The ‘L’ word – it’s out there, and you’re understandably confused. What does it all mean in this new logistics relationship of ours? Storage? Distribution? Pick and pack? Heck, is it all of these and more? If we’ve managed to catch your eye with this popular service of ours, then it’s time we came clean with the facts. What does an end to end logistics solution look like and why is it a relationship worth having – and if you’re not ready to get serious just yet, are there options to take it slowly?
7 MUST-HAVES FOR A GREAT LOGISTICS RELATIONSHIP Procurement. Most suppliers step in only after you’ve procured the product – and if sourcing 5,000 personalised glow in the dark golf tees is your thing, power to you – but if these words alone are bringing on a nervous itch, find a provider who will manage the outsourcing for you. Great procurement specialists have contacts and buying power to negotiate the best prices – on more than just printing. Online. Every logistics solution should offer an online portal – even better if it’s customised to the needs of your business and product. Look for these features in an online platform:
Easy to navigate with simple product categories.
Cost-effective to update, add or delete products.
Ability to run stock and usage reports.
Authority settings – so you have final approval on what gets ordered.
It goes without saying, your products need to be stored in a safe, clean and accessible environment. Avoid like the plague suppliers who don’t have a dedicated factory or if they do, check it’s not located somewhere north of Nanango.
Pick & Pack. For brands seeking an e-commerce or fulfilment solution, this is a must. Will your products be dispatched on the same or at worst, the next working day from receipt of order and is the packing fit for purpose? Not sure what that means? Pop a few bits and pieces into a flimsy box or tube sometime and send them back to yourself. You’ll understand why packing for post or freight is truly a resume-worthy skill.
Distribution. This is what you all assumed when we popped out the ‘L’ word and yes, distribution is paramount to any good logistics relationship. Whether it’s local, national or international find a supplier who can distribute every last one of your 5,000 personalised golf tees in the most cost-effective manner – through Australia Post, local couriers, national and international freight forwarding companies, and at an absolute pinch the back of someone’s car on the way home.
Phil. Relax ok, we not trying to suggest anything here – whether it’s a Phil, Sonia or a whole team of logistics experts you want people who CARE. That’s someone who questions whether sending 6 tonnes via overnight airfreight to New Zealand is a typo, or if perhaps the banners due to go to your Mallacoota store at the height of the 2019 bushfires might be best redirected. Our logistics legend is Phil.
WHY IS THIS A RELATIONSHIP YOU SHOULD PURSUE?
Firstly, let’s not pretend you have the time to pack 300 show bags or distribute 5,000 personalised golf tees. You’ll waste two days trying to source Australia Post approved cartons and speaking from experience your arms/feet/shoulders/back/neck and pretty much every muscle in your body will hurt after the first 20 minutes of packing. Your team of helpers will start orchestrating ‘it’s urgent, gotta go’ phone calls and then you’ll realise the supplier accidentally sent you golf tees that don’t glow. If that wasn’t bad enough you also need to work out where to store the extra show bags you had to order to make up the 1,000 minimum buy and how to get all of this stuff to the conference in the back your Suzuki Swift. We get it – everyone is watching costs during these uncertain times but building a relationship with an experienced logistics provider could save you money in the long run. There’s also plenty to be said for handballing anything that brings on a nervous itch – just ask any of customers from Lorna Jane, Night Owl, KTM and Isuzu.
LET’S TAKE IT SLOWLY
You agree – it’s time to stop searching for glow in the dark golf tees and packing your own convention show bags. Don’t think, because we’re now in a logistics relationship you have to – or even need to – take advantage of all the things we think make us great. That’s completely up to your brand, budget and product – but like any good partner, we’ll be here when you need us.
Contact Us for more information on making Printcraft your logistics ‘partner’.