Here at Meconet, we have noticed over the last years that customer expectations to logistics solutions have risen considerably. Not so long ago, the products manufactured were transferred on a simple collared pallet and without any sophisticated packaging to the loading dock for the customer to pick up.
Today, everything is different – as it should be. For example, we have customers who require product-specifically tailored and recyclable packaging solutions. The solutions often also include coatings: painting and thermal or electrolytic surface treatments. The challenges posed by such a logistics chain are at an entirely new level as compared to the earlier requirements, and overall the process has become more multidimensional.
Getting it right from the start
Today, logistics is primarily about customer service, and this suits us perfectly. We want to plan the production and delivery processes with our customers from the beginning. In such a case, we can also plan the logistics and supply chain solutions in a cost-effective and customer-oriented manner.
It starts in the tendering stage. It is important to ask the right questions in the discussions. What are the customers’ preferences regarding packaging solutions and logistics? How would the customers like their products delivered?
There can be as many different solutions as there are customers, which means that the range is extensive. Different operating models and solutions can be brainstormed and experimented with, until the right approach is found.
Packaging to meet the needs
When product packaging and logistics have been planned from the start, everything that follows will be more logical. Several factors affect packaging solutions. How the product should be positioned in the package, how many items in a single package, packing markings etc.
We use several different packaging partners depending on the specific need. Our partners are qualified to prepare customised packaging solutions proceeding from drawings. Many customers want to decide on the transport packaging before moving to the serial production stage.
Storage affects security of supply
The customer-centred approach also applies to storage. Here as well, the individual need is the starting point. What is the predicted sales volume? Should we deliver products directly from the production unit to end customers? It is very important to know such things before entering the series production stage: How to find the best possible delivery chain solution without endangering security? And how to avoid overstocking and additional storage costs?
Many of our customers may have dozens, if not hundreds of products, and the storage and supply chain solutions can vary greatly from product to product. For example, make-to-stock, make-to-order, and assemble-to-order products can be distinguished. In many cases additional stock can be used to prepare for variations in demand.