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A well-designed distribution system can eliminate many of the hurdles companies face when fulfilling shipments and lead to greater customer satisfaction. The process of streamlining distribution involves extensive planning and efficient use of supply chain resources. If your company has an integrated system, you will have better internal access to all order documents, making it easier to provide that information to customers. There are a few key criteria to be defined when optimizing the work of the logistics and distribution centers. Continue reading to discover the optimal function of distribution and why these tactics are beneficial for long-term success.

1. Supply Chain Planning

After optimizing the use of the necessary means in your company’s current logistics network, strategic decisions can be made. Supply chain planning compares demand forecast and empirical knowledge – a prediction based on demand in the previous period, with actual demand in order to develop a “master plan”. The ultimate goal is to synchronize the production, distribution, and transportation of shipments to customers.

2. Production Planning

A production plan is made periodically for a specific time period and must be adjusted accordingly. With production planning, a company aims to consolidate all of its production to a single factory for increased efficiency. This type of planning involves the availability of materials, factory capacity, and demand among other operational factors. There are several types of production methods such as single-item manufacturing, batch production, mass production, etc. which all require specialized attention in regard to planning.

3. Transport Planning

Every company strives to find the most efficient way to distribute shipments to customers while keeping costs as low as possible. In order to minimize transport costs and maximize the usage of cargo freight trucks, companies should consider collective or bundled transport of goods, and the inclusion of intermodal transport systems into the logistics and distribution processes. Intermodal freight transport uses multiple modes of transportation (e.g., ship, rail, truck), without any handling of the freight itself when changing modes. At NRS, we optimize freight transport with consolidation services by eliminating wasted space and other inefficiencies.

4. Delivery Schedule

An optimized delivery schedule can help companies cut down on time and expenses, if done correctly. It is important to meet the terms of an agreement between a buyer and seller, in order to maintain positive business relationships. Companies should take time to develop a feasible plan that meets the time requirements for the delivery of products, taking into consideration the receiving of orders, the production schedule, and the availability of various modes of transport.

5. Leverage Existing Systems

Although planning within many different aspects of the supply chain is the backbone of optimizing logistics, companies often overlook the benefits of systems that work to carry out planning efforts. In-house systems developed over years may seem hard to integrate into newer systems. However, they contain important and useful information that can be used for planning and analysis. The introduction of smart devices such as tablets and other handhelds create the need and opportunity for a mobile supply chain. Companies who can effectively discern value from their legacy systems while simultaneously taking advantage of emerging technologies will come out ahead of competitors in the long-run.

Streamlined Distribution With National Retail Systems, Inc.

National Retail Systems, Inc. is an asset-based 3PL provider founded in 1952. We provide customized solutions to businesses and retailers all over the country, including distribution services. We’re equipped to accomplish your national distribution demands with the longevity, experience and reliability you’re looking for. We’ll be happy to simplify your supply chain needs by streamlining and maintaining your logistics demands. Gain a competitive edge with NRS by contacting us today for more news and information about our dependable 3PL services.

The Ultimate 3PL

National Retail Systems, Inc. (NRS) includes Keystone Freight Corp. & National Retail Transportation, Inc. (NRT). NRS is an asset based 3PL that has been providing logistics services for the World’s leading retail companies for 60+ years. Our hub locations include: New York & New Jersey; Los Angeles, CA; Inland Empire, CA; Savannah, GA; Columbus, OH; Greensboro, NC; and Baltimore, MD.