Keeping the Customer Happy

We always see companies claiming that they put the customer first, but catchy taglines and slogans don’t mean much if they aren’t followed through with action. There are many facets to customer satisfaction, and a quality organization will be aware of these in every department. A functioning supply chain is a major part of this, and it is important for logistics employees to make sure they are doing their part throughout the life of any product or shipment. In short, customers want to know that their logistics and transportation providers are invested in the success of the orders.

In logistics, the simplest way to keep a customer happy is to ensure that all shipments arrive undamaged and on time. Nothing can ruin a company’s reputation faster than damaged products arriving at a customer’s location. Companies don’t want to file claims and manufacturers don’t want the added cost in labor and materials to remake their product. When it comes to a shipment arriving on time, online portals and tracking are useful, but people can get impatient when watching a screen for all of their shipment updates. Customers are far more satisfied when someone calls and coordinates all of their shipments with them and keeps them up to date with any and all changes along the way. Having a human connection improves customer satisfaction because then companies are viewed as partners, rather than transactions.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the need to keep the customer happy. We do this by ensuring that every shipment will arrive undamaged and on time. We also keep customers happy by ensuring that every phone call will be picked up by a human being, not an answering machine. Whether you’re looking for a quote or checking on the status of your order, our staff will be delighted to help you. We recognize the importance of great service with every customer and treat your supply chain problems as though they’re our own. To see this for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!

Staying Flexible in Uncertain Times

There is no doubt that the events of 2020 will change the way we do business forever. Supply chains will be greatly affected as companies look for ways to manage increasing volatility and unpredictability. While some industries are more static and can rely on consistent demand throughout the year, they are still likely to experience times of discomfort and uncertainty. It is essential that shippers, manufacturers, and carriers remain as flexible as possible in order to accommodate the new reality of supply chain operations.

Expanding dock hours is one way that shippers and receivers can provide flexibility for both drivers and staff. Shifts can be staggered, allowing warehouse workers to choose hours that are better for their schedule. With increased scrutiny on staying legal, drivers will benefit from later dock hours that will help them to hit their targets without pushing the limits of hours of service rules and regulations.

Carriers can remain flexible by communicating with the shipper and the customer. It’s best to report any potential delays early and often, but also communicate with the customer about the scheduled delivery time so their team will be ready. When a shipper or receiver has enough lead time, they can provide some flexibility by either changing the appointment or preparing staff for delivery. Refusing to adapt will only cause frustration, but communication will allow all parties to prepare themselves and ensure the customer remains satisfied.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of remaining flexible. We work with shippers to accommodate their individual needs and there is always a real person ready to answer the phone and help 24/7. We understand the challenges every business is facing and communicate with our customers every step of the way. We work with everyone along the supply chain to schedule pick-ups and deliveries, in order to stay flexible, regardless of circumstance. If you want to see how you can make your supply chain more flexible, start today with Zip Xpress!

Managing the Summer Surge

Summer is often chaotic in the logistics world, and the Summer of 2020 just might be the most chaotic one. After months of economic downturn due to COVID, states are opening back up and all businesses are starting to churn out goods again. There’s no doubt that there will be a big push for companies to produce as much as possible, and with that will come an increased need for truckload and LTL capacity. While anyone who has worked in logistics is likely familiar with seasonal demand spikes, there are always new, efficient ways to manage them.

As is so often the case, communication and collaboration among supply chain partners is key. Customers should let their suppliers and transportation partners know if they are expecting to see an increase in demand. Carriers then should be as transparent as possible when it comes to available capacity and transit expectations. When partners work together to make solid plans ahead of time, there will be fewer instances of missed or late pickups or deliveries. It’s better for providers to commit to plans ahead of time rather than reject shipment tenders last minute because they were not aware of what to expect. The same can be said from the manufacturer’s side, as alternate plans can be made if a carrier is transparent enough to show their maximum capacity.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that the summer surge will be best managed through the efforts of everyone along the supply chain. Last minute changes may happen, same with expediting shipments, but rest assured that when you call our offices, a human being will answer the phone and assist with all of your needs. If there’s a way we can help you, we’ll find it. We’re here to provide custom carrier solutions for every business that needs them, regardless of the season. If you need help with managing the summer surge in your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Revitalizing the Supply Chain

The country is starting to open back up, but the way that we do business has likely changed forever. Even though many supply chains and transportation companies still remained open throughout the crisis, many enterprises have been hit hard by layoffs, closing customers, and a variety of other factors. Although the economy shows signs of recovering, logistics professionals will need to take a measured approach and adapt to a world that will not function in all the same ways that it used to.

For instance, freight handlers will need to be spread further apart or be required to wear protective equipment during their shifts. New strategies will be required to streamline supply chain operations and prevent the bullwhip effect which occurred with paper towels, hand sanitizer and PPE gear. Supply chain volatility may return and we still haven’t seen the full ramifications across the economy. Yet for all of this uncertainty comes the need to create and implement a strategic plan that is right for your business. Partnerships along the supply chain will grow stronger as we realize the need for consistency and reliability. By creating a plan with their carriers, companies will develop innovative strategies that could change the world.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that companies need consistency. We believe that long-term strategies outweigh the immediate satisfaction when planning for the day, week, month, or year. Our focus is always on taking the long view and remaining calm. When we collaborate with our business partners, we understand that there’s nothing we can’t accomplish. We provide our customers with reliability by assisting them in designing their supply chain strategies through our custom carrier solutions. By working together we found a way through this pandemic, now it’s time we adapt to the post-pandemic world. To see how we can help you, start today with Zip Xpress!

Optimizing Your Supply Chain When Cleaning House

As a result of COVID-19, business owners have had a lot of spare time the past few months. While business has been shut down, many have had the opportunity to take on projects that have been put on the back burner. They’ve cleaned up their operations, whether physically or through determining which products and services are absolutely necessary in order to thrive. Many business owners are seeking to make their operations more resilient. When it comes to the supply chain, one of the best ways to create a resilient operation is by partnering with a trusted carrier rather than relying on a third party logistics broker.

Partnering with a reliable carrier that understands how to ship your products will prevent breakage, misplaced orders and a myriad of other problems since they will develop an innate understanding of your business. This level of service can’t be replicated by a brokerage (3PL) which will only find you a carrier based on price. Since there is no relationship beyond the transaction your freight has a much higher chance of breakage since all they see is a box or pallet. When the customer receives the damaged freight you’ll need to file a claim, you’ll need to pay for materials, labor costs, and fees to replace the shipment and then repair the breach in trust with your customer. What was once a “price savings” has now become a cut-rate service nightmare.

At Zip Xpress, we believe your time would be put to much better use in sourcing a carrier you can trust and partner with them for your shipping needs. We believe that now is the perfect time to stop using brokers who only offer cut-rate service and that shippers should research and partner with carriers who can best meet their needs. We understand that companies want the best service possible when shipping freight. They don’t want to pay the extra costs of material and labor from breakage. They want their shipment to arrive undamaged and on time every time. They want a company they know and can trust to fulfill all of their needs through custom carrier solutions. If you want to see what a custom carrier solution looks like for your business, start today with Zip Xpress!

Infrastructure Reform

It’s no secret that truck drivers have been on the front lines through the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the country beginning to open up more drivers will be returning to their offices which means more cars on the road. This will have adverse impacts in an area most Americans already know we need to fix: our nation’s infrastructure. Without an updated and modernized infrastructure, the country will be in serious trouble. Fortunately, infrastructure reform is quickly becoming the forefront issue for the nation and while we must wait for Washington to determine next steps, many issues exist in the private sector.

Infrastructure is the backbone of the nation, and with truck drivers serving as the backbone of the nation’s supply chain, it’s imperative to reform the methods companies have used to ship their products. Dedicating an entire truckload to a single shipment that doesn’t fill the entire trailer is a waste of fuel, space in the trailer and damages infrastructure by keeping more trucks than necessary on the road. With businesses being forced to evaluate their operations due to the pandemic, now would be a great time to consider optimizing their shipments through a trusted carrier and ensuring they’re not paying for unused air space.

At Zip Xpress, our headload solution is a prime example of how we help companies optimize their shipments. By optimizing every shipment, we prevent wasted space and allow fewer trucks to be on the road, which reduces wear and tear on our national infrastructure. We can also show how a company contributes to this mission through our carbon footprint report, providing companies with concrete evidence of their efforts toward sustainability. Infrastructure reform will take time, but we all have a part to play and there’s a lot to do in the meantime. To see how you can build your own sustainable custom carrier solution, start today with Zip Xpress!

Securing Your Supply Chain

Supply chains are constantly on the move and always evolving. Every day brings new challenges, and with them, new solutions. There is so much to think about on a daily basis – replenishing inventory, fulfilling orders, delivering goods, and billing clients. In this whirlwind of actions and responsibilities, many organizations often neglect one of the most important aspects of the supply chain – security. This is a major mistake as unsecured supply chains can lead to theft, fraud, cyberattacks, and data leaks. There are many ways to cultivate a secure supply chain, but it all starts with the people in the organization.

Investing in high-tech security systems and encrypted software is vital for any company, but those flashy assets don’t mean anything if a culture of trust, transparency, and understanding is not put into place. Employees will work harder if they feel valued – that is well known. In addition to their hard work, however, they will feel loyal to the company and will be more willing to look out for suspicious activity or report potential scams. A disgruntled worker may recognize a phishing email, but might not be motivated enough to raise a red flag to management. Hackers and data miners are always finding new ways to bypass cybersecurity systems, so it is up to the workers to be the last line of defense.

By implementing continual training programs and staying on top of the most recent security threats, managers can keep their employees aware of the things to look out for. It should be emphasized that everyone is on the same team and that employees are trusted to do what’s best for the company. Attacks on an organization – whether physical or digital – threaten the livelihood of everyone who works there. Taking an all-in approach and providing the necessary tools for security is a vital step in keeping the supply chain running smoothly and safely.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of keeping your supply chain secure. Our talented and experienced staff are always on the lookout for suspicious activity. We won’t hesitate to contact your organization if we believe your supply chain is at risk because security is only going to become more important in the years ahead. To see how we can help keep your supply chain secure, start today with Zip Xpress!

Staying Healthy on the Frontlines

With some states easing shelter-in-place restrictions and more freight shipping in recent weeks, there seems to be some optimism that the economy is starting to gain steam. Still, many essential workers are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19. Those working in warehouses come in contact with people and freight on a daily basis, and those delivering the goods are on the road constantly, entering truck stops, gas stations, and delivery docks. It is vital for these frontline workers to take the necessary precautions to keep themselves healthy and prevent the spread of this dangerous virus.

It should go without saying that we should all be practicing thorough and constant handwashing. Anytime a worker leaves his post or touches a potentially contaminated item, he should wash his hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Those who have to enter their workplace should be sure to wear face masks throughout the day. N95 masks are the most effective, but are difficult to come by. Cloth masks are easy to make and can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (but they aren’t a replacement for social distancing). Most importantly, anybody who feels even mildly ill should tell their manager immediately and see a doctor. Now is not the time to ignore symptoms. Doing so puts the worker and all those around him or her at risk.

Forgotten through all of this is the toll the pandemic can have on one’s mental health. Social isolation can be devastating, but there are ways to stay connected. Those working in warehouses or driving trucks should take some time to get out for a walk, read a book, or interact with family and friends through telephone and video calls. Even a five minute conversation can add a positive outlook to the day once we know our family and friends are safe.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that frontline workers are facing trying times. Drivers and freight handlers have stayed working since the start of the crisis, many of them putting their health on the line to keep our supply chain running. These hard working individuals deserve our gratitude and respect. To see how our hardworking employees can service your freight, start today with Zip Xpress!

Bracing For Demand Challenges

During the first few weeks of shelter-in-place orders from many states across the country, demand for particular items spiked drastically. Products such as paper towels, canned foods, and face masks were flying off the shelves anywhere they could be found. This created a bullwhip effect for many suppliers which put quite a bit of pressure on their logistics teams. Manufacturers and carriers, however, were happy to see an increase in business, if only temporary. Unfortunately, demand in other industries has dropped and everyone is paying attention to the bottom line in anticipation for what is coming next.

The key through all of this lies in collaboration. Companies that work together and foster creative thinking, problem solving and strategic collaboration will go a long way in ensuring that companies will endure. Strong partnerships throughout the supply chain is key in getting through these times, as every vendor, supplier, and carrier either has been or will be affected. By opening the lines of communication and working together on every project, we can minimize the negative results of the pandemic. Unique opportunities will present themselves for the companies willing to partner together and many businesses are being saved by getting creative in how they serve their customers.

At Zip Xpress, we understand that there will be demand challenges ahead, but as long as everyone remains vigilant, honest and keeps communication open, we will get through this together. Our team is ready to assist with the unique challenges associated with your freight. We will develop strategies tailored to the needs of your business and provide you with a custom carrier solution that works for you. As long as we work together, no challenge is too great. To see how we can help with your shipping needs, start today with Zip Xpress!

Supply Chain and Logistics in Education

With the looming uncertainty for students and professionals, many are unsure of where the jobs will be or what will be deemed “essential.” One thing we know for certain is that logistics is one of the American sectors with the most promise. It is a sector that will never be fully automated or outsourced because goods still need to be developed, manufactured, and delivered. People will always be the most vital part of the supply chain, making this field a lucrative option that offers a great amount of stability and certainty.

Many younger people are realizing these benefits and incorporating logistics courses into their education programs. Supply chain management programs are seeing a steady increase in higher education and there’s no better time than now to take advantage since a record number of universities are offering hundreds of specialized courses. Topics range from the all-encompassing Supply Chain Management to more specialized courses such as Information Technologies in Logistics. For students with an interest in the backbone of the economy, options abound.

At Zip Xpress, we understand the importance of ongoing education. Supply chain management will only become more crucial in the coming years. A new generation of logistics experts are entering the workforce with a hunger to serve and solve the complex problems involved in running a supply chain. We’re grateful to see how specialized the field is becoming, but we’d like to offer some advice to these prospective experts: don’t forget great customer service. Shippers deserve to have their freight handled with care. It’s a sign of respect to everyone in the supply chain – from the shippers to the end user because nobody likes receiving damaged freight. Any candidate who is willing to show great customer service in this field will go far, and fortunately we have an entire staff dedicated to great service. To see for yourself, start today with Zip Xpress!