Efficient Warehouse and Vehicle Fleet Management for Businesses!

Efficient Warehouse and Vehicle Fleet Management

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For businesses with inventory to oversee, efficient warehouse and vehicle fleet management is crucial. By streamlining operations and implementing best practices, businesses can save time and money while ensuring that their products are properly taken care of. 

Best Ways to Manage a Warehouse

For those tasked with keeping a warehouse in order, third-party logistics (3PL) software is a powerful tool. 3PL software can help streamline the process of organizing by easily tracking orders, stock levels, and inventory locations. Not only is this time-saving, but it will also help ensure fewer inaccuracies down the line. 

How Does 3PL Work to Manage Inventory?

Businesses ranging from small to large scale can benefit from implementing third-party logistics. Handing over the reins for supply chain management ensures customers have a good experience with your business, encouraging them to come back time and again. But what, exactly, does 3PL software do for a business?

  • Keeps track of physical inventory
  • Manages picking patterns in the warehouse
  • Organizes the packing, labeling, and shipping process
  • Manages customer returns

With up-to-date 3PL software, you’re always aware of stock availability, pallet numbers, expiration dates, and how long the process takes from the time a customer “adds to cart” to when the item arrives on their doorstep. If you have inventory stored in multiple warehouses, you can streamline all the management processes to ensure data stays synced across every location.

Other Functions of 3PL Software

eCommerce benefits from 3PL software in myriad other ways, including:

  • Billing functions for both vendors and customers
  • Cloud accessible 
  • Integrating different shopping platforms
  • Lower pricing on high-volume orders due to efficiency
  • Real-time reporting
  • Scalability as your business grows
  • Scheduling inventory deliveries to the warehouse
  • Sorting inventory
  • Transportation management systems (TMS)

Automating many of the functions related to warehouse management reduces the room for human error, and helps your business run more efficiently. In turn, this can result in reduced overhead costs, happier customers, and more transparency for employees.

Industries That Benefit From 3PL Software

Not sure if 3PL software is the right solution for your business? You might be surprised to learn that a variety of industries implement warehouse management solutions to keep things chugging along smoothly.

  • Construction
  • Healthcare/Medical
  • Manufacturing
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Retail
  • Restaurants
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Do you have a lot of moving parts in your business, such as Master AutoTech? In order to get clients in and out swiftly, they have to have inventory on hand to perform routine and emergency maintenance on vehicles. Having WMS in place to keep track of supplies across multiple franchises helps promote efficient vehicle maintenance no matter what a customer brings in.

You can always schedule a consultation with a business like Sequoia Group which specializes in implementing software solutions for inventory management across industries.  

Keep Things Organized

Of course, physical organization through shelves and clear pathways can also play an important role in warehouse organization – not only helping to know where all needed items are stored but also maintaining a safe working environment free of clutter.

By combining the advantages offered by 3PL software and traditional physical organization techniques, businesses are able to enjoy sustained improved efficiency for all aspects of their warehouse operations.

Best Ways to Manage Your Fleet

If you operate a vehicle fleet, having a good approximation of your vehicles’ locations and usage can be a game-changer. A reliable fleet management system can help you keep a comprehensive record of where your vehicles are at any given time, how they’re being used, and even how much fuel they’re consuming.

Not only that, but these systems also store data on maintenance schedules and employee logins that can help ensure passenger safety and verify who is using the vehicles. With the assurance of efficiency, accuracy, and safety that a fleet management system provides, businesses in the automotive sector will have no trouble operating with confidence.

Maintaining a Fleet of Vehicles

In addition to knowing where cars and trucks are and who’s using them, it’s imperative to follow regular maintenance schedules for each vehicle. Regular maintenance for a company’s fleet of vehicles can easily be overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. 

Sure, conducting maintenance such as oil changes can be expensive upfront, but these regular tune-ups act like preventative medicine for a fleet. Without them, companies may find themselves spending exponentially more money on repairs when something breaks down. Scheduling regular maintenance ensures smoother operation and more reliable performance of a fleet’s vehicles because issues are caught and addressed before they become problematic or, worse yet, catastrophic. 

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When fleets keep up with plans and service intervals, problems get fixed sooner and operations continue to run smoothly. Companies should treat regular maintenance as an investment rather than an inevitable cost; prioritizing this type of upkeep will save money down the road.

For example, if you service cities and towns nestled in canyons and mountain foothills like Advanced Doors, Inc, you want reliable vehicles that can get you to each and every job. Ignoring fleet maintenance means your trucks can’t service customers as scheduled, resulting in lost contracts and the potential for bad reviews. 

When to Schedule Routine Maintenance for Work Vehicles

You may find it convenient to follow one of four maintenance schedules for your fleet of work vehicles:

  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Biannually
  • Annually

Depending on the schedule, here’s what you can expect to have done for your fleet:

Monthly Maintenance
  • AC
  • Air Filters
  • Coolant
  • Headlights
  • Fluids
  • Tire Pressure
  • Windshield Wipers
  • Tires and Rims
Quarterly Maintenance

All of the above, including:

  • Battery
  • Body of Vehicle
  • Belts
  • Hoses
  • Windshield
  • Undercarriage

Once every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, you should also change the oil and install a new oil filter.

Biannual Maintenance

In addition to what’s listed above, a biannual tune-up should also include:

  • Brakes
  • Horn Check
  • Electrical System Checkup
  • Exhaust System Checkup
  • Seat Belt Inspection
  • Spare Tire Check
  • Tire rotation
  • Wheel Alignment

Now’s the time to change air filters, flush coolant, and lubricate hinges.

Annual Maintenance

Every year or 24,000 to 30,000 miles, check all of the above and include inspections of the following:

  • Engine Mounts
  • Fuel Filter
  • Steering System
  • Suspension System
  • Transmission System

You can also change out the brake pads annually.

Whatever schedule you follow, it will go a long way toward preserving the life of each company vehicle and reducing liabilities.

Efficient Warehouse and Vehicle Fleet Management article and permission to publish here provided by Kip Critchlow. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on March 27, 2023.
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