Outsourcing business needs is nothing new. Businesses that provide outsourced services offer substantial time, money, and investment savings, allowing client companies to allocate their resources to other priorities. Fourth Party Logistics companies (4PL) otherwise known as Lead Logistics Providers (LLP) are capitalizing on outsourcing advantages by developing the vital technologies their clients are seeking for value-added logistics and supply chain management services. The 4PL business model, while simple, is re-shaping logistics for small and large businesses across numerous industries.
The client, LDK Logistics, is a non-asset based Logistics Management company founded on the principle that exceptional service must be innovative, flexible, flawless and exceed expectations. They are the Inside Delivery Agent of choice for the most discerning customers, be it High Tech Computer, Medical Equipment, Telecommunications, Retail, Kiosks, Display, Trade Show or other High Value / High Visibility items and situations. Their skills in planning and execution of complex White Glove, non-dock deliveries are regularly trusted and tested by customers. LDK Logistics provides in-home delivery and final mile logistics for products requiring additional care and set up.
The client has 37+ years of experience providing comprehensive ERP software solutions for wholesale food distributors. On several occasions, they have partnered with industry leaders to offer reliable software for inventory, traceability, and accounting to their wide client base. The client is uniquely committed to ensuring their software fully complies with traceability requirements set upon by meat, fish, poultry, grocery and government agencies.
The client wanted to develop a cross-platform application for iOS and Android handheld devices that would allow food distributors across the US and Canada to streamline their operations. The client wanted their application to let pickers operate more efficiently when picking sales orders and scanning bar codes. The ability to scan barcodes was essential as doing so ensures more accurate traceability. By employing this technology, customers would have the means to access a product's information, and vendors would be aware of the status of their orders throughout the entirety of the supply chain process. The client had envisioned that their application would enable a more automated process in the warehouse environment.
Nowadays, most business owners understand that transportation issues regarding their products demand a great deal of attention. As such, automated transportation management systems (TMS) have greatly helped large distributors significantly lower freight expenses, enhance the efficiency of their logistics and transportation departments, and improve their quality of service. For these same reasons, smaller businesses also have much to gain from implementing a TMS, despite having smaller loads.
A TMS is perhaps one of the most important investments a company can make. Contrary to popular belief, many TMSs are not overly expensive to implement because most are web-based. They have convenient APIs that permit a TMS to seamlessly integrate into other systems such as those for enterprise resource planning (ERP) or warehouse management systems (WMS) to gain end-to-end supply chain visibility.
In an effort to standardize and enhance produce tracking throughout the supply chain, leaders in the produce industry introduced the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI), a framework of standards and best practices. Being PTI-complaint not only allows whole chain members to quickly pass on produce tracking information to consumers, but also to the FDA in the event of serious foodborne illness outbreak investigations.
Globalization has given way to a complex multi-modal infrastructure of supply chains. With the many links added to the chain, precious cargo runs a higher risk of being damaged. When the cargo is rejected or returned to the supplier they incur a charge when having to apply reverse logistics. To minimize the costs associated with that process suppliers need to employ robust supply chain visibility technology to increase efficiency and reduce harm to precious cargo.
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