If there is one thing that all business owners will agree on, it is that the success of your business is as good as how happy your customers are. Apart from providing quality products, another sure way to keep buyers coming back is to make timely deliveries.
Supply chain efficiency has always been the most important factor for a business to make successful conversions. The speed with which goods move down the supply chain has become even more important in the 21st century.
Today, competition is rough and cut-throat. A customer will not hesitate to move on to the next best option if your business shows signs of sluggishness when it comes to meeting their demands.
Cross-docking is one of those supply chain strategies that can help to give your business the much-needed competitive advantage. Once you source these services from top cross docking companies, you bid goodbye to customer delivery inefficiencies.
Here is what you need to know about cross docking services:
1. What is cross docking?
Cross docking is a system of delivering goods from suppliers or manufacturers straight to customers. It eliminates storage and material handling before the product reaches the customer which reduces warehousing and labor costs.
Cross docking, therefore, allows for an optimized supply chain where the customer gets what they want when they want it.
2. How does the cross docking process work?
Cross docking happens in a docking terminal which consists of trucks and dock doors, both on the inbound and outbound sides.
Products are received from the inbound dock after which they are and unloaded and sorted. They then undergo screening to determine their destinations.
They are then ‘cross-docked’ via several means of transportation which can range from forklifts to pallet trucks and conveyor belts to the outbound dock.
The system then loads the items to outbound transportation after which they are delivered to customers.
3. Who can use cross-docking services?
There are various types of cross docking services which various businesses can use based on suitability. These include:
- Transportation which combines shipments from different carriers in a less-than-truckload to benefit from lower costs.
- Retail where a warehouse sorts products received from different vendors into outbound trucks to be distributed to retail stores.
- Distributor which requires the consolidation of products from different vendors into a mixed product.
- Manufacturing where a warehouse receives products required by manufacturers and prepares sub-assemblies to fulfil orders.
The most common businesses that use cross docking services are:
- High quality items that do not need to be inspected.
- Promotional items.
- Food industries that handle perishable goods.
- Pre-tagged products.
- Constant demand products such as staple goods
- Pre-packaged customer orders.
A top cross docking company will ensure that they have robust inventory control processes in place. It should also train its staff on the proper handling of this kind of inventory.
When you need to save on storage costs, reduce the cost of product handling by middlemen, and ensure timely delivery of goods, you should hire cross docking services.