For many distributors, the cost of shipping from the manufacturer can be expensive. But if you're focused on when the manufacturer will ship it, that doesn't give them much flexibility in providing lower cost options. Shifting to a need-by date rather than a ship-by date can provide the manufacturer with latitude to determine the most cost-effective way to ship the order to meet that need, says Doug Savage, owner of Bearing Service Inc., Livonia, MI, in Why LTL May Be A Better Option.
"If I say an item needs to be shipped on UPS on Tuesday, knowing that UPS will get it to me on Friday, I will pay the cost of parcel delivery," Savage says. "What I may not know is letting the manufacturer ship it LTL (less-than-truckload) on Monday night could get it to me by Friday as well but at a third of the cost."
Re-evaluating shipping options and processes to get product from the manufacturer to the distributor can lead to significant savings and, even more importantly, improve your own customer service.