Warehouse Basics Blog

Solutions for carriers when a delivery problem occurs

Posted by Ken Watkins on Mon, Aug 30, 2010 @ 04:05 PM

Carriers would all agree that when the wheels are not turning, revenue is not being generated.  The biggest problems facing carriers are distressed loads. Distressed loads can be as small as the driver missed their appointment to as big as the load shifted in transit and the consignee has refused to unload the load.  All of these delays create heart ache for dispatchers and drivers.  In this tough economy delays add up to costly expenses and loss in revenue.

*Refused by consignee                                         **Ready for delivery

distress load, cross dockingcool storage atlanta, distribution services atlanta

The best solution for the dispatcher is that they have a reliable warehouse in the area that can correct the problem.  The warehouse has to be flexible and reliable offering a variety of labor and equipment to complete the work and keep the costs as low as possible.  A great warehouse will ask questions over the phone to determine what the problem is with the load.  If the problem is simply a missed appointment, a great warehouse will charge a fee to handle the product into their warehouse and offer transportation to redeliver the load at the newly scheduled time.  This is usually done as a cross dock service, which elimates the need to charge a storage fee. This service allows the company driver to be on their way to get the next load that is waiting on them.  If the problem is the load has shifted the great warehouse will ask questions over the phone to determine what will be involved.  Once the driver arrives, the warehouse will take pictures and email them to the dispatcher.  The warehouse will then estimate the charges to rework the shifted load and the time to complete so that the dispatcher can make a determination whether to keep the driver on the load or allow the local warehouse to deliver the load.  At the end of the day the warehouse partner you choose should provide a flexible, reliable solution.

                       distressed load, shifted load, atlanta warehouse



Tags: warehousing distribution, warehousing, third party logistics

Customer Service...Why is it so hard to find?

Posted by Ken Watkins on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 @ 11:47 AM

Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. It is even more important when providing a service, such as third party logistics.  You can offer promotions and slash prices to bring in as many new customers as you want, but unless you can get some of those customers to come back, your business won’t be profitable for long.

Good customer service is all about bringing customers back. And about sending them away happy – happy enough to pass positive feedback about your business along to others, who may then try the product or service you offer for themselves and in their turn become repeat customers.

Here's a collection of inspirational Customer Service Quotes.

To my customer.
I may not have the answer, but I’ll find it.
I may not have the time, but I’ll make it.


If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends.
If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.


The Customer is King.

There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.

Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it.
It is what the client or customer gets out of it.


Do what you do so well that they will
want to see it again and bring their friends.


If we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will.

Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify!


Customers don’t expect you to be perfect.
They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.


Give trust, and you'll get it double in return

The quality of our work depends on the quality of our people.

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing
is what we do for others.


The goal as a company is to have customer service that is
not just the best, but legendary.


Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

Being on par in terms of price and quality only gets you into the game.
Service wins the game.


People expect good service but few are willing to give it.

Well done is better than well said.

To my customer.
I may not have the answer, but I’ll find it.
I may not have the time, but I’ll make it.


Here is a simple but powerful rule - always give people
more than what they expect to get.


In business you get what you want by giving other people what they want.

You’ll never have a product or price advantage again.
They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied.


Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.

Customer service is not a department, it's an attitude!
UNKNOWN (Submitted by Mandy)

The way to gain a good reputation,
is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.




Tags: warehousing, third party logistics

Warehouse Distribution top 5 pricing guidelines

Posted by Tom Turner on Tue, Aug 03, 2010 @ 04:09 PM

When looking to price warehousing distribution services, there are 5 critical areas to keep in mind:


1. Storage...there are typically 2 types of storage pricing...the initial storage is the 1st time entry of the goods into the warehouse...this can be figured through split month if the product comes in on the 1st of the month thru the 15th you should expect to pay a full months rent...if however, the products arrive from the 16h thru the 31st of the month you should figure on paying half a month's rent.  Some companies might average the days or use a formula of 75% of the recurring monthly rent.

The second type of storage charges are called recurring, that is whatever number of the unit of measure, cases, pallets, sacks, totes, or whatever you agree on is billed for the quantity stored on the 1st day of each new month following the original entry. 


Things to watch out for are:  product arrives on the 14th of the month and goes out on the 1st day of the new month...you are paying 2 months rent for 16-17 days storage...timing is everything.  If you hold off one more day...you could save a half month of rent...or at least you have something to negotiate...


Handling charges...these charges cover the inbound and outbound handling of the goods.  Again, back to the unit of measure you agree on.  What are some items that impact the handling price....weight, size, stackability (bulk or rack storage) number of SKU's (stock keeping units) and number and complexity of the times the product wil need to be touched.  Whether product is handled by hand, pallet jack, or special forklift with specialized attachment.


Order entry / Admin costs:  Typically the cost associated with handling all the Bill-of-lading, to phone calls, faxes, emails, scans, and paper shuffling.  End of day reports, parcel and LTL shipments with tracing and tracking numbers all have an impact on the price.  Complexity, and information technology can either add to the price or minimize "fat fingering" info into the database.  Watch out for the pesky transaction fees, they can add up very quickly.  If you require web visibility of your inventory management, typically the costs will sometimes get buried in this line item.


Next are accessorial charges...this can be anything and everything from pallets, stretchwrap, banding, UPS charges, phone charges, labeling, inventory cycle counts, and the change in scope...you forgot to tell me about this charge...all-in-all, this becomes a catch-all.  Agree that these charges should only apply if agreed upon in advance.

Last but not least are "Contract terms and conditions"...Net payment terms, 30 day contracts, limits of liability, claim handling, insurance, and extra services.  Ask lots of questions...don't assume anything...

Most contract terms and conditions in the public and contract warehousing business are boilerplate agreements...but keep one eye on the fine print. 

If this still pretty confusing...give us a call @ 404 -346-1848 or email at warehousebasics@gmail.com

We will help you anyway we can...you are the customer...demand nothing but the best.

Tags: warehousing distribution, warehouse pricing, storage, handling, contract warehousing