Who are you preparing to handle your freight needs this winter?
Don’t Get Caught Without Transport This Winter
Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President of Operations and COO at SafeSourcing.
In a recent article from Inbound Logistics they covered ten tips companies should be taking advantage of to prepare for what the 2015 Edition of the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting to be another very tough winter for most of the country. The article was a good one for logistics professionals to keep in mind with a few major points bubbling to the surface we will focus on in today’s blog.
Don’t wait – One of the big issues we, at SafeSourcing, saw with our clients wanting to source transportation services last year was that the ones that waited too long were faced not only with high rates, but in many cases, with no supply of equipment to their locations at all. The weather was obviously at play here because of the inability for trucks to be on the road leading to a severe backlog of shipments, but another factor was that there were far fewer available drivers than ever before. The retiring Baby Boomers did not help in this area and it is an issue that is likely to continue to get worse in the next 10-15 years. If you are involved with sourcing logistics for your company, you should be looking at locking things down for your early 2015 needs today.
Create the backup plans – There are two main areas to consider when developing your backup plans. The first area is to create a backup plan for your own logistics needs. The shipment of your product and any of the raw materials and products you handle shipment of yourself. The second area to create a backup plan in is with your current suppliers. If your suppliers are responsible for shipping product to you, make sure you diversify the supply sources to other areas of the country where weather might be having an effect. Having a primary and secondary source scenario is always a good one regardless but this winter it may be the difference between making and losing money.
Communication – Virtually any blog ever written could probably have this item included in the mix in some way. Internal and external communication is essential to dealing with what this winter may be bringing to our businesses. Make sure your company understands how inclement weather will affect its business. Internal surveys asking departments what they would do if product could not be shipped in or out of the company and what effect it would have is a good way to get that thought process started. Externally, you should be strategizing with your supplier partners to plan for the worst case scenarios. Make sure they understand that you value their efforts but that you may have to put out an RFI for some secondary suppliers in case the weather prevents them from getting product to you. They will appreciate not being blindsided and you will be able to strengthen your network of suppliers openly.
At SafeSourcing we have seen the effect bad weather has on our customer’s logistics needs and have successfully developed projects to strengthen that network without damaging good relationships with incumbent suppliers. We use our team, expertise, database and eSourcing tools to ensure a company has all of the information necessary to make the smartest decision for their business. For more information on this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.
We look forward to your comments.