April 2017 | Sponsored | Thought Leaders

The Advantages of a Pop Up Supply Chain

Tags: 3PL, Transportation, Logistics, Third-Party Logistics, Supply Chain

Stephen Wilson is Senior Director, Unyson, 866-409-9759

Q: How can I keep up with volume surges with minimal disruption?

A: If you find yourself looking at a significant volume surge that is temporary, it is a good time to think about a pop up supply chain. Surges like this can put strain on the current infrastructure you have built and disrupt daily operations. This situation is a common occurrence in the automotive sector, where campaigns to repair or replace vehicle components can cause sudden surges in parts demand. If you follow your established process, you run the risk of stretching your transportation and warehousing beyond their limits, which can put your ability to service the campaign in jeopardy. It can disrupt normal operations to the point that your customers become affected and notice.

Q: Why choose a pop up supply chain?

A: It's helpful to keep in mind that you're not expanding the supply chain for a new normal velocity. Instead, you're temporarily trying to force more through the pipeline, so you want to minimize the amount of damage you do in the process. There's value in bringing in experts in a surge demand environment. Decisions will be made quickly to adjust to changes in demand, and experts accustomed to this type of environment will assist in providing sound advice. A pop up supply chain allows you to handle the surge without impacting current daily operations. And once the surge is over, your customers will never know what was going on behind the curtain.

Another component to consider is that as volume increases so does the opportunity to enhance efficiency and lower your incremental transportation costs. A solid logistics company identifies the savings potential of volume leveraging via advanced optimization technology and creative solutions that come from investing in and focusing on their core competency. The infrastructure most 3PLs have built brings flexibility to your supply chain and the ability to quickly and easily handle changing demand.

Q: What are the advantages of a pop up supply chain?

A: The most important advantage of utilizing a pop up supply chain is the increased visibility and focus. At the most basic level, this is beneficial because of the reporting and visibility a 3PL offers. This brings us back to the investment in technology and TMS platforms, which drive visibility. We understand the importance and need for advanced reporting. This understanding pushes the development of visibility tools like automated reporting engines and customized project dashboards, allowing organizations to have instant visibility, to support quick decisions for your end goals.

While it can be difficult to look outside your organization and your entrenched supply chain structure, there are clear advantages in doing so, due to the experience and resources gained from forming a partnership with a 3PL.