From car parts on the move to a dealer to easily spoiled foodstuff in transit to a restaurant to pharmaceutical supplies arriving at a pharmacy, delivering products to customers promptly and in a good state is the single-core duty of suppliers as well as the customers they cater to.
Even though the aim for “perfect orders” will be a hard task all the time, the global marketplace at present puts increased pressure on companies to accomplish shipment orders rapidly across complex networks and to perform it without committing costly wrongdoings which may put off customers. As a result, cross-docking has grown in popularity and automation makes certain that the supply chain is not compromising precision for speed.
Typically, cross-docking involves the immediate offloading of goods straight from one transport vehicle to another vehicle without the steps in between like placing them in a warehouse between transit stops. The practice of cross-docking was first seen in the 1930s
and has since become more common as a means of reducing costs and speeding up delivery over the industry supply chains. It is essential to understand some of the primary challenges and related solutions that are closely associated with cross-docking in order to successfully plan, implement, and manage it.
Quicker Delivery Expectations Decrease the Luxury of Housing Products in Warehouse and Focus on the Perfect Order More
Nowadays, suppliers must hand over the perfect order in a faster timeframe than that before; in some cases, they may even have to do so within 24 hours or below. Suppliers no longer have the luxury of warehousing and dispatching from that location. Nowadays, the efficiency of the supply chain is determined by the potential of companies to transport products straight from one vehicle to the next at a centralized location, without losing speed or slowing down.
For instance, consider your neighborhood hardware store.
The store shouldn’t just be able to locate products at other stores or suppliers, it must also be able to ensure that items are loaded on the correct loading dock and reach the store in time to ensure customers can collect their orders without delay. Also, a single shipment lost while on the move can be the difference between a frequenter as well as a customer who switches to another company for business, consecutively affecting the relationship between the supplier and retailer and related profitability.
With Logistics Networks Turning Out to be More and More Complex, the Third Party Logistics Providers Have a Bigger Role to Play Than Before.
This can be called the Amazon Effect. With the plethora of warehouses and boundless Stock Keeping Units of Amazon, the SMEs and also the larger enterprises are compelled to increase their products and networks to maintain a competitive edge. Due to the growing competition among these companies, especially retailers, connected logistics networks are turning out to be increasingly complex and difficult to manage. Making certain that a broad spectrum of items get to the end locations at the time and place they are supposed to demands more and more dependence on the 3PLs.
The inclusion of third-party logistics in the delivery process likely implies that companies no longer are able to depend only on their in-house fleets. Consequently, they find it difficult to keep up the holistic fleet and visibility control that allowed them to make certain their standards of service were met as well as that their customers have totally contended most of the time. In other words, with plenty of chefs added in the kitchen with each delivery, sustaining a chain of custody across the supply chain can be a nightmare even for the most efficient of companies.
There are Too Many Errors in Paper-based Inventory and Order Tracking
The transit of an individual shipment via the supply chain consists of four standard steps. When it comes to the in-house fleets, the related paperwork alters hands at set points during the process. But with the upsurge of third-party logistics providers, there is a rise in the total owners, which means more open to errors as well as making it harder for companies to find, monitor, and fix those errors.
Initial customer orders- Typically containing innumerable Stock Keeping Units and tons of individual shipments based on the size, mass, or quantity, the initial order should be completed, registered and planned for delivery.
Initial order fulfillment- After a shipment is scheduled, it should be filled onto the right vehicle at the right time along with the invoice, so that it arrives at its destination on schedule.
The Transit process- The process can be more than one step, and here cross-docking has a role to play. A product’s origin is usually specific to the company that manufactures it, however, in today’s intricate supply and demand networks, the chain of custody can pass over numerous vendors, modes of delivery, and personnel prior to reaching its end location.
Taking the aforementioned instance again, ie, the local hardware store, if product X, product Y and product Z were ordered to get to the same shop, the three products would probably start from different places, which means that each product will be having an inventory/tracking slip of its own which should stay with the product all-round its journey. It’s obvious that even at the primary stage of the order, the likelihood of damage could affect the timeliness and quality of the delivery.
With cross-docking, shipments can be unloaded, scanned, and packed onto their next transport vehicle as there is no need to store them in a warehouse in between modes of transit. This is a great indication of forwarding momentum in the supply chain, up to the point you think that with countless shipments passing via the cross-dock per day, it’s often easy for a shipment to be misplaced, damaged, or even labeled falsely and packed in the wrong mode of transit. Regardless of how cautiously the paperwork of every product is added, there is a lot of potential for human error. There are millions of dollars of goods that are misused every day, not reaching their destination in the best condition.
The Delivery- Just imagine that, when it comes to the example order, every item reached the store in a timely manner and in a great state. After it is at the ultimate location, the related documentation for every item in the order should precisely reflect the time of delivery and state of the products, then be sent back to the right office to be copied and logged. Every shipment in the order must then be clubbed and provided to the ultimate customer on schedule. Simultaneously, each portion of the transaction needs to be well documented lest there is a complaint or return raised by the customer.
The solution to eliminating human errors along the way- ePCOD!
An electronic proof of delivery system (ePOD) can be advantageous to any business, no matter the size, location or business offering, as it connects companies and third-party logistics providers, puts an end to the paper tracking and waste, and makes the delivery process efficient as a whole.
About DDU Express
DDU Express has been engaged in offering Professional Courier Service in Dubai for more than a decade to our valued customers. Based in Dubai, we endeavor to deliver shipments in record time to the ultimate location. DDU Express renders our client base with the Best International Courier services without contention or congestion and keeping with pre-set quality and values.