There are several attributes that are greatly desirable in the warehousing world, and the top of the list is transparency. Transparency, especially in co-packing and warehousing, is fundamental for good business practices. If a company is outsourcing the packaging and distribution of its product to an entirely different entity, there is a natural amount of hesitation involved. The only way to alleviate these nerves is to be upfront at every turn.
IFS takes special care to make sure its warehousing practices are as transparent as possible. Being known as a trustworthy and transparent company is worth its weight in gold to any brand. The success and reputation of a brand are directly linked. Having return customers and good word of mouth is a reliable path to success. The importance of transparency cannot be undersold, particularly in warehousing.
The first step to true transparency, in business and in life, is communication. Effective communication includes quick and concise responses and well-informed responses. Having a role, like a client solutions analyst for IFS, on the floor helps with troubleshooting the onboarding process for each client. A client solution analyst will set up project trackers, including milestones and any foreseeable issues, and create a link between client and company. Having this kind of liaison in place is the easiest way to promote clear communication and transparency. Not only does this kind of communication help keep the client abreast, but it can also help to reveal shortcomings on the operational side, like reducing redundancies.
Communication creates a good relationship between customers and businesses. Secret keeping and covering tracks never works in the long term, and always comes back in the end. Honesty in how companies and clients communicate will create better business relationships. Being a warehousing company with a reputation for open channels of communication is a good spot to be in. This element of transparency might seem simple enough, but proper communication does require dedication and commitment. Promoting communication at every level of business, internal and between analyst and client, will not only improve a business’s reputation but their day-to-day productivity as well.
Modeling is a price structuring tool that is the pinnacle of transparency in business. When setting up a model all variables are taken into account. For warehousing and co-packing these price variables include things like whether the order is palletized, or needs to be palletized, the count of the entire order, what exactly needs to be picked, and the like. Additionally, on the warehousing side, things like inbound and outbound handling and storage of completed orders must be taken into account. All of these costs are compiled into a model and the proper rate is tabulated and presented to the client. Even if these prices are a simple estimate and subject to change, customers know where they stand.
Pricing and money are huge components and outsourcing in general, everyone wants to know what they’re paying for. Modeling allows for that level of transparency. There are no questions and no surprises when a model is in use because everything is taken into account and presented in black and white. Warehousing and co-packing can come with all kinds of hidden costs, the best way to get ahead of that stigma and be completely transparent is through modeling.
Short of actually being on the floor, reporting is the best way for clients to keep tabs on their orders. For IFS, dashboard reporting is tracking essentially everything that happens in the warehouse and beyond. Inputs and outputs, orders received and shipped, orders picked, and any discrepancies that pop up along the way are all tracked and reported on.
Customers have access to their data through a personalized dashboard that gives them the data they need to make decisions without having to be directly connected to the operation. Customers can track their orders either on the granular level or as an overall order, depending on their preference. To simplify, companies can track each and every step their order takes, from who has their hands on what and movement throughout the entire process, or just the big milestones. These analytics are compiled into user-friendly tracking dashboards that can be accessed by both client and company. At IFS, all of this information is updated in real-time to be as transparent as possible. IFS also reports on any potential delays from the jump, so there are no surprises or misunderstandings.
Having access to all of this will help clients prepare on their end. If they know a shipment is due soon, or that a delay is expected, they will prep their sales teams or make any necessary adjustments. Reporting on every aspect of the process is true transparency, and more than that promotes accountability. Giving clients access to everything that happens in the warehouse can seem risky, but withholding information or making false promises will always fail.
A transparent approach in a warehouse setting makes for happier and more at ease clients. Partnering with a co-packer or warehouse can sometimes be a risk, but being a company that doesn’t shy away from communication will always help your brand. Transparency not only helps create better company/client relationships but also has the potential to provide information that can improve internal functions.
Transparency in warehousing is the best way to create a stellar relationship, understand your own business better, and keep a machine well-oiled.
To learn more about our warehousing services, speak to a specialist!