Apparel Logistics: Balancing Cost and Customer Service

Managing logistics for an apparel business is a delicate balancing act. In many cases, your profit margins aren’t particularly large, leaving little room for error in your pricing and fulfillment.

These slim margins make it difficult to determine just where you should splurge—and where you should save.

Exceptional Service Makes for Repeat Customers

If there’s any area where you should focus on spending a little bit of extra money, it’s in creating an exceptional customer service experience. Customers have so many choices when it comes to apparel retailers, and if you don’t give them a customer experience they’ll remember positively, they’re sure to go elsewhere the next time they need a new wardrobe staple.

Finding ways to add extra funds to boost the speed of your returns or have extra people answer your customer service emails can go a long way toward giving your customers a positive experience. And this may mean cutting reasonable costs elsewhere in your business so you have the resources to funnel toward your customers.

One way to help cut some of your operational costs down a bit is to partner with an experienced third-party logistics (3PL) company for your warehousing and fulfillment.

Sounds counterintuitive, right? You’re just going to spend a ton of money hiring a 3PL when you could just as easily keep things the way they are for less, right? Not necessarily.

Hiring a 3PL Is Often Cheaper Than Managing It All Yourself

One thing many business owners don’t realize is that hiring someone else to handle some of your tasks, including warehousing products, picking and packing, or returns processing, is likely to save money in the long run. Take shifting your warehousing tasks to a 3PL, for example. Your single fee that’s paid to the 3PL means you’re no longer paying money separately for:

  • Warehouse space
  • Staffing
  • Utilities for the building
  • Maintenance and upkeep
  • Employee benefits
  • Fixtures and equipment for the warehouse
  • Taxes
  • Warehouse management software
  • And more

By partnering with a 3PL, you’re joining a group of small businesses just like yourself, spreading the costs out to make them more manageable for everyone. And the savings you realize by partnering with a 3PL can be spent on the things you need to keep your business growing.

If improving your customer service is one of your big business goals, the money and time you’ve saved with a 3PL could be used to:

  • Hire more customer service reps to answer phones and emails
  • Pay for a higher-tier chatbot on your website to allow customers to ask questions 24/7
  • Improve your website to make items and information easier to find
  • Offer faster shipping so customers get their items more quickly
  • Develop new products

All these little extras really add up when it comes to the experience your customers have with your business, and can earn you loyal customers and fierce advocates of your brand.

Your East Coast Logistics Company

If you’re looking to make your apparel logistics easier on you and your team, trust Cannon Hill Logistics. We have more than 35 years of experience serving small businesses just like yourself, and we’re committed to finding a customized solution to meet your needs. Contact us for a quote!

How to Overcome Supply Chain Disruptions

Disruptions to the supply chain can come in many forms: Natural disasters, transportation issues, cyber attacks, and of course, global pandemics. 

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic began, disruption has become the new normal. And with the resulting labor shortage and record-high gas prices, many businesses are still struggling to return to business as usual. 

The key to a swift recovery is to always be prepared. Here are 6 tips you can rely on to overcome supply chain disruptions. 

Rely on Your Contingency Plan

In the event of an emergency, your contingency plan is your best friend. 

This is a plan you’ve created that lays out alternative steps in the supply chain. The goal is to minimize risk, disruption, and dissatisfaction from the consumer. 

When creating this plan, consider alternate shipping routes, nearby suppliers, and different inventory options. Think about every “what-if” scenario you can imagine. While some of these events may seem unlikely, having a plan will save you from having to scramble at the last minute. 

Prioritize the Customer

When disruptions occur, your ultimate goal is to make sure the customer is none the wiser. You should aim to deliver the same high-quality product at a reasonable time.

If the disruptions are so severe that you cannot fulfill these expectations, you should communicate with your customers as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Let them know the situation and how you plan to remedy it. You can even offer refunds, coupons, or some other incentive to keep them happy.

Keep Communication Open

While you’re managing a crisis, there are a lot of moving parts to juggle. The best way to stay on top of these responsibilities is to keep communication open and productive.

Stay in the loop with every element of your supply chain, including the production team, fulfillment sector, employees, and, of course, the customers. End-to-end visibility will keep everyone on the same page and working toward the same goal.

Conduct Regular Audits

Creating a supply chain is only the first step in a business plan. You also need to maintain it and check frequently for issues. 

Conducting regular audits of your supply chain process is crucial because it can resolve vulnerabilities before they become major issues. With the information provided by an audit, you’ll know your investments are going toward the right improvements. 

Build Back-up Inventory

When things are going well for your business, you should still always be preparing for the worst. One way you can do this is to build your backup inventory. 

You should keep an amount of inventory that is just slightly over the amount regularly needed. That way, when there is a disruption to the production process, you can send out this backup inventory and minimize delays to the customer. 

Learn From Past Disruptions

Finally, do your best to learn from this disruption and all disruptions you’ve already overcome. Thoroughly document the response procedure and remember areas that were particularly difficult. 

Then, moving forward, you can update your contingency plan or any sector of the business in need of improvements. Learning from the past will help you recover faster the next time you face disruptions.

Trust a Fulfillment Partner to Minimize Disruptions

Managing a business is hard enough. Do you have a partner who can manage your fulfillment and distribution services in these difficult times? 

Contact Cannon Hill Logistics to be your East Coast 3PL provider! For more than 35 years, we have helped small businesses by providing the tools and personalized services they need. Conveniently based in Frederick, Maryland, we can ship to half of the US population within two business days using ground transportation.

Call now to learn more! 800-822-4747

6 Tips for Managing Supply Chain Crisis Ripple Effects

There’s a reason the supply chain is called what it is—all separate units rely on each other to work efficiently. When one part of the chain faces disruption, its inefficiencies ripple throughout all other parts of the system. 

And in the past two and a half years, there has been a lot of disruption to the global market. The pandemic and labor shortage, in combination with skyrocketing demand in e-commerce, has sent many businesses scrambling.

Having robust supply chain management is crucial to prevent compounding losses. Here are our 6 tips for minimizing supply chain ripple effects.

Keep Up-to-Date Information

You can’t always predict distribution emergencies before they happen. But by keeping the most up-to-date information, you can be better prepared for when they do.

Get to know the most important entities in your market, their struggles, and their goals for the future. Note how they deal with disruptions, and how that affects you. Keep up-to-date on news regarding your industry and the state of the global supply chain.

Conduct Audits for Vulnerability 

Managing a supply chain is about much more than just optimizing for the best-case scenarios. You should also frequently analyze your distribution strategies in search for areas that need improvement. 

Conducting regular audits can expose vulnerabilities in your supply chain. With this information, you can invest in changes that will have the most advantageous results. 

Create a Contingency Plan

When one part of your supply chain faces setbacks, the best way you can keep running business as usual is to adhere to a contingency plan.

This is a back-up plan that lays out the steps to deal with setbacks in your distribution chain. When forming this plan, consider the following: 

  • When and how will you alert customers of potential delays?
  • How will you estimate inventory levels?
  • Who can you contact for back-up supplies, delivering, or distribution?
  • How much will delays in each segment of the chain cost you?
  • How can you stock up on inventory to recover?

Build Relationships in Your Market

Building effective communication throughout your supply chain is another key to success. When disruptions arise, you’ll find it much easier to recover if the line of communication and trust is already built with your suppliers, vendors, and manufacturers. 

Keep up-to-date on their practices and changes in operation, and build respect by meeting their standards as well. This respect will pay back when your business is struggling. 

Be Flexible With Substitutions 

When the product will not be delivered on time, and expedition is not available, be flexible with making substitutions. 

Of course, you will want to stick to the original plan as closely as possible. But understanding the overall goal of the finished product will allow you to adequately designate substitutions.

Work With a 3PL

It can be difficult to manage resources between managing your supply chain and running your business, especially with the ongoing labor shortage. A third-party logistics company is built around distribution, so it has more access to workers, and it can more easily absorb supply chain disruptions. 

>> Learn more about how a 3PL can help during a labor crisis!

A 3PL partner can help you perform the most effective inventory management, warehousing, and delivery services. 

Trusted 3PL Provider on the East Coast

Don’t trust just any 3PL to deal with your most vital operations. Trust Cannon Hill Logistics to help your business thrive. 

We have over 30 years of experience helping small and medium-sized businesses with all their fulfillment needs. With a headquarters conveniently located in Frederick, Maryland, we have access to the entire East Coast! Call now to learn more.

How High Freight Costs Impact Your Small Business

The pandemic caused such a sudden disruption to the global supply chain that is still unsteady nearly two years later. 

One of the most obvious effects of this lasting ordeal is the high cost of freight. The cost of shipping and transporting products to businesses, carriers, and customers is higher than ever. 

There are a few causes for this. One is rising gasoline prices, and another is the imbalance of supply and demand. As more people are staying home, they are shopping more online. But there is also a labor shortage, which means there aren’t enough workers to help deliver the goods.

Large companies have a better chance of taking on the increased cost of supplies and continuing business as usual. But for small businesses, these challenges are more threatening. 

Read on to discover how high freight cost impacts your small business – and your customers.

Increased Prices of Goods

Business owners understand the importance of balancing low prices with high profits. But as freight costs increase, this margin is growing slimmer and slimmer. 

The only option some businesses have is to respond by increasing the price of their products. Because this is the case in most industries, customers are relatively understanding that their favorite businesses are charging slightly more. 

But even the most loyal customers have a limit when it comes to increased prices. Try not to pass the full burden of freight costs on to the customer. Instead, look for other places you can save money and search diligently for cost-effective freight options. 

Changes to Customer Behavior

That being said, customers are more lenient on higher product prices than they are for higher shipping prices. Research shows that customers tend to see free shipping as a better deal than greater amounts of savings offered in the form of discounts. 

This subconscious thought process can be used as a promotional tool to your advantage. Offering free or discounted shipping whenever possible will increase customer interest. 

Another factor of behavior to consider is how many products people buy at once. Customers tend to be making larger purchases of multiple items so they only pay once for shipping. Offering flat-rate shipping and other incentives for this purchasing habit can help boost your sales. 

The Need for Flexibility

In the past, high availability and low transportation costs made fast and frequent deliveries the norm. This method, known as “just-in-time” delivery, was the most profitable way to deliver products. 

But the pandemic has shown that this business model is extremely precarious, and when unexpected disruptions arrive, the process of recovery is very difficult.

This has shown small businesses the need for flexibility. For example, working closely with carriers and considering multiple suppliers can help ensure there are multiple methods of delivering your products. That way, if one route is unavailable, the supply chain can still continue. 

Businesses should also consider nearshoring sourcing strategies to minimize the distance traveled by their products. Designing packages to be more shipping-friendly is another way businesses can be more flexible.

How Small Businesses Can Adapt

Here are a few other ways small businesses can adapt in the age of soaring freight costs:

  • Shop around to make sure you’re receiving the best freight prices 
  • Book freight orders early 
  • Buffer expected delivery dates for possible transit delays
  • Stay informed and communicate with your freight supplier regularly
  • Hire the manpower you need to accept goods in a timely manner
  • Use a third party logistics provider to minimize inventory management costs 

Read more tips for how to make your supply chain more resistant here!

Your 3PL Partner on the East Coast

Here at Cannon Hill Logistics, we have more than 30 years of experience helping small businesses reach the East Coast and beyond. Our strategies are optimized to withstand recent supply chain disruptions, including high freight costs. We can help your small business offset costs and deliver products more efficiently. 

Call now to learn more!

7 Critical Components of Your Logistics RFP

There are a lot of moving parts that work to make a business successful. If you are planning to outsource part or all of your logistical operations, you know just how true this is.

That’s where an RFP, or request for proposals, can help. This document outlines the requirements and expectations for a potential business partnership. It is a professional and convenient way to find the right third-party logistics (3PL) provider, shipping company, vendor, or supplier to fulfill your business needs.

When drafting your RFP, it’s important to be as specific as possible and cover all the necessary information. Here are 7 critical components you need to include in your logistics request for proposals:

Background Information

Begin with a detailed introduction to your business. Tell the potential bidders a bit about your history and mission. Then explain your products or services and give an overview of your business model.

You also want to state the objective of the RFP. Briefly touch on your goals for the company and where the benefits of the partnership will lead you. 

Business Needs

This section will comprise the bulk of your RFP, and where you’ll give more detail about the services you are requesting. Define the problem that needs to be solved. 

Explain your business model and the exact limitations that structure it. Does your product require low-temperature shipping? Do your vendors rely on you for huge quantities of products? Do you have seasonal peaks of demand that need to be met? All this information is important to include. 

In this section, you will also want to describe a little bit about your customers, vendors, suppliers, stakeholders, and other ongoing partnerships. 

Relevant Data 

Remember, it’s good to be as specific as possible, giving potential bidders the most complete picture of your business. If they can clearly understand the areas needing improvement, they are better able to come up with innovative solutions and make a solid partnership. 

Include any relevant data and visuals to get your point across. This would include freight volume and frequency, types of products you provide, demand over time, and central areas for delivery. 

Requirements for Partnership

In this section, spell out any requirements for the potential bidders to comply with. 

For example, your partner might need to have certain technological capabilities in order to be a good match. Or perhaps there are certain licenses or certifications needed to transport your products. Or maybe you just want to rule out any partnerships that don’t have a strong financial background. 

This section will prevent unqualified businesses from sending over their submissions, saving you time in the review process. 

>> Learn about the common ways the 3PL relationship breaks down, and how to fix it.

Detailed Questions 

Next, you want to include a detailed questionnaire for the potential logistic partners. You are essentially conducting an interview to see if they can meet your business needs. 

Ask about their capabilities, history, reach, size of operations, length of commitments, scalability, and anything else that will guide your decision. 

You will also want to ask about their terms of billing and payment. Finally, don’t forget to ask for the legal information, such as proof of insurance, relevant certifications, or claims and safety records.

Evaluation Plan

Include a plan for how you will evaluate the success of the partnership. This will take the form of detailed KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. Make sure the standards for evaluation are specific and measurable. 

These KPIs should follow a timeline that is also detailed in this section. This will provide a strategy for implementation and rollout. 

Terms of Submissions

Finally, specify the format you would like to receive submissions in. This will streamline the proposal evaluation process by making all the information uniform and easier to compare.

You might consider including a template for the pricing breakdown, as these numbers will be the most vital to evaluate side by side. Or you can just specify what numbers you need and how you would like them presented.

End your RFP with your contact information and the mode of submission (email, snail mail, contact through website, etc.) that you prefer. 

Reliable 3PL Provider on the East Coast

If you are looking for a reliable and experienced 3PL provider to take on your fulfillment, distribution, and warehouse needs, look no further than Cannon Hill Logistics!

Conveniently located on the East Coast, we can deliver to a half the US population in just 3 days! For over 30 years we have provided personalized service to small businesses and large corporations alike. 

Give us a call today to learn how we can help your business grow!

Everything You Need to Know About Supplier Management

As a small business owner, you spend a lot of time focusing on day-to-day operation and making your customers happy. But it’s important to take a step back and focus on the big picture items too. 

Due to restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, reliable, affordable, and ethical suppliers are hard to come by. Without effectively managing your supplier relationships, you could be risking disruption to your entire operation. 

Read on to discover everything you need to know about developing a supplier management strategy, and how it could affect your business: 

How Proper Supplier Management Benefits Your Business 

There are many benefits to properly managing your supplier relations. 

As mentioned above, it can help reduce supply chain disruptions and delays. This is because a well-maintained business relationship involves effective communication when dealing with any issues that arise. 

Having a good relationship with your suppliers will increase efficiency of your products and materials. This provides the predictability you need to have confidence developing new strategies. 

Loyalty over time can also help secure you better deals and rates from your suppliers. All this results in better service to your customers, and increased profit margins for your business. 

Tips for Effective Supplier Management

Understand that supplier management is not a one-and-done task. It is an ongoing process that requires frequent work to maintain. 

Here are a few tips to follow to build an effective supplier management plan:

 

  • Choose suppliers carefully – The easiest way to get along with your supplier is to make sure their values and business practices align with your own. Consider their ethics of operation and if this relationship is a good representation of your business. 
  • Establish a good processAnother good way to minimize supply chain disruptions is to establish a simple process that is easy to follow. From concept development to creation and distribution, streamline your supply chain to increase efficiency.
  • Maintain frequent communication Communication between buyers and suppliers is vital to maintaining a strong partnership. Establish a reliable method and time slot for checking in. 
  • Understand cultural differencesWhen working with suppliers, especially international ones, there are bound to be a few cultural differences between people. Always be conscious and considerate of these differences, and try to remedy any potential issues before they arise.
  • Perform regular auditsKeep up with the performance of your suppliers to make sure they are meeting your expectations. Communicate any potential issues as soon as you notice them. 
  • Practice two-way respectRemember that your suppliers are not solely your vendors. They are also running a business, and that means mutual respect is essential. Making on-time payments, practicing loyalty, and generally being friendly will maintain your end of the relationship. 

 

East Coast Fulfillment Services

Here at Cannon Hill Logistics, we understand the many moving parts that go into running a business. That’s why we provide the most reliable, affordable, and comprehensive fulfillment services on the East Coast!

From distribution to warehouse management, and even custom packaging services, Cannon Hill can do it all! Backed by our knowledgeable and professional customer service, we can create an individualized service plan to meet the demands of your growing business. Give us a call today!

What the Pandemic Taught Businesses About the Supply Chain

Although the supply chain could often be precarious even before the pandemic, the events that have unfolded since March 2020 have only made these pre-existing issues more drastic. 

In fact, the large-scale disruption we’ve seen to the global supply chain is unprecedented. There have been shortages in nearly every industry, from medical equipment to lumber to electronic parts. 

Small businesses have learned that in order to survive these tumultuous times, they must learn and adapt. Going forward, here are 3 important supply chain lessons we can learn from the Covid-19 pandemic: 

Don’t Underestimate Virtual Elements

Even before the pandemic, the reliance on virtual business practices was rapidly increasing. But it was still understandable for small businesses to overlook the importance of virtual communication and digital accessibility. 

This is no longer the case. The pandemic made customers even less willing to go to physical stores, and so they turned toward online shopping and curbside pick-up programs instead. These digital programs helped small businesses reach their customers even during a time of crisis.

Small businesses should expect this trend to continue. Investing in a way for customers to interact with your products virtually will be hugely beneficial in the future. 

Maintain & Diversify Partnerships

The pandemic also taught small businesses the importance of maintaining partnerships with a diverse range of suppliers. 

In the supply chain, this diversification is also known as parallelization. Basically, this means creating numerous pathways to connect your manufacturers and your customers. This prevents a total supply chain shut down if just one link stops functioning. 

While diversity in suppliers is important, loyalty is also helpful. If you step away from trusted vendors during difficult times, don’t expect them to be available when things start looking up again. Chances are, they found other partnerships to sustain themselves. 

On the other hand, maintaining strong partnerships with every part of your distribution chain can only stand to benefit you in time. 

Prioritize Long-Term Resilience Over Short-Term Strategies

For a while, short-term strategies have dominated the business world. This is also sometimes called “just-in-time” manufacturing, which maximizes profits and efficiency. 

However, as the pandemic showed us, these supply chain strategies do not prove to be resilient during global disasters.

Moving forward, businesses should consider supply chain maintenance which prioritizes long-term sustainability. Business owners should consider potential disruptions not as improbable events, but rather as inevitable in our precarious world. 

>> Learn how to minimize the supply chain crisis ripple effect here!

Trusted East Coast Logistics Company

Are you looking for help from a trusted and conveniently located logistics company? Look no further than Cannon Hill Logistics!

We offer a wide range of economical fulfillment services to meet your specific distribution needs. From warehousing to fulfillment, we’ve got you covered. Located in Frederick, Maryland, we can reach half the US population in just 3 days!

Call Cannon Hill Logistics today to discover what we can do for your business!

How a Logistics Company Can Help Your Business During a Labor Crisis

We have all heard about the labor crisis. Since the pandemic hit, there have been many more jobs available than people willing or able to work.

There are many reasons for the labor shortage, including low wages, job insecurity, and the threat of COVID-19. But labor issues have been brewing since long before the pandemic started – the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders just accelerated them. 

If your small business or e-store is feeling the effects of the labor shortage, you’re not alone. Many family-run businesses have struggled to stay afloat in this precarious economy, and the sector of your business likely to suffer the most is logistics. 

Even under the best of circumstances, managing logistics can be tricky. Hiring the staff and renting the infrastructure is a huge upfront cost. And if you can’t even find enough people to hire, your shipping and return operations are sure to suffer.

A 3PL Gives You Access to Workers

This is where a third party logistics provider, or a 3PL, can help. 

Unlike other businesses, these companies are completely designed around logistics. This means they can afford the technology and manpower necessary to ship products all around the country. 

A 3PL does not need to balance their main product and fulfillment services, because their main product IS fulfillment services!

It also means they can provide better conditions for workers in logistics. They are able to pay these skilled workers more money and offer them more job security than a small business can. 

This means that even during a labor shortage, a 3PL is going to be able to keep operations running as smoothly as possible. 

Using a 3PL also takes all the hiring, firing, and employee retention off your shoulders. You get the same level of service you need to keep your business running without having to worry about too many resumes in your inbox or who’s calling in sick that day.

If you’re spending too much time, money, and stress trying to manage your logistics department, it might be time to outsource to a 3PL. During this labor crisis, focus on filling the positions most essential to your business, and get back to why you started your company in the first place.

Dependable East Coast 3PL Provider

Are you looking to outsource your warehouse management and product distribution duties? Do you need a fast, dependable company with access to a large chunk of the US population? 

Look no further than Cannon Hill Logistics! We offer comprehensive fulfillment services for everything your small business needs to succeed. Conveniently based in Frederick, Maryland, we can reach nearly half the population in just 3 days! Call now to learn more.

4 Signs It’s Time to Outsource Your E-Commerce Store Fulfillment

E-commerce has become a booming business model in recent years. With more people staying home since the pandemic, the digital marketplace has become even more integral to the way we shop. 

While increased interest in e-commerce might be great for your growing business, it can also be difficult to manage. If you’re having a hard time keeping up with the complicated demands of orders, shipping, returns, and everything in between, it might be time to consider a third party logistics provider, or a 3PL.

Here are 4 signs it’s time to outsource your e-commerce store fulfillment services:

Customers Are Unhappy

As a business owner, you know that unhappy customers are a huge red flag that some part of the operation is not running as it should. 

If you’re receiving complaints or poor reviews due to long and unpredictable shipping times, you might want to consider outsourcing fulfillment. The 3PL can more effectively handle shipping, and tracking returns as well.

Your Tech Can’t Keep up

Technology is at the core of e-commerce. Beyond the wifi it takes to receive orders, your business also needs adequate scanners, terminals, machinery, tracking software, and heavy-lifting equipment. That’s a lot of tech that needs to be purchased and maintained!

New tech is expensive, and it might feel that all your funds are being spent on something tangential to your main goals. On the other hand, a 3PL is designed around all this necessary technology, and therefore they can maintain the cost of it more sustainably. 

You’re Low on Space

You might start to notice your inventory is taking up more and more of your physical space. Maybe you have considered an off-site warehouse, but this expensive option is only a short-term solution for the growing demand in your products.

A 3PL will help save you time and money by managing and storing your inventory for you. Make the switch and see how much floorspace you were missing under pallets of boxes!

It’s Taking up Too Much of Your Time

Your time is valuable. If you’re spending most of your working hours managing (and stressing out about) fulfillment services, you’re not using your time most effectively. 

Outsourcing your fulfillment services will free you up to focus on the more important parts of running your e-commerce store. Get back to the reasons you started the business in the first place!

Is your business too small to use a 3PL? Learn the answer on our blog!

Dependable 3PL Provider on the East Coast

If you’re ready to make the switch to an outsourced order fulfillment service, call Cannon Hill Logistics! For more than 30 years, we have helped small businesses by providing the tools and personalized services they need to keep up with demand. Conveniently based in Frederick, Maryland, we can ship to half of the US population within two business days using ground transportation. 

Call now to learn more!

5 Ways Strong Vendor Relationships Boost Business Innovation

One of the secrets to the long-term success of any business is a company’s ability to innovate and change as conditions evolve.

And while some innovation is expected to come directly from you as a business owner and your team, all innovation doesn’t and shouldn’t happen internally. Instead, you should be able to lean on those trusted partners with whom you’ve built a strong relationship to help you look for new ways to do business.

Here are 5 key ways having a strong relationship with your vendors can boost innovation:

They Extend Your Reach

Think of your vendor relationships like a business version of the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. You can’t possibly know everyone, but by building strong relationships with your vendors, you may be able to open yourself up to taking advantage of their other business connections.

Say you work with a trusted provider of shipping materials, but don’t currently have a vendor that can handle refrigerated shipping when you decide to change up your product offerings.

Rather than you having to go out and vet a bunch of refrigerated shipping providers on your own, your shipping material supplier may have a recommendation of someone with whom they work, and can make the introduction for you. This makes the task of finding a refrigerated shipping provider much less daunting for you.

They Can Help You in a Pinch

Emergencies arise, no matter how carefully you plan. But that doesn’t mean you’re entirely on your own to figure things out when they do.

If you find yourself in a situation where a supplier drops out or a critical piece of your production line fails, having a strong relationship with your vendors can help you get that problem solved quickly and more affordably. The more carefully you work to build strong relationships, the easier it will be to find someone to help you out when you really need it.

But don’t forget that relationships go both ways; it’s always a good idea to help your vendors out if they’re in a pinch, as long as you’re able to do so.

>> Learn everything you need to know about supplier management from this blog post!

They Can Improve Their Existing Offerings for You

Just because you’re purchasing a specific product or service from one of your vendors doesn’t mean it can’t change if that offering doesn’t meet your needs.

If you’ve got a strong relationship with your vendors and they trust the feedback you provide, you could effect change to the products and services they offer to tailor them more to your specific requests. This, in turn, improves how you’re able to do business and can continue to drive innovation and growth within your business.

Relationships Can Remain Regardless of Business Success

People don’t often stay at a single company for their entire working career, but that doesn’t mean you can’t maintain that relationship past their employment with your vendor.

If you build a strong relationship with someone at one of your vendors and they leave for another opportunity, continue that relationship via email or social media if possible. In the future, if the person runs into an opportunity or service they think you might be interested in, they may reach out and that could pay off big for your business.

Your 3PL Partner on the East Coast

If you’re looking for a third-party logistics partner to handle some or all of your warehousing and logistics needs, Cannon Hill Logistics can help. We have more than 35 years of experience working with businesses of all shapes and sizes, and we create custom solutions to help you reach your goals. Call today for a quote!