There are many times when a client/customer decides that they need more of your product and they need it in a hurry. How do you respond to fast need based orders? Can you easily call down to the warehouse and have the shipment ready same day?
Losing a sale because you cannot meet the demand of fast shipping response time can have a domino effect on your business. When one company cannot get from you what they need/want they are sure to tell other companies that they were failed by you.
The world has changed. Everyone wants what they need and they want it on a moment’s notice. Being able to compete means being able to respond.
Supply chain management is like a balancing act. You have to be able to keep enough inventory on hand to meet those immediate needs, it has to be easily accessible BUT it also has to be secure in case you do not need it immediately.
The logistical nightmare of being able to meet all the needs on the business end of things really makes you wonder how anyone can stay in business.
Change the Way You Think About Flexible Packaging
Being able to quickly respond to customer demand AND keep inventory safe and secure requires new solutions. Traditionally wooden crates have been thought of as the most secure packaging but frankly when it comes to flexibility it just is not there.
If you need to get to your inventory quickly and you do not want to send an army into the warehouse than you need flexible packaging that can be moved out of the way quickly so you can get to the inventory that you are trying to reach.
Being flexible in your packaging can mean that you are utilizing more than one type of packaging to best protect your inventory while making it easily accessible. It may mean that you have to use a combination of packaging options that will make storage easy AND access easy.
Do you know which methods work best? Probably not because your core business is not to know what flexible packaging solutions there are. There are literally 100’s of types of packaging options that can easily be combined in thousands of ways hence why logistics and supply chain management is a field all of its own.
Big companies become big companies not necessarily because their products offer a better value than yours. Big companies become big companies because they can meet the demand. The retailer in most cases does not look for the little differences in products. What they do look for is:
- Can you meet their demands?
- Can you minimize shipping losses so they get their products?
- Are you offering a decent value for the money?
Flexible packaging solutions can help you to meet all of the demands. With the right flexible storage options getting your inventory out of the warehouse and on its way in the drop of a hat is easy.
Making sure that your inventory arrives in sellable condition is also made easy with the right flexible storage solutions your inventory will come out of the warehouse ready to ship safely.
Maybe the last criteria is entirely up to you BUT with the right cost effective flexible packaging it will help to keep costs way down.
According to an article published in the International Journal of Logistics Management, for company GHR a hard lesson was learned about flexible packaging and how important it is to any industry.
This mid-sized company manufactured ball bearings for wheels. A small niche that was important to other manufacturers. A longtime client of this company got a big unexpected order.
This long time client immediately called GHR and placed their order but they needed the bearings in 2 days. They were an odd sized bearing that did not sell often so they were buried somewhere in the warehouse behind many crates.
It was also the weekend when the boxes would have to be pulled. GHR needed to call in 4 warehouse workers to move the crates around and get to these specialty sized bearings.
Guess what? If you guessed that they lost the order you guessed right but more importantly their longtime customer also lost their huge business changing order as well. That trickle down effects can be huge.
There are several things that have to be considered when you are revaluating your packaging. Some of the considerations are obvious others are not quite as obvious but equally important. When you take a look around your supply chain are you able to:
- Easily pinpoint the location of all goods?
- Easily able to track the location of all goods?
- Easily able to reach supplies, goods and inventory?
- Protecting the inventory sufficiently?
- Able to be flexible in shipping your inventory?
One of the major mistakes an organization can make is not being able to pinpoint exactly where all of their inventory is. In the case where a warehouse manager is the only person that can understand the storage system, it is a situation that is doomed to fail.
There has to be multiple people both within the warehouse and outside the warehouse in other areas of the organization that can easily pinpoint, track and reach the inventory. Recent news of a small organization that was set to sign off on a really large contract that was denied should be a lesson for any organization.
It seems that a small well known company had finally gotten to the point where they were going to enjoy some real growth but they needed to fulfill a large sudden order to put the last final touches on the contract.
Unfortunately when the call came in, the warehouse manager and his assistant was unreachable. The order could not be fulfilled in time and the contract was lost. This was a big government contract that would have propelled the company to success.
This tale is all too common especially with small and mid-sized company. The supply chain, the flexible packaging solutions, the inventory and the people that can make sure they all come together play such a huge role in success.
You have to have all of the pieces of the puzzle in place to really grow your business. Every piece of the chain has to come together just right to be able to sustain and compete in this very tough global economy. Meeting expectations builds trust, not meeting them can easily rip apart any trust that has been built.
One of the key tenets of any successful business is knowing when they may be out of their league. Not everyone is a logistics expert nor is everyone a packaging expert but a strong business manager knows when it is time to bring in an expert that can help to better manage a section of the business.
Flexible packaging options can help to:
- Grow your business
- Increase your revenue
- Protect your inventory
Getting some help with your packaging issues can help to grow your business. In today’s global economy it is all about the response time. If you cannot fulfill the order, your competitor will. Not being able to respond with a delivery in a set amount of time because your warehouse is not set up for immediate response will affect your business in a negative manner.
Word of mouth (even in this global economy) is still the most valuable business tool. A satisfied customer does not have a problem spreading the word, unfortunately a dissatisfied customer also does not have a problem spreading that word as well.
The solutions are plentiful but it is tapping into the solutions where many businesses fall short. It can be a time consuming effort that not only takes up many manpower hours but that also takes you away from your core business concerns.
Bringing in a professional team that not only has the knowledge to help you choose flexible storage solutions but that can provide them to you is an invaluable asset to any business.
You do not have to do it all to get it done, you just need to get some professional help on board that can help you to make an informed decision.
Frankly the old ways are just not working anymore. The world is a much faster place. Keeping up with your competition can come down to you being able to respond quickly. Don’t lose business to your competitors because you cannot keep up with the demand.
The harsh reality of business is that no matter how long you are doing business with someone it is after all business. Loyalty is not what it used to be, if you do not keep up and ensure that you are meeting the demands of your clients than you are very likely not going to be able to maintain your client base for very long.
Flexible packaging solutions can help you to not only maintain your customer base but to increase it. Get some professional advice and see where it can take your business.