The necessity to add value to basic warehousing for today’s customers is becoming ever more important. Strategic partnerships allow for the opportunity to focus on what you do best and allow your partner to fill the void where your team may lack experience or infrastructure. Specifically, in the warehousing environment, it has become paramount to be able to add value for your customers as a 3PL partner.
Building strategic partnerships with our customers allows us to leverage our warehousing and systems experience to help them be successful in finding solutions that work best for their company and future goals. Our partnership with one of the premier suppliers of components to the lawn and garden equipment industry has been a great example of working together to build a successful, individualized warehouse solution.
Our customer was looking for a 3PL partner to provide a solution that would allow them to stop concentrating on logistics and start focusing on their core proficiency, producing high quality, reliable lawn-care solutions for their growing customer needs. They didn’t just want warehousing, they wanted a flexible solution that allowed them the ability to increase production capacity, improve service, and reduce inventory costs.
The Value-Add Warehousing Solution
Keller Warehousing & Distribution became this premier supplier’s 3PL partner, operating their warehouses in 2014. Since then, we have worked directly with their team to continuously improve the solutions that offer the best performance for their operations.
The process began by building a custom system online which provided the company and their suppliers the ability to view real-time inventory levels, manage shipments, and gave their quality team direct access to Keller’s inventory system to manage inspection records. After that, we developed an automated email notification system which allows our customer and their vendors to track receipts and shipments through the system; improving invoicing accuracy, maintaining set inventory levels, and aiding in the growth of their Vendor Managed Inventory.
We then developed a Just-In-Time carton picking solution to reduce the unnecessary inventory they were holding internally for production. By changing to an automated reorder system based on minimum stocks, we only send the parts they need at their facility to meet production planning, and cut back on the space they required to hold excess parts. This has given them the ability to reduce their on-hand inventory costs and improve production supply accuracy. More importantly, it has allowed them the space to grow their production capacity as needed to meet customer demands. By giving our customer direct access to our online system, they have the capability to manage their minimum stocks and fulfillment needs directly, giving them overall control of supply for their production schedule.
Since the implementation 3 years ago, they have seen some of the best production supply numbers in their history of operation and the lowest number of expedite shipments from shortages. As their 3PL partner, we continue to work together to find more efficient ways to improve operations as they grow, while continuing to offer flexible solutions needed to help them reach their goals.