Reshoring manufacturing leads to increase in local supply chain services

August 21 2013

For U.S. companies, outsourcing manufacturing and parts of the supply chain to areas like China has been a long standing business tradition. However, this time honored strategy for saving money could be on the way out as new economic shifts are making it more cost effective to create products in our own backyard.

Many experts have been touting this idea over the last few years. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)—which has been a proponent for the strong future of U.S. manufacturing—released a recent study that shows the impact could be monumental.

There are currently 12 million Americans directly employed by manufacturers. According to the study, by the end of 2020, that number could jump by as many as 5 million workers. That would drop the current 7.4 percent unemployment rate as much as 3 percentage points. This will be helped by the lower energy, labor and supply chain costs that come along with doing business in the U.S.

Harold Sirkin, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report, said that this move to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. is a fundamental economic shift. On top of that, it is growing faster than many thought.

Part of reshoring that is not covered in the report is the effect it will have on the supply chain. With products being created locally, it will mean an increase in demand for quality supply chain and logistic solution providers to help companies ship products. Whether it's across the country or the city of Cleveland, ensuring items arrive on time is a critical aspect of business.

USPS troubles make local delivery services a smart alternative

August 14 2013

Every day there seems to be a new headline about how the USPS is failing and the drastic changes that need to be taken to revive the organization. These include things like cancelling Saturday delivery and eliminating door-to-door and curbside pickup in favor of group mailboxes. These would change the way organizations conduct business on a daily basis. A recent earnings report shows how bad things have gotten.

An article from Post and Parcel examined the third quarter earnings report of the USPS and found a $750 million loss. This happened even as the organization cut operational costs by 22 percent. So far in the current fiscal year, the USPS has chalked up $3.9 billion.

On top of that, the organization has cut expenses by 11.7 percent this year. The organization has also reduced operational hours at 7,397 post offices and consolidated 104 mail processing plants and 1,156 delivery routes.

"We need to make fundamental changes to the way we currently do business, changes that are part of our Five-Year Business Plan," USPS chief financial officer Joe Corbett told the news source. "However, without comprehensive postal reform legislation signed into law, our hands are tied and we expect multi-billion dollar annual losses to continue."

The trouble of the USPS could become a major problem for any business that relies on the organization. However, companies can avoid that by partnering with a local business courier system which can ensure safe delivery of important business packages, without the worry of dramatic changes to operations.

Football Hall of Fame causes rush of businesses to Northeast Ohio

August 9 2013

We have reached the time of year that many Americans wait months for - football season. This weekend, teams across the country will play their first preseason game, but the festivities got kicked off last weekend with the National Football Hall of Fame game, which caps the annual induction ceremony festivities.

Thousand of fans make their way to Canton, Ohio for those three days. According to Tammy Owens, a spokeswoman for the Pro Football Hall of Fame who spoke with a Canton representative, the annual celebration weekend is a big boom to businesses in Northeast, Ohio. For example, there are 21 local hotels in the Akron-Canton area that put up the inductees and their guests and that weekend accounts for 4,000 to 5,000 room-nights of lodging.

The hall attracts roughly 200,000 visitors per year, but the 7,500-square-foot gift shop sees far more traffic over this weekend than at any point other point. The Hall itself is also a key component to the revenue of the community.

Because of the added pressure that comes with hosting a massively popular event like the National Football Hall of Fame, those in charge need to be sure that the shelves stay shocked and every customer is happy. This means having a secure supply chain that can make moves quickly. A local courier service can become a valuable partner and provide same-day delivery to ensure no football merchandise is left behind..

Customer delivery is a $2 trillion business

August 2 2013

By this point, it is pretty safe to assume a majority of consumers have purchased something online and had it shipped to their home. Entire business empires have been built on this premise alone - just look at Amazon. However, as the eCommerce landscape has grown, so too has consumers' impatience in waiting for their packages to be delivered. That is why the latest trend is in same​-day delivery.

This is something many companies are trying to break into, and there is a financial reason behind it. According to JPMorgan Chase & Co., delivery straight to consumers' homes is a $2 trillion business. This includes $568 billion in grocery sales and $275 billion in health and personal products.

A recent article from the Chicago Tribune examined how many companies like Google, Amazon and eBay, as well as smaller local businesses, are looking to master same- or next​-day delivery.

"Consumers' and merchants' growing comfort with doing business online is helping pave the way," the article reads. "Having a large number of buyers and sellers in geographical proximity also makes the economics of same-day delivery work. That means urban residents are likely to see better availability and lower costs than those in outlying suburbs."

Because of this, many businesses will be looking for ways to improve their shipping and logistics options. For companies in Northeast, Ohio, one smart step will be to partner with a local courier service that can provide the same and next-day delivery options that customers and businesses desire.

More companies seeking local logistic options

July 31 2013

If I was to tell you that the future of logistics and the supply chain would look more like cars and vans than giant trucks, you would have some follow-up questions. That makes perfect sense, as it seems to be counter intuitive to the way traditional supply chains operate. However, not only is that the case, but the future could be now.

There is a growing push in the corporate shipping world for local, same day delivery. While many companies have manufacturing plants overseas, businesses need to also have local distribution warehouses on the ready to not only resolve customer issues more quickly but also speed up the delivery of online orders.

A recent article from the news website Material Handling and Logistics, argues that that is the case. The piece cites recent announcements from Google, Amazon, eBay and Target, that indicate they are placing more value on the ability to offer same-day delivery fulfillment.

"The most frightening thing in the world is seeing a threat coming at you and having to scramble for a defense. We've been reading about this threat to traditional logistics providers in all the papers—online and in print," the article reads. "Most recently Amazon's been making news with their mad rush to expand their network of distribution centers. They seem to be driving toward an 'all logistics is local' approach."

There are many ways that businesses can look to enact a local approach. One of these is by partnering with a local logistics and supply chain provider that can offer same-day delivery and help improve the customer experience.