If you are a business that gets its raw materials shipped from overseas, you definitely understand the importance of inventory management. There is no debate in saying that effective inventory management is crucial for staying competitive and profitable. However, inventory management is a gruesome and time-demanding task and despite the availability of cutting-edge technologies, many enterprises, both small and large still struggle to manage their inventories efficiently.
The lack of expert in-house inventory management specialists is the premier reason why many enterprises fail to properly take on critical aspects that include ordering, restocking, storing, and inventory forecasting. This is why businesses have turned to 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) for inventory management.
Professional supply chain companies provide inventory management services that are backed with experience and cutting-edge technologies that help businesses prosper.
Here are some benefits of outsourcing your inventory management:
Real-Time Inventory Counts
Many 3PL provide you with real-time counts. This can help you track your manufacturing and sales in real-time, and spot potential losses and leakages. This can also help you prepare for the future and predict if your current stock is optimized for future needs.
With the help of professional consultancy, you’ll be able to produce and deliver the right quantity of products that can easily cater to your customer base rather than overproduction or underproduction that can cause your troubles.
Reduced Operational Cost
The upfront cost to establish an efficient inventory management department may require hundreds and thousands of dollars. For startups and companies with low revenue, putting up an inventory management infrastructure may mean comprising on other areas such as marketing, or packaging, etc.
3PL partners have already invested in infrastructure development that provides the most cost-effective solutions. Moreover, they have expertise, knowledge and the skill to optimize transportation, reduce operational costs, and provide better inventory management.
Partnering up with a 3PL also provides you with peace of mind as they take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of your inventory. This is a big advantage and a wise move to make your supply chains more resilient and risk-free.
They provide insurance coverage and also estimate the financial impact of possible losses and develop mitigation contingency plans against events such as theft and natural disasters.
Focus on Other Business Aspects
It’s hard for a small business to be good at everything. There are always certain strengths and weaknesses and if inventory management is an area where you seem to be not doing well, let the experts handle the depart. This will let you focus on your core competencies and utilize your strengths to the fullest level.
Inventory Management is a time-draining task and by outsourcing, you can utilize those precious hours on other important aspects such as marketing, customer support, PR, and innovating your products and services. Focus on your core competencies and make your company more productive.
Your Global Sourcing Partner. With our deep understanding of global sourcing, we supply B2B industrial and consumer products with centralized procurement and high delivery precision. Get in touch today!
90% of the world trade is carried by sea. Maritime transport is the most cost-effective way to mobilize goods and raw materials around the world. However, maritime transportation of goods takes a lot of time and if you want to get your goods shipped ASAP, air freight seems like the obvious choice.
Despite how appealing it seems, air shipping is not always that convenient. We are listing four important things that you must know about air freight.
Air Freight May Not Always Get Goods Delivered ASAP
Time is the most important factor why many businesses decide to choose air freight over sea freight. However, air transport is not always reliable as the air traffic is very vulnerable to weather conditions. Flights get delayed when the weather is not certain. Since air traffic can be affected by adverse weather conditions, you must always be prepared for unexpected delays.
It Can Get More Costly Than You Think
Many business owners realize that air transport is costly but often find themselves asking, “How costly can it really be?” Well, it turns out that it’s very expensive and can get 10 times to 100 times more expensive than maritime transport. Airfreight is regarded as the most expensive mode of shipping. Air freight rates are so high that it usually isn’t practical for transporting low-value products.
Be Careful With the Packaging
If you are shipping internationally, your cargo is going to have to be properly packed for the long, arduous journey. Many business professionals believe that air shipping is totally safe for the cargo but it’s important to remember that just like ocean shipping, your cargo is going to be handled by different people multiple times during transloading and other operations. So it’s imperative that you put in the time and money to make sure that it’s packaged properly. It is wise to apply ample amounts of padding and add more protective layers to give your cargo the extra cushioning it needs.
Air Freight Isn’t Very Eco-friendly
Lately, we have seen large corporations taking on “green” initiatives as there has been a great deal of scrutiny on businesses to pledge to sustainability with more eco-friendly operations. While major environmental risks such as oil spills are also associated with oceanic transport, the carbon emissions in air freight are guaranteed. Air transportation poses a more consistent threat to the environment so if your business has or wants to create an impression of eco-friendliness, air freight is certainly not a wise choice.
About Blink Global
BlinkGlobal is your next Global Sourcing Partner. We excel at B2B industrial and consumer products with centralized procurement and precise delivery. We are ready to help you make the right decision, get in touch with us today!
Maritime transport is crucial to the world economy and global supply chains as over 90 of world trade is carried by sea. Maritime transport is the most cost-effective way to mobilize goods and raw materials around the world.
At Blink Global, we provide our clients with all types of freight options but for shipment over 100lbs, we recommend our clients to opt for ocean freight. It is the cheapest and the best option as shipping by sea scales well. For instance, a shipment of X lbs might cost you Y$; whereas a shipment weighing 100X lbs might cost you only 20Y$, making it the best option for transporting in bulk.
However, for someone who is new to international trading, ocean freight may appear a little intimidating. In this article, we are addressing 3 of the most common and pressing concerns that our clients have about ocean freight.
You Don’t Need to Book a Full Container
This is a basic concern that many people have. There are two types of options in maritime logistics: LCL and FCL. FCL, or a full container load, is a shipment process where you get a full exclusive container for a single shipment. In FCL, your cargo space is not shared by any other cargo. However, in LCL you do not get an exclusive container, instead, you pay for the share of the space you use. With LCL, you are not required to book for a full 20 or 40-foot capacity container.
Customs Clearance at Ports Isn’t That Complicated
Many people believe that customs clearance at seaports is way too complicated compared to airports. A good freighting partner such as Blink Global will make sure that you meet all of the legalities, have adequate clearance documents, and have paid all the necessary fees beforehand. Meeting all of these simple pre-reqs will ensure a smooth passage of goods from the port authorities.
Pricing is Not Complicated
Calculating ocean freight is in fact easier than air freight or land freight. LCL shipments can be expensive in terms of price per unit. However, since you are not required to book a full container, you can ship limited goods at a fair price. For LCL shipments, the freight is calculated in terms of the volume your shipment will acquire (for exceptions like fragile or extremely lightweight cargo, the pricing may be different). For FCL, you have to pay a flat price for the container.
About Blink Global
We’re your Global Sourcing Partner. With our deep understanding of global sourcing, we supply B2B industrial and consumer products with centralized procurement and high delivery precision. Get in touch with us TODAY!
Freight and cargo is the most widely used terms in the business and commerce sectors. Many entrepreneurs confuse freight with cargo and vice versa. Generally, the two terms can be used interchangeably, but in supply chains, the two terms cannot be cut from the same cloth as it may cause confusion.
In this post, we are going to compare freight and cargo. What both terms stand for and the differences and similarities between them.
The term cargo refers to the shipping of goods and supplies via sea or air. Cargos are usually sent on ships and planes. For a certain shipment to be classified as “cargo” it has to travel over large bodies of water, meaning going from one continent to another. Cargo vessels and planes are meticulously designed to carry bulk quantities of goods and raw materials across the world. The term cargo is often used when discussing international shipping.
As opposed to “cargo,” the term freight refers to the shipping of goods and supplies via roads or railroads. This shipping typically uses tractors, trucks, and railroads, hence the terms freight truck and freight trains. For a shipment to be classified as freight, it has to remain on the land. While some goods may be moved across a country via air, it resorts to being freight as it resumes travel overland.
The Term Air Freight
As we mentioned earlier, goods are classified as freight when they travel across the land but lately, we have also seen professionals using the terms “air freight” and“sea freight,” which is also commonly accepted as correct usage. This is primarily because the term freight is also used for the payment when certain goods are being transported.
It must be noted that mail cannot be classified as freight as it generally does not include commercial goods. The right term for mail, whether it be bundles of letters or packages or parcels, is cargo. Mail is never referred to as freight, whether it is transported via air, land, or sea.
Difference Between Cargo & Freight
The main difference between the two is the medium and vehicle of transportation. Cargo is usually moved by large vehicles, such as vessels and cargo aircraft, whereas frights are usually moved by smaller vehicles such as trucks and vans. Like we mentioned earlier, the term freight also refers to the cost/payment of the goods being moved from here to there, cargo does not refer to anything else except goods or products.
Freight Solutions by Blink Global
Ocean freight is the most cost-effective solution for shipment on a large scale. At Blink Global, we have partnered with the world’s leading shipping and container transportation companies to provide you the most efficient, reliable, and cost-effective services. Get in touch with us today!
There is no debate in saying that the benefits of international sourcing are endless. Manufacturing capabilities that sometimes are unavailable domestically and availability to cutting-edge technologies that exist in certain markets make international sourcing a wise choice.
However, with great opportunities come great risks. Owing to the rapid changes in the global market environment, potential risks and uncertainties are now also part of the game. It is very important that you understand these risks, make a scientific assessment, and then analyze if international sourcing is the right choice for your business.
So what are the common risks and dilemmas? How can organizations minimize these risks and optimize the benefits of international sourcing without jeopardizing their investments and supply chains?
Unexpected Delay in Shipping:
Various factors can cause expected delays in shipping. Shipment delays can pose some of the most serious constraints to business operations. The most common factors include vessel delays, disruption in logistics, as well as lack of coordination of the freight. If you are transporting via sea, be prepared for things like bad weather, shortage of space in the vessel, and port congestion.
Solutions include advanced planning and not relying on the vendor-provided ETA but calculating the expected delivery time yourself. Calculate the probable transit time considering the possible delay factors such as weather conditions, holidays in various parts of the world and then make a plan based on the evaluated factors. Experts suggest adding at least one week to the expected transit time as a provision to the unexpected delays.
Quality assurance remains the biggest concern as you cannot monitor and manage the manufacturing process in a foreign land. If the supplier compromises on product quality, your whole investment can go down the drain. Quality risks can occur due to serval reasons such as lack of communication and misunderstanding. It’s not that suppliers overseas are some fraudsters ready to rob you but it’s often the lack of communication that results in unintended consequences.
One way to evaluate the supplier’s capacity to meet your quality requirements is by asking for a physical product sample prior to placing a real order. Many suppliers volunteer sampling requests as it demonstrates their seriousness and depicts that they are truly up to the task. You can also consider virtual product samples. It can either be a 2D rendered image created in Photoshop or sophisticated 3D product samples that can be tested in a digital environment.
International sourcing is a popular choice because it is cost-effective but there are certain hidden cost factors that you must be prepared for. The most common is the fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate. Moreover, the cost of delays, losses in transit, an unexpected rise in transaction costs, contract management costs, legal discrepancies, and many other factors can contribute to the rising costs of international sourcing.
The best way to counter cost risks to sit with an expert or someone involved in international sourcing and do in-depth research of the suppliers across various locations. Take time and develop a deep understanding of the process and spot all underlying cost risks. Moreover, it’s always wise to spare a margin for unexpected expenses.
BlinkGlobal – Your International Sourcing Partner
It’s wise to partner with a reliable sourcing company as they have import and export agents that have expertise in cost reduction and quality assurance. With our deep understanding of global sourcing, we supply B2B industrial and consumer products with centralized procurement and high delivery precision. BlinkGlobal is ready to help you!
Value chain and supply chain are two of the most widely used jargon in the business and commerce sectors. Many entrepreneurs confuse value chains with supply chains and vice versa. The difference between the two is apparently very subtle but there is a big difference.
In this post, we are going to look at value chains and supply chains. What both terms stand for and the differences and similarities between the two terms.
In a nutshell, Supply Chain refers to the integration of all operations involved in the process of manufacturing, sourcing, procurement, conversion, logistics, and warehouse management. Supply chain activities comprise the flow of information, products, and funds between all the stages of creating and selling a product. From procurement to management to logistics, every step is a part of the company’s supply chain.
It’s important for any organization to keep their supply chains moving as disruptions can have major repercussions. Here are the major functions of supply chains.
- Raw products procurements
- Product development
- Resource Management
At its very base, the primary concern of supply chain management is to effectively manage the supply and demand equilibrium while delivering the products at the right time, place, and at the right cost. Proper supply chain management can help organizations reduce consumer costs and increase their overall profits.
In a nutshell, value chain refers to a series of business operations and creative measures that an organization takes to add value and utility to the goods and services offered by the firm. The concept of value chain comes from both a branding and business management perspective. The process involves experimentation, interpretation, and improvisation to cut back on the shortages and work with people involved at different stages of the chain.
Value chain tends to be traced in the opposite direction to the supply chain. Value chain essentially flows in reserve to supply chain starting from end customers and going all the way up to the manufacturing and procurement of raw materials. Here are some major functions of supply chains.
- Finding new and better raw material
- Innovate and improve manufacturing processes
- Simply packaging
- Improve delivery
- Quality assurance
Spotting shortcomings and maximizing the new opportunities can help any organization have a competitive edge over players in the industry
The Main Difference between Value Chain & Supply chain
In simple layman’s terms, the ultimate difference between a supply chain and a value chain is the most apparent fact that supply chains do not involve value addition. The supply chain is all about keeping the supply and demand cycle optimized whereas value chains are about optimizing the supply chain for quality and adding value to make the products more presentable and resourceful for the clients.
About Blink Global
Your Global Sourcing Partner. With our deep understanding of global sourcing, we supply B2B industrial and consumer products with centralized procurement and high delivery precision. We are ready to help you make the right decision with our Price Audit Services. Get an estimate today!
Much like international relations, international procurement is a matter of cost and benefits. When you decide to buy from overseas, your only objective is to benefit from the competitive markets existing in other parts of the world. Harvard Business Review says that certain countries have an inherent advantage in succeeding in particular industries. This is because their home environment favors those industries.
However, international buying can be very challenging and involves a lot of risks as every country has its subjective way of doing business. It can be very different from how things are done in your home. Amongst other risks, quality assurance remains the biggest concern as you cannot monitor and manage the manufacturing process in a foreign land. It’s wise to partner up with a reliable sourcing company as they have import and export agents that have expertise in cost reduction and quality assurance. Otherwise, you have to be extra vigilant to ensure that you are delivered what you were promised.
Here are some tips to ensure quality when buying from overseas.
An important part of selecting suppliers is to first make sure that they can provide what your business needs and what you want to achieve, rather than just picking suppliers who want to sell you. A good way to get a reliable supplier is by seeking recommendations from your business acquaintances or you can also look for online reviews about different suppliers. Your business acquaintances are likely to give you an honest review of the quality management and the strengths and weaknesses of that supplier.
Ask for Product Samples
One way to gauge the supplier’s capacity to cater to your quality requirements is by asking for a physical product sample before placing a real order. Most of the suppliers cater to sample requests as it demonstrates their seriousness and depicts that they are truly up to the task. If the supplier is unable to send samples as it’s expensive to ship smaller quantities of products, you can consider virtual product samples. It can either be a 2D rendered image created in Photoshop or sophisticated 3D product samples that can be tested in a digital environment.
Ask for quotes from various suppliers. If a quote from a certain supplier is too good to be true, you may need to think twice about that deal. What would you expect from a steak priced at $4? The supplier that is quoting way too low is likely going to compromise on quality. This may not be the case always but we recommend that you be extra careful with suppliers that offer unreal quotes.
Communicate Communicate Communicate
Once a supplier is on board, make sure there is no communication gap. Talk to their representative regularly and tell them about your expectations. Deploy a technical member of your team on the communication front. Talk to the supplier’s engineers and relay your requirements clearly. Language can often be an issue when buying overseas so make sure that both parties (you and the supplier) can easily understand every detail.
Never Pay Everything Upfront
Many suppliers offer discounts on paying the total amount upfront but if you are dealing with a certain supplier for the first time, it’s better to obtain credit terms from the supplier. It will encourage the supplier to ensure quality and make the deliveries on time. While developing the contract, clearly mention the specifications and expectations.
Talk to the Experts:
At Blink Global, we provide sourcing consultancy. We have agents in all parts of the world to give you access to the leading suppliers and get the best rates. Contact us for more information.