Ever wish you had a crystal ball? Even though we don’t have one either, we’re in tune with the manufacturing and warehousing industry and we’ve discovered some interesting (and profitable) trends that we think will continue well into next year. We’re going to share some of the best ones, so read on to hear what you can do to improve your business and your bottom line.
Trend 1: Shorter Turnaround Times
Your customers want their orders delivered faster than ever – and are willing to pay extra to make it happen. But is it worth it for you and your bottom line?
Although the cost used to be high for the service, some big-name companies are making same-day or two-day delivery cheaper. They are utilizing local and regional last-mile delivery services to decrease their turnaround times without decreasing their profits.
Our take: A little investment goes a long way. Offering shorter turnaround times means higher customer satisfaction and may not end up costing you a ton. Whether you’re in manufacturing or warehousing (or both!), in a climate where customer reviews are so important, this may well be worth it.
Trend 2: DIY Last-Mile Deliveries
In the manufacturing and warehousing industry, you have two options when it comes to providing fulfillment: outsourcing to a last-mile delivery service or trying to do the deliveries yourself. Insourcing with your own staff and trucks to deliver packages nearby is the obvious answer, right? Slow down.
Don’t forget to add in the costs of insuring your own fleet and employees if you choose to insource as opposed to just hiring a third party to deliver your packages. These companies are experts in what they do, and already have these insurances for themselves, as well as your products.
Our take: You might want to tap the brakes on making a decision until we can get together and figure out which service makes the best sense for you.
Trend 3: Unconventional Logistics Experimentation
Here are three logistics methods that you are going to be hearing a lot about for years to come: drones, driverless vehicles and robots. And as strange as it is to believe, you will probably be using one or two of these services sooner than later once they get the kinks out.
Drones have limitations on what they can carry, and each municipality has its own rules about drones and their airspace. Driverless vehicles have already experienced wrecks, and potential technology glitches on the road present a whole new host of problems. And robots? They take away the customer service aspect.
Our take: While each of these technologies have their downfalls, they all certainly have positives, too! Figuring out early on how one or two of them can help your manufacturing or warehousing business will help you stay ahead of the curve and may even put you ahead of your competitors.
Trend 4: Reducing Safety Concerns
Everyone wants everything faster, faster, faster! As we see companies striving to decrease their turnaround time, more accidents and harmful mistakes could happen due to the increased pace. This includes on the road, in the warehouse and even online.
The hurry-up factor, the untested automation factor and the untrained employees factor will all equal more safety issues – not to mention an issue that’s growing as fast as technology itself: cybersecurity.
Our take: Ensure you are protecting yourself, and your employees, against these potential risks with clearly defined procedures, training for heavy equipment like forklifts, and proper cybersecurity. Newcastle Systems has a great blog post about information for employee safety, as well.
Trend 5: Regional Warehousing Construction
OK, if everyone is looking for better methods to get packages to your front door, guess what else they’ll need? A location to distribute packages to delivery drivers. And that means warehouses.
This means that companies are beginning to build more regional warehouses and fewer major warehousing hubs.
Our take: That’s great news for you because smaller regional warehouses are easier to get approved and constructed, which means you can get your products and services out the door faster. Interested in hearing more about this model? We’d be happy to chat with you about it!
KEEPING YOU A STEP AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
No one knows this region – and your business – better than Seacoast Bank. When you’re ready to take the next step, we’re ready to go the extra mile for you.