Consumer tastes can change in the blink of an eye, often leaving the shelf life of your high value consumer electronics shorter than their production cycle. The latest mobile phone, tablet, or laptop is soon superseded by a new model, with value plummeting as consumers’ interest peaks elsewhere. In such a dynamic industry, long lead times for technology products are a particular pain point as your speed to market becomes a priority.
According to an IDC Manufacturing Insights survey, 22% of executives believe they need greater flexibility, or excess capacity, in their supply chains to meet increased demand.
Adjusting to sudden changes in the market is imperative in reduced timeframes. If you’re struggling with short lead times, streamlined supply chain management from a trusted 3PL partner is key to ensuring you maximise value and mitigate risks to the launch of your new products.
To do so, you need a supply chain that can anticipate and manage demand, is flexible, and that saves times with added value services.
- Effective forecasting to manage peaks and product launches
Meeting consumers’ high expectations relies heavily on ensuring consumer electronics products are available as fast as possible. Planning for peaks requires a whole host of 3PL services, but for your supply chain to be poised for action you’ll need rigorous forecasting, properly aligned with inventory management.
Real time demand sensing is needed to anticipate any adjustments to the supply chain as and when you need them. This data should then be integrated and communicated to all end-to-end touchpoints.
However, most importantly, your 3PL partner needs to be proactive rather than reactive to reflect forecasting on short lead times. As such, their warehousing and inventory management should have full visibility of your products at all times – ensuring that warehouses are optimised to ensure short lead shipments can move seamlessly when required.
Effective inventory management can be centralised when stock is consolidated in regional or European distribution centres close to the point of demand. This then allows your 3PL partner to allocate inventories according to your changing market situation.
- Integrated supply chains for streamlined solutions
With this flexible supply chain management, a 3PL partner can provide quick routing of goods from supplier to retailer through their supply chain network.
A streamlined solution will have stellar communication throughout the end-to-end process. For this, you can rely upon a control tower management system to have a centralised overview of distribution. If an issue arises to threaten delivery on short lead times, then your 3PL provider can act quickly – and often in advance - to find a solution.
It also gives you increased shipment visibility, with sight of all cross-docking possibilities and multi-mode solutions to give you increased coordination. For consumer electronics, tried and tested transloading and cross-docking solutions consolidate suppliers’ products to ship straight to your customer, giving you the ability to adjust supply to demand at vessel ETA.
- Save time with value added services
When you’re launching a product or in a period of promotion, a 3PL partner can maximise your logistics management with in-house warehousing and plant services at point of origin or destination.
Kitting and packaging solutions relieve pressure during seasonal peaks. If you’re releasing the latest mobile or tablet and want to offer a bundle, this can be pre-packaged in the warehouse before being shipped. Offers can be stickered, POS displays completed, and bonus gifts included all from one central location.
With a trusted 3PL partner, you can rely on a bespoke solution tailored to your needs to manage short lead times for high demand, high value consumer electronics.
If you’re feeling the pressure to meet lead times then your 3PL partner can support you in streamlining your supply chain management so you can get ahead of the pack.