Retail Compliance becoming tougher on Vendors02 Nov 2016, by Blog, Logistics Outsourcing, LTL Freight in
Retailing has changed a lot in the past 10 years, and there is pressure for companies to constantly be looking for ways to do better, sell more, and cut costs. Not surprisingly, some of this focus on performance and cost savings gets placed squarely onto suppliers and their carriers. The result is retailers being tougher than ever on their vendors when it comes to delivery compliance and charge-backs.
The problem for suppliers is that, for better or worse, it’s the retailer who has the power when it comes to setting the rules. The penalties a supplier faces for non-compliance when delivering product can be significant and include fees for any number of violations such as late arrivals, errors on paperwork, or incorrect packaging.
This is the reality for suppliers and carriers today and the margin of error for both has shrunk to almost nothing. This means suppliers and their carriers need to operate at their best when it comes to delivering to retailers.
The first place to start is, of course, making sure you know the rules of the consignees you are delivering to. Then, work with transportation partners and carriers who know the retail business and what’s at stake with every shipment. It’s amazing how many problems and charge-backs go away when you have a 3PL partner who knows the retail industry and the tricks behind working with the receiving dock.
Another important step is having documented internal processes for covering the basic things like making delivery appointments or following rules for ASN’s (Advanced Shipping Notification). Implementing an internal quality assurance process to check for compliance before product leaves your dock is another effective way to head off issues before they happen.
If you are experiencing production delays or other problems let your carriers know in advance. It can help them plan for alternate modes of delivery or make other arrangements to speed things up when time is an issue.
Ultimately it’s your responsibility as a supplier to know and adhere to your customer’s requirements. Fortunately these can be easily overcome by having experienced transportation partners to help you meet even the toughest rules your retail customers may put in place.
If managing your retail partners complinace demands are an issue for you, and a conversation is worth having, then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org