On Time Distributions: Supply Chain Logistics
Hello and welcome to On Time Distributions! We are a proud distribution company based in Carson, California. It is with great pleasure that we serve major retailers by distributing their goods throughout the United States. Our job, in its most simple definition, is to transport, store, and distribute various garments that were imported from overseas. So, the next time you wear a t-shirt, perhaps you may think a little differently of how it ended up in your possession.
The American-Trade Economy
The reality of it is, most of the clothes you wear on a day-to-day basis are manufactured and shipped from other countries. ‘American made’ is a rarity, which means that most of the garments you wear are imported from somewhere else. In fact, America is known as an import-dominant nation, which means we import (purchase) far more than we export (produce). It was estimated that in just 2015, America imported $2.4 trillion in goods. Of course, we exported roughly $1.6 trillion in goods to other countries, however, that still means there is over a trillion dollars in the deficit between importing and exporting services. Because we bring in outside items into the United States, some could argue that we are overly dependent on other nations. Due to the fact that most of our products are shipped to us from overseas, we are not as equipped to manufacture our own goods. The US relies on the top three trade allies (China, the EU, and Germany) to obtain the goods we need to eat, clean, and clothe ourselves. China is one of the most prominent trade connection we have as a country. America exchanged $506 billion in goods from China in 2017 — which was an increase from the previous years.
What Does it Mean to Be an Importing Nation?
Being an importation-dependant nation is a big deal, mainly because that means that most of our goods come from a different country and has terms to each trade. For example, there are taxes on many of these incoming goods. In 2018, President-elect Donald Trump announced that his administration would be implementing protectionist trade measures by adding $30 billion in new duties to China, our largest trade partner from machinery goods to garments. In 2017, the US taxed China $13.5 billion in tariffs for imported products. Much of the worry with these imposed tariffs is that an eventual full-scale trade war will occur with China. For example, if America raises trade tariffs, China will follow suit.
Today, America relies on China, but also other countries for everyday products. From the manufacturing table to your home, most of the products you use have been shipped overseas. Distribution companies are primarily responsible for making sure all products are accounted for and removed from large shipping containers. Once extracted from the loading docks, distributors must then house and later distribute those goods to their needed destinations. Due to our import-dominant style of commerce, America relies not only on foreign countries for goods, but also in-country distribution companies as well.
Why Does it Matter?
The fact that we are such an import-strong nation is why distribution businesses like us exist. Without companies organizing pick up, storage, and transportation of imported goods, trading would be complete chaos. America depends on smart companies, such as On Time Distribution, to take in products, organize them, and distribute them to their intended destinations. Any time you pick up a blouse at a major retailer, a distribution company made sure that the item you are holding made it from a shipping container to your location. The process is a lot more complex than it sounds, especially when you consider how many retailers are out there and how many shipments they require on a daily basis.
Distribution of Goods
A distributing company must first have a complete list of all the expected containers they will receive in the loading bay. Some companies will offer retailers full-carton distribution services or other, more hands-on distribution services. Full-carton distribution services strictly refers to when a shipment is received and transported without any manipulation of the contents inside it. This genre of distribution can be beneficial to retail companies that are more particular about their garments and how they are unpacked from the container.
On Time Distribution can handle both full-carton distributions, as well as other more complex delivery options. For example, our company can manage other tasks, such as unpacking your container, dividing items by genre, hanging or folding garments, and so much more!
Though distribution services sound simple in their definition, they are actually very complex and involve many intricate moving parts in order to perform smoothly. Retail businesses require an intense amount of organization in order to estimate how many products they need to manufacture, how many were originally made, how many were shipped, and how many items made it to the final store location. Searching for small discrepancies is a retailer’s job, as well as one of the distributor’s responsibilities. At On Time, Distribution, we offer quality control (QC) services to all of our customers. In this task, we account for all items sent to us and all materials taken from our warehouse to the store of the retailer’s choosing.
In order to clear the air on some complex terms in distribution, we would like to further explain what we do as a distribution company. Hopefully, with a little more insight on key terms, you will feel more comfortable with our services and what we can do for you!
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is in reference to a system of organizations, people, and information involved in the movement of products from supplier to customer. Typically, this chain involves products, such as resources, raw materials, and other material goods. On Time Distributions is a piece of a supply chain, and is the “middle man” between the manufacturer and the customer at a retailer’s store.
The term, ‘supply chain management’ wasn’t developed until the 1980s. Suppliers are the ‘beginning’ of the chain that provides the products customers will eventually purchase. The basic idea of SCM is that businesses “involve themselves in a supply chain by exchanging information about market fluctuation and production capabilities.” This means that businesses will release information to distribution companies in order to help them manage the movement of goods. This information could vary from the demand of a certain product; to how much of a certain product a company needs; to how many items the retailer received from the manufacturer. Businesses allow this information to be released so that distributors can assist with management services, such as monitoring inventory and transportation processes.
Supply chain logistics are responsible for making sure you get the goods you need. Without a supply chain, businesses would have to carry out their distribution processes themselves. This, of course, would add expenses that some retailers would not be able to handle. Just in the transportation of goods, businesses would have to spend millions of dollars on equipment, labor, and even warehouse services. With a distributor to help, the stress of delivering goods to stores doesn’t have to be such a taxing process.
Third-party logistics (3PL) is when companies use a third-party business to outsource portions of the company’s distribution and fulfillment services. These services could vary from quality control to preparing items for transport. Some retailers will demand that certain items be packed in their containers a certain way. In terms of garments, such as blouses, t-shirts, and pants, some companies can specify that they want their items either hung up on hangers or laid out to form a shirt stack. It is up to a distribution center to carry out these specifications and make sure that they meet the retailer’s wishes.
On Time Distributions Incorporated is a third-party logistics business, in that, it is responsible for making sure items from “big retailers” make it safely to a secured warehouse, organized, and later distributed to the retailer’s stores.
3PL providers can vary in the extent of their services as well.
Today, there are four distinct types of third-party logistics genres:
- Standard 3PL
- Service Developer
- Customer Adapter
- Customer Developer
On Time Distributions works with retailers to help transport inventory from the shipping bay to their own private warehouse. On Time is also responsible for any other services, such as “Pick and Pack.”
Pick and pack refers to the service where distributors will open arrived containers and sort the items in it. For example, a shipment could have more than just one item and not all of those items are needed at one specific location. Because of this, distributors are responsible for grouping out inventory and making sure the right products and being transported to the right location.
Why On Time Distribution?
When handling logistic management, you want to rely on a dependable distribution business. Just one container could equate to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Retailers can also function smoothly if their materials are being shipped correctly and distributed on time to their stores. As our name suggests, our business prides itself on being prompt with deliveries. As a retailer, all shipments are on a strict schedule and stores are always in demand for new products. On Time Distribution Inc. is confident in our ability to handle your shipments. Organization is one of our strong suits so being able to account for containers, items, and even specifications on shipments is our specialty.
Aside from our ability to handle a plethora of services, we also provide warehouse storage as well. Our warehouse services can be extremely advantageous for businesses who have fluctuating shipment schedules. For instance, some retailers may not know where a shipment needs to be sent upon a containers arrival. Because of this, a warehouse can be helpful to safely store containers until a location has been agreed on by a retailer’s management board. At our inventory warehouse, we can store many containers safely, and for however long retailers need.
We secure our warehouse with 24-hour surveillance systems as well as round-the-clock security guards. And, not only is our warehouse clearly fenced in, but we also monitor the outer borders of our property by a second monitoring system.
One of the most important benefits to entrusting us with your shipments is our timeliness. We are called “On Time Distributions” for a reason — we are extremely punctual. Best of all, our deliveries are swift and precise. You will never have to worry about our shipments being late to their designated locations. And, if an incident occurs and we are late, we take full responsibility (although we are rarely ever late).
Inventory Management Services
Our inventory control services are useful for businesses who want precise numbers to their shipments. Upon request, our company can open your container and process cycle counts as well as monitor physical inventory. This way, businesses can know the exact quantity of items they received from their manufacturer. As our company sorts and counts specific numbers, retailers can be assured that they received their exact amount of goods. Though discrepancies may seem small compared to the massive scale of total distributions — every penny counts. The only way a business can be efficient is by being certain every cent is being converted into goods. With the help of dependable distribution companies, retailers are better able to access the numbers of goods they receive and pinpoint any discrepancies in shipment orders.
On Time Distributions
At On Time Distribution, we are here to serve both the retailer and their customers. With our help, retailers are able to move their products in a speedy fashion. Also, with fast distribution options, customers are able to purchase their needed item much more quickly, while they are in demand.
If you believe your business could benefit from our company, be sure to contact us. One of our kind representatives will be happy to help you and answer any of your questions. Contact us today!