.

Fortunately for you Zip Xpress appreciates your unique freight Grand Rapids. Zip Xpress Inc. has a unique and user friendly business model that makes the tired old excuse of “inefficient” outdated. Zip Xpress has more options compared to the hub and spoke, break-bulk model which allows us to handle your unique freight more efficiently, reducing handling by 75%.   

But how do you know Zip Xpress can handle your unique freight? It’s a valid concern and one they welcome. Your freight is valuable above and beyond its dollar value. It’s your company’s reputation. It’s the difference between meeting expectations and exceeding expectations. Zip Xpress has the credibility and capability to help.

How do they know? Don’t take their word for it. Zip Xpress’ track record speaks for itself. They don’t have satisfied customers. They have raving fans. Customers used to look for the cheapest price per route but now they look for strategic alliances.

Let our alliance help you create raving fans. Zip Xpress helps businesses all over the Greater Grand Rapids area get their unique freight where it needs to go when it needs to be there.

Robotics Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Road Ahead

Predictions indicate that robotics and automation will make a huge impression on the global workforce in 2018.  Likewise, these modern trends will certainly have an impact on the manufacturing industry in Michigan. From smart machines, to smart technology, breakthroughs in science, automation, robotics and other manufacturing technologies will allow for a new era in the workforce. This new workforce, now more than ever, will include expensive, delicate, and fragile pieces of computerized machinery.

Other trends that continue to impact the nation is the movement among manufacturers and industries to Go Green. Every sustainable measure taken helps the world around us in some way. Zip Xpress prides itself on being part of the Responsible Green Manufacturing Movement by focusing and directing attention toward not only what they can do within their company to be more sustainable, but what they can do to assist your company in being more sustainable as well. Additionally, Zip Xpress is built around eliminating wasteful partial trailers; they strive to keep partial trailers off the nation’s highways and in doing so, save energy and protect our environment. There’s a famous quote that reads “Try to Leave the World a Better Place Than When You Arrived.”  This, in a nutshell, is what Zip Xpress does every single day!

Whether your manufacturing company specializes in robotics, batteries, furniture, conveyors or conveyor systems, Zip Xpress wants to network with you to get your products where they need to go! They’re watching out for you, and know that all who participate in the manufacturing industry are part of one big team who rely on each other.

The professional team at Zip Xpress has provided a superior overall experience for Michigan shippers since August of 2001. They have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that all of that sensitive machinery will arrive undamaged, and on time as scheduled. Their premier Blanket Wrap Service is a great investment when considering the transport of fragile products and equipment that must be handled and moved in a delicate manner. Some of the highlights of the Blanket Wrap Service offered by Zip Xpress include the following:

  • 15 Years of successful Blanket Wrap LTL service
  • All Blanket Wrap is direct door-to-door delivery
  • Clean 100% air-ride logistic trailers
  • Appointment delivery available
  • All pieces labeled and identified
  • Professionally trained freight handlers
  • Team service available

Additionally, Zip Xpress Inc. is one of the few time-specific LTL carriers providing commercial LTL Blanket Wrap service to markets in the West Coast, Southwest, Southeast, East Coast, and New England. Give them a call at 800-889-8583 or go to their website and click the Start Today Button!

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Challenges and Trends of West Michigan Furniture Manufacturers for 2018

Over the past year optimism in the future of the manufacturing industry has reached new highs. Tax reform and a pro-business environment have increased confidence in the economy strengthening the labor market and bringing unemployment down to 4.1%, the lowest rate since 2000. While the current growth is slow overall, wages have risen by 2.5% over the past year, and increases among low-income earners outpaced those with high-paying jobs. According to Elise Gould, Senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, both of these benchmarks are signs of a stable economy.

The manufacturing industry has shown significant gains this decade, adding nearly 200,000 jobs in 2017 alone. The industry has increased its workforce by over a million employees since 2009 and reached the highest employment levels since the end of the Great Recession that same year.

Consumer confidence in the economy and its continued growth, along with increased job creation in manufacturing, has given U.S. furniture manufacturers reason to remain enthusiastic about future sales predictions. This optimism is especially welcome in communities such as Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has a history of furniture manufacturing that dates back to the early 19th century. Grand Rapids and the surrounding area is host to over 150 furniture companies, an additional 225 suppliers, and employs more than 15,000 workers in the industry.

While the furniture industry in the U.S. is expected to grow in the future, manufacturers must respond to a changing marketplace and changes in the retail buying habits of U.S. consumers. Manufacturers will face new challenges as the retail market continues to change, and those that remain well informed of current trends will increase their ability to capitalize on the opportunities the current economic situation offers.

Increased Renting and Smaller Households

Pew Research Center statistics show that in 2016, 36.6% of families rented their home, the highest in over 50 years. Renters are more inclined to invest in lower cost furniture and have also fueled the growth of furniture rental companies. Apartment dwellers also have to deal with space restrictions, limiting the size and types of furniture that fit the space.

Changing Demographics

Current data suggest that single-person households will increase over the next decade as many millennials delay the decision to start a household. Even with a lower disposable income and more debt, millennials accounted for 37% of the furniture and bedding market in 2014 and have demonstrated a willingness to support sustainable products, even at premium prices.

Online Retailing

The internet has dramatically changed consumer buying habits, becoming a preferred shopping platform for many people. Online retail shopping has given consumers nearly endless options when it comes to any product, and furniture is no exception. The presence and influence of virtual stores will continue to grow and is a challenge that furniture manufacturers must address.

Manufacturers can respond to these consumer needs by developing lines of low-cost furniture, as well as space saving and multi-purpose pieces designed for smaller living spaces. A push for the manufacture of sustainable products and a well thought out online strategy will open up untapped markets. Manufacturers that embrace technology and available services such as professional web design, less than load (LTL) freight, and sustainable practices will grow and prosper in the coming years.

To learn how Zip Xpress can handle your LTL Freight needs in Grand Rapids, contact us today!