Why Use a Warehouse Management System?


Why Use a Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system is an essential component of a company’s supply chain. It tracks products and raw materials while incorporating specialized equipment and computer software that allows full control of warehouse operations.

How Does a Warehouse Management System Work?

Central to a warehouse management system is a database that describes a wide range of standards warehouse elements. Standard warehouse elements include:

  • Individual stock keeping units (SKU’s) that can consist of finished consumer goods, fabricated parts, basic materials, or assemblies
  • Warehouse storage locations
  • Type of storage, for example, cases or pallet
  • Storage restrictions
  • Expected labor units

A warehouse management system integrates these elements with all warehouse tasks, including receiving goods, inspections, acceptances, picking, packing, documentation, and shipping.

An effective system will divide orders into batches according to their locations. The system will also log products at various points as they move through the warehouse. This allows staff to know where products need to be around the warehouse at any given time.

What are the Benefits of the Warehouse Management System?

Lower Operational Costs

A warehouse management system calculates the optimal location for each warehouse element, which ensures the efficient use of space and reduces waste. It also increases the efficiency of the staff which, in turn, results in a higher output volume and lower demand for labor.

Improved Relationships with Suppliers and Customers

Quicker delivery times and less order accuracy errors mean that more customers are satisfied with their orders.

Efficiency is beneficial for supplier relationships as well. If your warehouse can accept incoming orders without delay, it means that your suppliers can start working on their next shipments.

Efficient Warehouse Staff

A warehouse management system can allocate on-the-floor tasks in a way that is as efficient as possible ensuring that the warehouse staff can meet material handling requirements in less time. The system also coordinates the warehouse staff’s activities so that there is no duplication of labor.

Enhanced Inventory Visibility

Warehouse management system software provides real-time data on inventory by making use of identifiers such as barcodes, serial numbers, and RFID tagging.

Increased visibility makes it possible to create demand forecasts, which is necessary to determine which products are most popular during specific times of the year.

What Are Some Warehouse Management Systems?

ProVision

ProVision is a high-end warehouse management system solution that is user-configurable to manage a wide range of warehouse operations and activities. This warehouse management system is popular among several reputable supply chain and logistics companies, including Brimich Logistics.

Infoplus

Infoplus is the ideal warehouse management solution for small to mid-sized companies in a wide range of industries. This warehouse system is a web-based solution and features core inventory management, demand forecasting, and inventory optimization.

Oracle SCM Cloud

Oracle is a cloud-based warehouse management system that is geared towards distribution manufacturing, inventory management, and fleet management. An additional feature of Infoplus is product development that companies can use to create a bill of material from a conceptual design.

Contact Brimich Logistics

If you feel your business could benefit from the addition of a new or updated warehouse management system, contact Brimich Logistics today for a free no-obligation quote.

What is the Role of Logistics?


What is the Role of Logistics?

Logistics is a subcategory of supply chain management that refers to the management of the movement of goods or services from the point of origin to the point of consumption.

What is Freight Logistics?

Freight logistics is a further subcategory of logistics involving only freight. There are two types of logistics, namely inbound logistics and outbound logistics.

Inbound logistics is a primary component of logistics and involves the procurement, transportation, and storage of products, materials, or parts from various locations for assembly or production.

Outbound logistics refers to all the supply chain activities involved in the transportation of the finished product to the distributor, to the retailer and, ultimately, to the end consumer. Transport can be carried out via air, sea, rail, or roads.

There are several other subcomponents of logistics, including:

  • Procurement logistics, for example, market research and supplier management
  • Distribution logistics, which involves the delivery of the finished product to the end consumer
  • Reverse logistics, which is all the activities related to the reuse of products
  • Production logistics, which refers to all logistic processes within a value-adding system

What is the Difference Between Shipping and Logistics?

There is often some confusion as to the difference between shipping and logistics. The essential difference between shipping and logistics has to do with scope.

Shipping refers to the transfer of goods from one place to another via air, sea, road, or rail. To understand logistics, one has to take a step back. Logistics is the administration of the process of acquiring goods, storing them and, finally, delivering them to the end user.

The logistics of physical products involves the coordination of specific areas of specialization, including information flow, production, inventory, and storage. Shipping is one of these areas of specialization that forms part of logistics and is, therefore, an integral part of logistics.

Logistics and shipping are both key components of a supply chain. If one or the other is lacking, chances are that the business will experience problems relating to inefficiency.

What is Freight Forwarding in Logistics?

Freight forwarding is a critical element of logistics and involves the movement of goods around the world by making use of a combination of sea, road, rail, and air shipping services.

Say, for example, you want to ship products from your warehouse in Dallas to a customer in London. The freight forwarder will pick up the product at your warehouse and pack it, place it into a container, and arrange for all necessary export permits.

The freight forwarder will then book the shipping, deliver the product to the port or airport, handle handovers between shipping companies, receive the product at the airport in London, take care of nationalization, and deliver the product to your customer’s door.

Freight forwarding differs from shipping in that shipping only involves transporting the product from point A to point B.

Contact Brimich Logistics

Brimich Logistics specializes in supply chain management and third-party logistics. If you are interested in learning more about freight logistics, or if you need high-quality logistics solutions, contact Brimich Logistics today.

What is HACCP Compliance?


What is HACCP Compliance?

HACCP stands for hazard analysis critical control point and is a management system that ensures food safety by analyzing and controlling biological, chemical, and physical hazards throughout the entire supply chain of a finished product.

What is HACCP Certified?

HACCP certification is an international standard that describes the requirements for ensuring control of food safety. Seven actions constitute this standard:

  • Conducting a hazard analysis of biological, chemical, or physical food hazards
  • Determining critical control points
  • Establishing critical control limits
  • Monitoring control of critical control points
  • Establishing remedying actions
  • Formulating and implementing procedures to verify that the HACCP system is functioning correctly
  • Record keeping

A food business can gain a HACCP certification by a reputable certification provider by undergoing an audit or assessment of its food safety policies and procedures, including:

  • Hygiene and overall cleanliness
  • Employed pest control measures
  • Safety and cleanliness of the equipment used to prepare or process food

–    Safety and cleanliness of product storage

–    Maintenance of vehicles

Why is HACCP Important?

A HACCP certification demonstrates to your customers, stakeholders, and regulatory authorities that you are committed to safe food trading or production. HACCP compliance is also mandatory for participants in the food industry in several countries, including the United States.

A HACCP certificate is also essential for a food business to be regarded as reputable and trade worthy. A company that is not HACCP certified runs a higher risk of making costly mistakes while carrying out their business activities.

Who Uses the HACCP?

Businesses don’t always obtain HACCP certificates for the same reasons. It is a condition of trade that business in the food industry, for example, food sellers and food manufacturers have HACCP certifications.

Although a HACCP certification is not a requirement for specific businesses or in some countries, many companies will make sure to have their certifications in place to mitigate risks and as a sound business practice.

What are the Most Common Critical Control Points?

A critical control point (CCP) is defined as a step at which biological, chemical or physical factors can be controlled.

Food Purchasing

Critical control point examples of food purchasing include checking suppliers, menu creation, and managing packaged and frozen foods.

Delivery and Receipt

This critical control point refers to temperature control, record keeping, and transferring food to storage after delivery.

Food Production

Food production critical control points concern food handling and preparation. Examples of food production essential points of control include allergen management, cooking, reheating, and thawing.

Service and Display of Food

There should be clean facilities to protect display food. The critical control requirements depend on whether the display is for hot, cold, or frozen food. Serving staff should also be adequately trained and furnished with clean equipment.

Food Storage

Food storage critical control points are of the utmost importance to prevent cross-contamination, bacteria growth, and temperature fluctuations. Brimich Warehousing & Logistics provides storage solutions that are HACCP compliant. Contact us today for more information.

Benefits of Supply Chain Management


Benefits of Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management is vital to the efficient operation of any business handling physical inventory. When implemented correctly, it can result in lower costs, shorter lead time, lower risks, and ultimately higher profits as a result.

What is Supply Chain Management, and Why Is It Important?

A supply chain is a network of individuals, firms, resources, operations, and technology that a company uses in the creation and sale of products or services from the delivery of raw materials by the supplier to the delivery to the end user.

Effective supply chain management allows a company to gain an advantage over their competitors in the industry as it lowers the inherent risks of buying raw materials and selling products or services.

A business with an adequate supply chain management system in place will also be able to reduce waste and overhead costs.

What is an Example of Supply Chain Management?

A well-known example of a supply chain management system is the one used by Walmart. Walmart doesn’t have many links in their supply chain, and, instead of buying branded products, they stick to generic goods purchased directly from manufacturers.

Walmart uses a system called “vendor managed inventory” to ensure that suppliers are responsible for the products that Walmart owns in warehouses.

Walmart also goes to extremes when it comes to choosing suppliers. They typically only partner with suppliers that can meet their demands and that are conveniently located to keep transportation costs as low as possible.

The concept of economies of scale is a crucial ingredient of Walmart’s successful supply chain. Walmart purchases goods in large quantities from manufacturers. They ship these goods directly to their warehouse before delivering them to their stores.

Since these are the only links in Walmart’s supply chain, their input cost per unit is low enough to provide their customers with more affordable products.

What is the Supply Chain Management Process?

The supply chain management process consists of several steps, including strategic planning, demand planning, supply planning, procurement, manufacturing, warehousing, order fulfillment, and transportation.

  • Strategic planning refers to the design and optimization of the supply chain model.
  • Demand planning involves lifecycle planning and predicting the future based on various forms of data.
  • Supply planning includes safety stock planning and customer and supplier collaboration.
  • Procurement is a three-step process that provides for purchase order processing, receipt confirmation, and invoice verification.
  • Manufacturing refers to production planning and product manufacturing.
  • Warehouse processing includes inbound and outbound processing, as well as storage, physical inventory, and cross docking.
  • Order fulfillment process refers to the sales order and billing processes.
  • Transportation includes planning, execution, and costing processes.

What are the Key Benefits of an Effective Supply Chain?

Higher Efficiency

Effective supply chain management allows a business to adjust dynamically to changes in the economy and to predict and meet future demands.

Optimal Shipping

A functional supply chain enables a company to ship products to customers over vast geographical areas at minimal costs and within a short time.

Mitigate Risks

Another key benefit of a high-performing supply chain is that it reduces risks relating to product compliance and quality.

Contact Us

If you want to improve the supply chain of your business, contact The Brimich Group today.

The Nature of Cold Storage Solutions


The Nature of Cold Storage

Keeping Your Cool in Business

If ensuring your products or materials stay at a stable temperature is vital to their quality, cold storage solutions are likewise vital to your company’s success. However, not all cold storage solutions are created equally.

What is Cold Storage Used For?

Many products lose their value in normal storage conditions. These products require cold storage solutions for adequate storage and shipping.

Since cold storage is much more complex than dry storage and refrigerated warehousing tends to be expensive, many businesses opt to outsource cold storage to supply chain specialists.

If you are moving products that are temperature sensitive, you need cold storage solutions that include processing, packaging, and delivery without the products ever being exposed to fluctuations in temperature.

Cold storage is often used for products with varying shelf lives and temperature range requirements. These products include, but are not limited to:

–    Plants and flowers

–    Perishable food

–    Biopharmaceutical products

–    Perishable nutrient products

–    Artwork

What is Cold Storage in Food Preservation?

Due to the nature of certain food products, they can spoil if they are exposed to high temperatures. Not only can this result in losses, but also health hazards. Cold storage for food preservation is, therefore, an essential component of the supply chain of food businesses.

Perishable foods, including dairy products, fish products, and meats have to be kept in a temperature specification range along the entire supply chain. Temperatures higher than the required range can result in the growth of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms and can, ultimately, cause the product to be inedible.

Since the consequences of food spoilage can potentially be dire, food businesses have to ensure that they use reputable and experienced cold storage service providers to take care of their products.

Types of Cold Storage

There is a wide range of cold storage solutions from single units to entire warehouses. The types of cold storage include the following:

–    Refrigerated containers

–    Blast Chillers

–    Cold Rooms

–    Pharmaceutical-Grade Cold Storage

–    Plant-Attached Cold Storage

–    Custom Cold Storage Facilities

Companies that have a wide range of products typically have many different cold storage needs. If your products have to be stored at different temperature ranges, you may need more than one type of cold storage. Outsourcing your cold storage may be a viable solution if you don’t have cold storage facilities.

What is Cold Supply Chain?

The succession of cold storage applications along the supply chain to maintain the desired temperature is often referred to as the cold chain. If the integrity of the cold chain is breached and the risk is unknown or not reported, it can result in foodborne illnesses.

Developments in technology make it much easier and cost-effective to implement temperature monitoring and optimize stacking, which, in turn, make cold chain objectives more attainable.

Contact Brimich Logistics

Your business needs a partner to deliver the freshest food in the safest possible manner. Brimich Logistics is ideally suited to provide your business with high-end cold storage solutions along with your supply chain. We have more than 200,000 square-feet of food-grade cold storage space available.

All our facilities are Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) compliant, and we have safe quality food (SQF) certification. Contact us today to discuss your cold storage and supply chain needs.

What is SQF Certification?


Safe Food Storage

What are SQF Standards?

Safe Quality Food (SQF) is a food safety management certification scheme based on HACCP that demonstrates compliance with all the processes and requirements as defined in the SQF code.

What is the Importance of SQF in the Food Handling Industry?

Ensuring food safety over international supply chains can be incredibly challenging, and organizations in the food industry depend on suppliers to provide them with food products and ingredients that are manufactured, stored, or shipped safely.

Certification programs are widely regarded to be the most effective to ensure that organizations in the food industry have confidence in their suppliers. One of the most accepted food certification programs is SQF, especially since it is a certification that is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI.)

What is the Relationship to GFSI?

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is a business-driven global food network that consists of food retailers and manufacturers around the world. The GFSI listed a set of requirements that are crucial to a food safety management system.

Consequently, the GFSI recognizes any food safety stand that includes their set of requirements, including SQF. The result is that if a business is certified to SQF, the GFSI will recognize the certification.

If one of your customers request that you become GFSI certified, an SQF certification will, therefore, be sufficient. Your business can also receive GFSI recognition if you have an FSSC 22000, BRC Issue 7, or International Food Standard Version 6 certification.

SQF Institute

What are the Different Levels of SQF?

There are three levels of SQF Certification. The appropriate level for your business depends on the type of food business you have.

SQF Food Safety Fundamentals

This level was formerly known as SQF Level 1 and applies to low-risk products. This level consists of fundamental food safety controls and is not recognized by GFSI.

SQF Food Safety Code

This level is a certified HACCP food safety plan and was formerly known as an SQF Level 2 Certification. Most businesses opt for this level because of its recognition by the GFSI. The SQF Food Safety Code has versions available for:

  • Manufacturers
  • Primary food producers
  • Food retailers
  • Food packaging
  • Storage and distribution

SQF Quality Code

SQF Quality Code is the highest SQF level and involves the extensive implementation of safety management systems that include the Food Safety Code.

How Do I Get SQF Certified?

  1. Download the Code and Guidance documents from www.SQFI.com, and learn what is required for SQF certification.
  2. Select the appropriate SQF level for your business.
  3. Register at SQFI and designate your SQF Practitioner.
  4. Apply the required process and food safety fundamentals and train your in-house audit team.
  5. Keep records, perform internal audits, review performance, and make improvements where necessary.
  6. Select a certification body.
  7. Schedule and undergo your inspections.

Work with an SQF Certified Company

Brimich Warehousing & Logistics’ food grade facilities are HACCP compliant, and SQF certified. Contact us today to discuss your needs.

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays!


Brimich Logistics xmas-2018

Wishing all our families, friends and amazing clients all the best this Holiday Season. Our warmest wishes go to you all for good fortune and continuing happiness into the New Year.

From all of us at Brimich Logistics, Happy Holidays to everyone!

The Future of Shipping May Be In the Wind


The Future of Shipping May Be In the Wind

Futuristic Sails are Helping Keep the Seas Green

European and U.S. tech companies, including one backed by Airbus, are pitching futuristic sails to help cargo ships harness the free and endless supply of wind power

While they sometimes don’t even look like sails – some are shaped like spinning columns – they represent a cheap and reliable way to reduce emissions for an industry depending on notoriously dirty forms of fossil fuels.

Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk , the world’s biggest shipping company, is using its Maersk Pelican oil tanker to test Norsepower’s 30 metre (98 foot) deck-mounted spinning columns. Maersk pledged this week to cut carbon emissions to zero by 2050, which will require developing commercially viable carbon neutral vessels by the end of next decade.

Maersk Rotor Sail NorsePower

The shipping sector’s interest in “sail tech” and other ideas took on greater urgency after the International Maritime Organization, the U.N.’s maritime agency, reached an agreement in April to slash emissions by 50 per cent by 2050.

Shipping, like aviation, isn’t covered by the Paris agreement because of the difficulty attributing their emissions to individual nations. Resistant to change, the maritime shipping industry is facing up to the need to cut its use of cheap but dirty “bunker fuel” that powers the global fleet of 50,000 vessels – the backbone of world trade.

A Dutch group, the Goodshipping Program, is trying biofuel, which is made from organic matter. It refuelled a container vessel in September with 22,000 litres of used cooking oil on behalf of five customers, in what it called a world first that cut carbon dioxide emissions by 40 tons.

Building a conventional fossil-fueled vessel “is a bigger risk than actually looking to new technologies … because if new legislation suddenly appears then your ship is out of date,” said Orvik.

Wind power is also feasible, especially if vessels sail more slowly. “That is where the big challenge lies today,” said Jan Kjetil Paulsen, an advisor at the Bellona Foundation.

Wind power looks to hold the most promise. The technology behind Norsepower’s rotor sails, also known as Flettner rotors, is based on the principle that airflow speeds up on one side of a spinning object and slows on the other craeting a force that can be harnessed.

On a windy day, Norsepower says rotors can replace up to 50 per cent of a ship’s engine propulsion. Overall, the company says it can cut fuel consumption by 7 to 10 per cent.

One big problem with rotors is their footprint. They get in the way of port cranes that load and unload cargo. To get around that, U.S. startup Magnuss has developed a retractable version involving two 50-foot (15-meter) steel cylinders that retract below deck.

Spain’s bound4blue’s aircraft wing-like sail and collapses like an accordion, according to a video of a scaled-down version from a recent trade fair. The first two will be installed next year followed by five more in 2020.

The company is in talks with 15 more ship owners from across Europe, Japan, China and the U.S. to install its technology, said co-founder Cristina Aleixendrei.

Ship owners are now “more desperate for new technology to reduce fuel consumption,” she said.

Airseas, backed by plane maker Airbus, plans to deploy its parachute-like automated kite sails on ships ferrying fuselages from France to Alabama starting in 2020. The company predicts that the “Seawing” will reduce fuel use by 20 per cent on the 13-day journey.

Warehousing and Distribution Services


Warehousing and Distribution Services

Why Use Warehousing and Distribution Services?

Outsourcing parts of the business process has become an effective way for firms to cut costs. According to Deloitte, 59% of businesses surveyed said the reason behind their choice to outsource a business process was to save money.

Warehousing and distribution processes can take a toll on businesses in terms of cost. If the process is not streamlined, it can even result in failure. Instead of this aspect weighing down your business, a smart solution is to outsource the process and let the experts handle it.

How Does Outsourcing Warehousing and Distribution Services Help Your Business?

By outsourcing, warehousing and fulfillment businesses adopt a forward-thinking approach that will benefit them in numerous different ways. Storing and delivering products is expensive and time-consuming. So why not outsource the process to a trusted third party? Here are some reasons you should consider:

  • Expertise: Fulfillment service providers, such as The Brimich Group, give businesses the option of letting experts manage their supply chain. It presents them with the option of not worrying about hiring a team and training them to handle such tasks in-house. The service provider has a team of experts that handle warehouse and logistics tasks on a daily basis to take care of your organization’s needs. This way you have better service, quicker turn-around, and reduced fulfillment rates.
  • Technology: There is a lot of technology that needs to be employed when it comes to warehouse inventory and transportation. Businesses must buy and deploy management software, so they have complete control of the supply chain and logistics. When outsourcing, you don’t need to worry about this as your service provider will have the right technology in place. They will also give you access to this data, so you know what is being shipped and where it’s being delivered.
  • Cost-effective: From human resources, software, machinery, to other types of equipment, keeping a warehouse in order is costly. It is an investment that may not be possible for most small and even medium-sized businesses. That is without even taking into account maintaining everything. With a third-party, your business doesn’t have to worry about any of these costs, all you must do is pay a fixed price and have the provider take care of the rest.

Questions to Ask When Picking a Service Provider

Now that you are aware of the benefits of warehousing and fulfilment services, you are probably wondering how to select the right provider? Here are some things you should consider when making your decision:

  1. How many years have they been in business?
  2. What kind of industry expertise do they have?
  3. What technology do they employ, and will they give you access to keep track of your inventory and deliveries?
  4. Does it operate 24/7?
  5. What safety measures are used and is the storage safe?
  6. Where is the warehouse located?
  7. Do they meet all your storage requirements?
  8. What kind of leasing terms do they have?

These are some question you want to ask the service provider to get a better idea of what they offer, helping you determine if the provider is right for you.

Whether your business is facing issues with warehousing and distribution or you are just looking to cut costs, outsourcing to a reliable service provider is a great solution. It removes the headaches of this money-consuming process, freeing you to improve other areas of your business.

Choosing the Right Freight Broker


Choosing the Right Freight Broker

The Obvious Question: What is a Freight Broker?

Is your business thinking of dabbing into the international market but not sure how to start? As your business experiences success locally, it won’t be long until you eye the markets abroad. However, exporting your merchandise isn’t a simple process. There are a lot of documents, regulations, and processes that are required before you can start exporting. Not only that but also selecting a trustworthy shipping provider is vital.

All of this can seem a bit of drag for businesses, which is exactly why freight brokers are a valuable asset to any business. Freight brokers are the intermediary that liaise between your business and shippers. They work with the shipper to handle necessary paperwork and ensure that goods are transported safely to the intended destination.

What Does a Freight Broker Actually Do?

Now that you what a freight broker, they act as a middle-man between your business and the shipping company. They aren’t solely used internationally but also assist with local freight management. They making shipping merchandise a lot simpler for businesses, which is why the freight brokerage industry has had a huge impact on the US economy. More than 80% of Fortune 500 companies rely on third-party logistic (3PL) companies for their freight, warehousing, and other needs.

Freight broker responsibilities include:

  • Plan pick-up and delivery of merchandise
  • Coordinate with the shipper, carrier, and dispatcher to ensure goods reach safely
  • Track and report shipment status
  • Handle paperwork related to the shipment
  • Resolve any discrepancies that may arise prior to or during the shipment
  • Provide any further assistance related to the shipment to the customer

They do all of this while saving your business money. They add value to your overall supply chain by economically managing the shipping of your goods. They ship in bulk which reduces the cost for you, all the while providing you with a more efficient shipment process.

How Do You Know Which Freight Broker is Right For Your Business?

There are tens of thousands of 3PL companies to choose from, so how do you know which firm is reputable and right for your business?

Reputable freight brokers are part of the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA). Being a member of the TIA means that the broker has the knowledge, experience, and are aware of the best practices to act as intermediaries. When it comes to reputable freight brokers, they also have a vast network of reliable partners specifically shipping partners. All to ensure that your merchandise reaches its destination on time.

Aside from ensuring freight brokers are a part of the TIA, you also want to see a list of their partners and do a bit of research on them just to make sure they are reliable.

If you don’t have the time to do the research, don’t worry as we have done it for you. The Brimich Group is a reputable freight broker that provides exceptional services in the freight management industry. With over five decades of experience, they know all the ins and outs of freight management. You can consult with one of their representatives today and drastically improve your supply chain management.

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