How to Make Cross Docking the Strongest Link of Your Supply Chain

Posted by Martin Verwijmeren on Nov 28, 2014 8:00:00 AM

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Cross Docking and Supply Chain

Cross Docking is becoming a pivot point in modern Supply Chain Management. Seamless unloading, sorting and loading without storage are vital for agile supply chain services. Or to quote: 'Cross Docking can make or break your competitive edge'

So, what are the drivers behind this massive opportunity?

The answer is simple though fundamental. During the past few decades Cross Docking has evolved from a basic logistics activity to a true specialism. Driven by ever increasing transparency together with the rapid rise of E-commerce you need to become:

  1. capable to deliver anything, anywhere, anyway, anytime (Customer Intimacy)
  2. agile, efficient, fast and compliant at the same time (Operational Excellence)

Companies, in order to adapt to these new market forces, have shifted substantial parts of their logistics operations from warehouse driven to transport driven processes.

Many companies cite capacity issues, customer demands, and inbound/outbound logistics as some of the greatest challenges today. One way to conquer these challenges is through Cross Docking. In recent years, Cross Docking has gained huge acceptance among many companies as one of the logical steps to trim down logistics costs and improve service levels for the customers, which ultimately improves a company’s bottom line. 

Modern Cross Docking requires true orchestration

On a high level Cross Docking can be compared to airlines across the world managing high volumes of passengers every day to their point of destination. Like Supply Chain Cross Docking, airline operations also involves dynamic planning of incoming and outgoing passengers through a hub to their routes and final destinations. Managing passenger flows also involves a complex network of systems, process steps and parties.

Still… that is about where the analogy ends.

While passengers can make up their minds and find their ways themselves, products lack intelligence and need to be directed through the processes. That’s why in today’s high volume operations integral planning, visibility and orchestration have to be added to Cross Dock operations.

How Cross Docking becomes your differentiator

Today’s Cross Docks have evolved to complex, mini logistic networks, performing crucial roles within their overall supply chains. In today’s logistic networks many flows link together and are connected, either organically or structurally, every day.These highly complex systems, often processing high volume flows, can no longer be adequately managed by basic static systems like excel and bespoke systems. Modern Cross Docking requires a true orchestration layer providing advanced planning mechanisms with the ability to execute complex Cross Docking scenarios. On their part Cross Docking needs to seamlessly and dynamically integrate in the overall Supply Chain as strong links.

How Cross Docking Systems help you?

Possibly we have hit a nerve and you wonder if your current Cross Docking operation is still competitive. We invite you to go through our checklist below. And see if and where you can improve:

  • Multi-channel inbound and outbound activities
  • Overall stock level reduction
  • Receipt and shipment events
  • Label printing and scanning
  • Order flow control to SKU level
  • In-line Value Added Logistics
  • Merge in transit operations control
  • Operations planning and progress monitor
  • Real time order consolidation engine
  • Agile and efficient process management
  • Dock scheduling and resource management
  • On target customer SLA management

Placed at least one tick in the box in the list above?

We invite you to learn more on Cross Docking Management Systems, please download our CMS product brochure.

  LP Cross Dock Management Systems


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