Manufacturers know all too well about the continuous challenges they face to remain competitive not only within their local, state and national marketplace but now throughout the world! In a 24/7/365 global economy that cannot and will not rest, predictions from Tom Friedman’s 2005 book “The World is Flat” are in full force 10 years later. What Friedman meant by “flat” is “connected”: the lowering of trade and political barriers, and the exponential technical advances have made it possible, and set an expectation, for companies to do business instantaneously with billions of other people across the planet.
Fortunately, we have identified three supply chain strategies and logistics tools to ensure your survival and continued growth, enabling you to compete in an ever-changing global landscape:
- The establishment and implementation of best practices to control transportation costs: Transportation costs can be the largest single expenditure of manufacturers, yet they are often the most overlooked. This is because many components of transportation costs – inbound materials, deliveries, returns, customer chargebacks, etc. – are hidden in the supply chain outside of the organization’s control. NJMEP supports manufacturers by offering a “Lean Logistics Assessment” highlighting more than 20 potential cost reduction areas in the supply chain.
- The development of an actionable, strategic export growth plan for your company to explore and expand into overseas markets: As part of our service offerings, NJMEP provides resources through the ExporTech Intensive Program to help manufacturers develop a robust, step-by-step, time- and risk-reducing export strategy. This program outlines proper procedures for researching and targeting optimal overseas markets and customers, and increasing global sales.
- An obsessive focus on packaging: As transportation makes a global shift toward dimensional pricing (based solely on the freight’s height, length and width), manufacturers can compete globally by focusing on packaging redesign to optimize package size and weight. Successful strategies incorporate package reconfiguration, the use of lighter-weight materials and the elimination of unnecessary packaging layers, such as outer cartons and shrink-wrap film.
New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc.
NJMEP is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization affiliated with The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a network of more than 60 MEP centers across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. NJMEP’s services help NJ manufacturers increase sales and profit, reduce costs, improve efficiencies and spur job creation. Since 2000, NJMEP has helped manufacturers realize nearly $2.8 billion in value: over $2 billion in increased and retained sales, $316 million in cost savings, $459 million in investments and 22,700 jobs created or retained. To learn more about NJMEP, visit www.njmep.org or call 973-998-9801.
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