Food and beverage distribution can be a costly process. Whether you handle it in-house or outsource distribution to a trusted third-party logistics (3PL) company, reducing your expenses is often a primary goal. But, how can you decrease your food distribution costs? One of the best ways to save money and improve efficiency is by working with a logistics provider making technological advancements a priority. By incorporating the latest tech into your supply chain, you can reduce food distribution costs and keep more money in your pocket to dedicate to growing your business. Here are a few ways 3PL companies use new technology to save their customers’ money.
Use Dashboards for Real-Time Inventory Tracking
Online dashboards are one of the most effective tools 3PL companies provide to their clients. Real-time tracking allows you to have greater control over your inventory by providing continuous monitoring and reporting. Our customer portal at PRISM Logistics enables clients to view product orders and delivery status in real-time remotely. We scan products as soon as they enter our facilities and again at every “touch point” so customers can view their products and manage their inventory right from their workplaces.
Detailed inventory management is key to saving costs and preventing costly damage to cargo. Customers can use the information provided via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) to identify gaps in the supply chain and make immediate adjustments to ensure their products arrive on time and in good condition. This capability is crucial for maintaining customer satisfaction and safety, which is especially important when dealing with perishable foods. These secure systems can also provide much-needed peace of mind to clients, so they can rest easy knowing their products are in good hands.
Reduce Waste and Spoilage
Food waste is a widespread–and costly problem within the supply chain. With so many steps involved in getting food from farms and manufacturers into the hands of consumers, there are a lot of risk points where products can spoil or become damaged. But with new technology, you can make your distribution procedures part of the solution.
Proper inventory tracking is one of the best ways to reduce waste. Automated inventory management software can help save money by keeping track of inventory more accurately. Some 3PL distribution centers use sensors, RFID tags, cameras, and other advanced warehouse technology to track the movement of products throughout their facilities.
A smart refrigeration system that monitors temperature more accurately than older systems can help reduce spoilage, too. They provide accurate readings on temperatures inside each refrigerated unit so you can ensure food is being stored properly without the risk of spoilage.
A few other ways tech can reduce waste and save money include:
- Improving traceability and transparency in the supply chain
- Automating data collection and analysis
- Optimizing transportation routes and identifying potential risks
- Continuous monitoring for food safety risks like cross-contamination
Ensure Compliance with Regulatory Standards
Food distribution is a complex and highly regulated industry, with a number of federal, state, and independent agencies setting regulations and standards for food safety. These standards protect consumers from receiving potentially harmful food and beverages, and they guard companies against the harm to reputations and profits that come with selling defective products. Some of these organizations include the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Food distributors need advanced technology solutions to comply with the rules and regulations, and ensure their facilities are clean and safe. Tools like logistics management software and smart sensors can ensure food is handled properly and stored safely. The cost benefits of compliance speak for themselves:
- Ensure better quality control over products being shipped out
- Reduce the risk of fines from government agencies
- Improve customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Creates less waste at every step in the production process
At PRISM Logistics, we maintain the highest standards in food safety and compliance. Our facilities are ISO: 9001 certified, certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI), and FDA registered and compliant.
Have a Quick Response in Case of an Emergency
No matter how good your food supply chain management is, issues and accidents are bound to pop up. Advanced warehouse technology can even help 3PL companies quickly respond to errors and emergencies before they cause expensive damage. A quick response to a crisis means you will be able to avoid any significant disruption in the flow of food products, which can keep your customers happy and protect your products too.
Tech-based inventory tracking and monitoring systems will allow logistics providers to identify and resolve problems as soon as they arise. No matter if a pallet ends up in the wrong spot or a truck is delayed, the right tech tools can alert workers to any issues so they can find a solution quickly.
Manage Billing with Ease
If you’re working with a logistics company, fast and transparent billing is essential to saving costs. And the key to effective billing is using the right tools for the job. 3PLs save you time and money by using online invoicing software and Electronic Data Interchange to streamline the process. With this type of software, there’s no need for paper invoices, which can easily get lost in the mail or on desks and accrue late fees. Instead, clients can see exactly what they’re charged for and pay invoices from their computers.
At PRISMLogistics, our simple management software allows us to manage invoicing easily. Our fast billing is sent out electronically when handling is finished, even if the process is completed after hours or at night. This makes it easy for our clients to review and pay in a timely manner.
Advanced technology in 3PL facilities can help manage your inventory, customers, and costs with ease. Inventory monitoring, smart technology, and automated processes can all help distribution centers run more efficiently and avoid costly mistakes. Efficient operations and streamlined workflows translate to lower food distribution costs for customers.
Real-time inventory tracking, reduced food waste, regulatory compliance, and fast billing management can help with lowering and saving costs. At PRISM Logistics, we always keep up with the latest technology to provide better service for our customers. To learn more about our outstanding, cutting-edge food distribution services, contact us today!