Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
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by Scott Weiss, Port Logistics Group
Remember the story about the hare that ridicules a slow moving tortoise and is challenged by the tortoise to a race. The hare soon leaves the tortoise behind and, confident of winning, takes a nap midway through the course. When the hare awakens, however, he finds that his competitor, crawling slowly but steadily, has arrived before him.
You cannot afford to take a vendor compliance nap. You could make the greatest product but if it does not get to the right place at the right time then a sale can be lost to a competitor that is able to get the right product at the right place at the right time – and this is where vendor compliance is so critical.
3PL's are used because they are "flexible, agile, and responsive;" but, there is one constant in the 3PL world – routing guide requirement changes. As a result, if you were to ask a 3PL distribution center manager what is the biggest challenge within the four walls, chances are the answer will be how to keep up with and maintain routing guide compliance information.
All it takes is one missing label, one incorrect bill of lading, or one late ASN to have your entire load rejected by the retailer or pulled to the side at the distribution center while your competition's product races through the DC right past yours, into the outbound truck, and on to the store shelves.
Here are some questions to ask:
What is your long-term company plan to stay focused on routing guide compliance?
What systems and processes do you have in place to ensure routing guide compliance?
How do you work together internally and/or with your 3PL to communicate routing guide requirements?
How do you work with your 3PL to make sure that they have "skin in the game?"
How do you work with your retail customers to maintain close communication and monitor performance?
What scorecards do you have in place to monitor your 3PL's compliance performance?
What processes do you have in place to dispute chargebacks when they arrive?
What processes do you have in place to make sure a valid chargeback does not happen again?
Chances are your competition has answers to all of these questions – and so should you or else the competition will run right by you. Next month, we will review some ideas on how to answer these questions.
As Vice President, Business Development, Scott Weiss works closely with apparel, footwear, and housewares manufacturers of all sizes to ensure compliance with retailer routing guide requirements. Port Logistics Group is a market leader in gateway port logistics services, operating over 5 million square feet of warehouse space. Services include port drayage, import deconsolidation, warehousing and distribution, retail compliance, local transportation, and store delivery in key port locations of Los Angeles/Long Beach, New York/New Jersey, Seattle, and Savannah. Scott may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (562) 977-7620.
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