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Our Dynamic Employee of the Month for July 2017!

Congratulations to Rhonda Moffett!

Rhonda’s enthusiasm in helping her co-workers and willingness to go above & beyond for our customers has not gone unnoticed.

The respect, work ethic, and spirit Rhonda brings to the office sets a brilliant tone for the entire Dynamic team.

Congratulations, Rhonda!

🏅



 

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Five Dynamic Team-Building Strategies

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1.) Become Acquainted with Teammates – In the traditional business world of departments and cubicles, it’s sometimes too easy for a new staff member to slip in silently and become frustrated with a lack of helping hands to help them get started. Taking the time as a manager or co-worker to reach out and converse with the “new kid” can help to create a welcoming office culture as well as encourage a communicative working operation. Of course, this is not only limited to new members of a team. Long-standing employees can become enigmatic as well, and it’s always thoughtful to provide opportunities for these individuals to speak their minds.


2.) Clearly Define Responsibilities – Any business that’s ever experienced growth can tell you that there is an evolution of roles that occurs as new variables enter the picture. An initial job description cannot always account for the unique requirements that new customers may present over time. It’s important for a manager to periodically examine these shifts and call for meetings to discuss these responsibilities and lay out clear roles moving forward that put to rest any potential intra-office disputes. Simple spoken agreements between co-workers are certainly nice and speak to a mature professionalism among the team, but even so it’s important for a manager to give their team members the floor and put pen to paper on such matters.


3.) Offer Constructive Feedback – When something goes wrong in business, it can be frustrating for many parties. However, it is important to keep in mind that frustration may weigh no less in the mind of the person responsible. Loud, angry, knee-jerk responses sometimes get the better of us as human beings, but such reactions are truly counterproductive. Criticism must be voiced in order to ensure operations are more carefully conducted in the future, but the emphasis is best aimed at understanding and less on scolding. If worse comes to worse, this is a professional environment, and those behaving or performing unprofessionally will be removed sooner or later.


4.) Reward A Job Well Done – Telling somebody what they are doing right doesn’t always come to mind, but it is a vitally important motivator for the human mind at work. One of the most important factors of career satisfaction is an acknowledged sense of contribution. The most well-run pet store in the world isn’t going to make headlines until it catches fire. It seems to be in human nature to interpret a job well done as a job done normal. It’s important for a company to take a step back once in a while and acknowledge the wonderful accomplishments of the team.


5.) Form a Pleasant Work Environment – Sometimes the little things go a long way. Choosing a random Friday to go pick up pizza or sandwiches for the staff. Seasonally decorating the office for holidays. Promoting fun little contests among employees. Providing a means of listening to music throughout the work day. Installing adequate lighting and comfortable office furniture. Providing headsets for those performing countless phone calls. Hiring a competent cleaning crew to keep workspaces tidy. These quality of life solutions should be calculated carefully into a budget, of course, but can ultimately see your workplace’s culture to a brighter, more productive future.



 

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Five Core Functions of the Food Safety Modernization Act

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  1. Establishes Safety Standards for Produce – If you’re involved in the growth, harvest, packing, or storage of produce, you will be looking at regulation on everything from water quality to fertilizer to equipment to farm animals and beyond. The hygiene and health of employees is also taken into consideration to minimize the risk of food-borne illness and ensure cleanly handled produce.

  2. Redefines Meaning of “Farm” – The FSMA aims to broaden the concept of a “farm” to include food organizations that may not traditionally be thought of under that term. The purpose of this being to cover all bases and mitigate hazards that may have previously flown under the radar. No loophole exemptions.

  3. Verifies Foreign Food Suppliers – In the interest of eliminating redundant procedures, it is imperative that foreign manufacturers are operated at the same level of quality as they would have been domestically. The stateside importer is obligated to hold their foreign manufacturer to the very same stringent standards. This allows the whole process to flow with heightened efficiency and accountability.

  4. Defends Food from Insidious Alterations – This is an unprecedented new regulation intended to prevent the unlikely instance of intentional contamination, vandalism, or other foul play. These rules ask food facilities to examine their vulnerabilities and respond accordingly with recommended solutions suited to the particular environment in question. Creating, training, and enforcing a plan is important, no matter how rare the scenario.

  5. Establishes Sanitary Standards of Transportation – One would be wise to handle the transportation of food-grade product with the utmost foresight and sensitivity. Between manufacturers and shippers and road carriers and rail carriers and receivers… with all sorts of unsavory potential for breakdowns and damage along the way… establishing a stringent plan of action for these scenarios is paramount. The FSMA aims to keep the entire supply chain on the same page, informing each and every party as to where responsibility begins and ends. These responsibilities include (but are not limited to) proper cleaning and inspection of equipment, maintaining temperature control, logging potential contaminations, and recording simple maintenance data at each interval.


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Hope to find your product on Walmart shelves? A qualified 3PL may place you on their radar.

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Back in 2008, Walmart stores became the first nationwide grocery chain in the United States to require suppliers and distributors of food products to have their facilities certified for the internationally recognized Global Food Safety Initiative standards. With aim to instill consumer confidence in the food products customers place in their carts, the GFSI now lists Walmart among the most prestigious of companies who have agreed to improve food safety through the higher and consistent auditing standard known as SQF, or Safe Quality Food.

“Our customers expect high quality at every day low prices when they purchase any of our private label foods, and we’re committed to meeting – and exceeding – their expectations,” says Walmart SVP Andrea Thomas, “The GFSI standards are an added step that will help us – and our U.S. food producers – keep our quality commitment.”

This set of standards is something that food product suppliers must adhere to in order to find a place on Walmart’s nationwide shelves, and it’s no small undertaking. We are talking about renovations, cleanings, training sessions, wait periods, inspections, audits, and countless other variables that are going to impede your readiness to expand. It can take the upwards of 18 months for some companies to meet the acceptable standards. It’s worth considering outsourced packaging and distribution solutions, such as an SQF-certified 3PL, in order to more cost-effectively meet these standards. Why concern yourself with such as extensive, rigorous, expensive process when there may already be a well-oiled operation fully ready and willing to take that load off your shoulders?

An experienced, certified 3PL operation with a longstanding track record will already have been through it all. They’ve long overcome whatever inevitable pitfalls a young distributor is bound to run into. They know what the big box retail companies like Walmart have come to expect, and they will offer a level of first-hand expertise that might not otherwise be available.

A 3PL that already meets these stringent standards and offers a high level of experience and expertise is going to make your supply chain a more fruitful, more efficient, more professional partner for the retailers without all the added stress and excessive overhead cost. One supplier’s headache is another 3PL’s business as usual. Simplify your end of the supply chain and become a visible blip on the radar for big box retailers like Walmart, all the while reducing distribution cost? A 3PL with the proper certification can yield all of this and more for your supply chain.

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Supply Chain Expert interview with Dynamic 3PL President/Owner Dan Rimkus

Find the interview here at KINAXIS, courtesy of Dustin Mattison.

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Strengthen Company Culture in Four Simple Steps

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Culture does not merely refer the mood of your office. It is an underlying force that may very well guides the long-term success of your business. Strong company culture engenders confidence in those seeking out your business, and here are a few simple steps necessary in achieving this:

  1. Define. Establishing a firm set of fundamental business philosophies is key. Clearly defining these core beliefs will help your workplace understand the professional attitude and conduct expected on the job. Calm and respectful behavior may seem like common sense, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to verbalize these specific expectations in a clear, direct way.
  2. Align. Applying these expectations across every level of your business is also important. When it comes to the culture of your business, no team member should be exempt. One bad egg can be enough to spoil office atmosphere for the whole team. There is a certain flow to workplace efficiency. Attributes such as temperament, attitude, and enthusiasm help maintain this flow. When every team member and department is familiar with the company’s core values, you run into fewer distractions and can get on with your daily workflow. This means higher productivity and heightened morale among your team.
  3. Reinforce. Of course, not all frustration starts from within. Sometimes a client, partner, or vendor may develop a habit of dropping bombs on your team at unfavorable moments. It is preferable that you choose to associate with businesses which reflect a similar set of values to your own. Obviously, when a lucrative opportunity presents itself, you can’t quite know for sure how smoothly or problematic things will end up going. However, reinforcing your core set of values during business correspondence with your associates can rub off on both parties and help to improve communication and cooperation. In an industry full of finger-pointers, it displays strength and respect to assume the role of problem-solver.
  4. Examine. It is important to really observe and measure how much this encouragement is resonating among your staff. A quick memo isn’t always going to do the trick. Periodic assessments across each department allow you to receive feedback and examine the effectiveness of your messaging. Additionally, keeping your door open to your staff’s thoughts and concerns on an individual basis is an optimal method of keeping in touch with company culture.
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Is This the Right 3PL For You? 5 Essentials

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1.) Observe Culture – It takes a certain chemistry to form a stable 3PL compound. This precise chemistry is really the first place your mind should go in selecting a logistics partner. Strategic outsourcing is a long-term commitment. There needs to be something of a similarity between your value systems. You cannot truly predict how well a relationship like this may work out the line, but you can give a pending 3PL the time of day to really take in their atmosphere and ask your gut how comfortable of a fit this is going to be. It’s great when the figures work out well on paper, but if you just aren’t getting a good vibes, then who knows how those figures may unravel over time. Understanding on a cultural level is indicative of understanding on a business level.

2.) Engage In Strategies – Making proactive gestures towards your 3PL may help reveal just how proactive their measures are in regards to covering your end. If the 3PL in question is seeking to grow alongside your company, you should detect some sense of enthusiasm in discussing strategies. This is a good way to detect the operational performance of your 3PL, as well as their ambition to improve on services and construct a relationship. Two minds are better than one, not only because this implies a shared base of intelligence, but also because it engenders critical thinking.

3.) Evaluate Expertise – Proper facilities and labor and other tangible resources are obviously important elements of a 3PL, but there are certain intangibles that are crucial in selecting a logistics partner. When you really boil it down, a 3PL’s worth is determined by their expertise. They became the experts so you don’t have to. A qualified 3PL is essentially a catapult into the upper echelon of logistics. It reinforces the framework of your business with years of experience and knowledge that you now have claim and access to. By hiring experts, your business becomes enriched with expertise. Additionally, the expertly designed software systems (such as TMS or WMS) offered by many modern 3PLs elevate the infrastructure of your operation. These technologies are often capable of managing inventory, reporting instant data, and monitoring each step of your supply chain. In taking these measures, your 3PL seeks to not only make the process easier on themselves, but also ease your mind and allow you to focus on your core competencies.

4.) Communicate – Availability and approachability are two keys that go hand in hand when it comes to keeping a logistics relationship afloat. There are times when you simply need to get in direct contact with your strategic partners. A competent 3PL knows not only to keep the lines open, but also to let you know that they are there for you when you need them. However, this must be reflected in both policy and performance. Sometimes, an unexpected business conversation at an inconvenient moment may be construed as a yammering complaint no matter the legitimacy or immediacy of the concern at hand. You need a logistics partner that understands this type of directive, and is willing to respond promptly and rationally.

 5.) Confirm “One-Stop Shop” Relationship – To put it simply, your 3PL is your problem-solver. So why not be certain that this solver has the means and intention to tackle all of your problems? Your business may seek warehousing, customs brokerage, clean room services, contract packaging, global freight-forwarding, networking, transportation management… the list goes on. Why not choose one logistics partner to rule them all? For a growing business with so many variables ahead, it’s quite beneficial to be partnered with a provider to such a wide arsenal of services. Committing to one solid bond is simply going to make your operation more streamlined and cost-effective across the board. That is the power of one.

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5 Keys to Mastering the Game of Inventory Management

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Warehousing often feels like this big, complex game of Tetris. Whether you’re palletizing product or moving skids, the goal is to fit the right shapes into the right spaces, capitalizing upon your available space. You can’t fight that sense of satisfaction when everything lines up correctly. The human mind simply appreciates efficiency, and so does the logistics industry.

  • Organization – Anticipating your requirements and accommodating for the proper lanes, space, and formatting may be the crucial first step in managing your inventory. Any player of Tetris will tell you that the early game is fundamental, and the same applies here. For new warehouses, there are great opportunities to act on foresight and prepare a strategic plan before the blocks start to drop. However, even established and functioning warehouses may want to consider the benefits of re-evaluating their space and entering a renovation phase. This doesn’t necessarily mean pouring hours into restructuring the entire inventory layout at once, but perhaps simply looking at which particular freight may be exiting your doors soonest and planning ahead for how you’ll want to utilize that space. In the world of logistics, organization tends to require a healthy amount of patience.

 

  • Equipment – Clipboards and sharpies may still serve certain purposes in the warehouse, but far more advanced and elegant warehouse management solutions exist in the modern digital world. An initial investment in quality scan guns, handheld tablets, and a solid WMS may save both time and money in the long run. In this sense, technology both expedites labor and immediates the whole process.

 

  • Training – Keeping your staff informed and instructed on the methodology and layout of your warehouse is essential. A plan is a plan, but the follow-through is where it matters. As much as technology may benefit your inventory, your staff must first understand how to operate such devices. Standard procedures must be explained clearly, not only for the digital recording of freight status, but also the physical movement around your facility. The established lanes, racks, and areas of your warehouse should be made familiar to every member of the team.

 

  • Documentation – Jumping off of those last two points, perhaps the most important aspect of inventory management is the actual recording of data. Combining a solid arsenal of equipment with a well-trained staff yields a productive warehouse that has a handle on itself and its contents. That means when even the smallest of items is picked out of your inventory, a member of your staff is scanning that information to your WMS, thus synchronizing your records with your reality.

 

  • Reduction – Not all products are picked out at an equal rate, and this fact may create situations in which you have multiple partial pallets of related products taking up more space than is necessary. You may also end up with certain products expired or potentially damaged. Eliminating this waste may mean combining those partial pallets, properly disposing of that expired product, and perhaps pulling that damaged freight for examination. Playing to these strategies in proactive fashion can really increase your availability and prepare your warehouse for that moment when a new shape decides to arrive on your playing field.
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Why “Outsource” Is Your Greatest Resource

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When you want something done right, what do you do? That’s right, hire an expert! Okay, okay… I know what you’re thinking. “Why not do it myself?” Well sure, that is one option. However, in the world of supply chain, there exist innumerable scenarios in which you’re going to wish you had an expert in your corner, especially if you are still a growing business. Unforeseen variables tend to inevitably fly in left and right, and can really impede your end of the business. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to focus on your own core competencies and allow somebody else to streamline such laborious processes along the way?

Outsourcing your logistics to a 3PL means that your product is going to be handled with the experience and preparedness of a seasoned veteran in the industry. We are talking about an ally that has already found a firm grasp on the infrastructure investments necessary to succeed in the industry. The equipment, software, facilities, and personnel associate with supply chain logistics can stack up to be a lot of weight on your company’s shoulders. A single phone call to a logistics professional can alleviate all of that weight, allowing you to maintain your primary responsibilities as the manufacturer without such extraneous worries.

Some of the advantages of outsourced logistics may include:

  • Variable Cost Reduction
  • Management Cost Reduction
  • Capital Expense Avoidance
  • Instant Expertise
  • Ideal for Startups
  • Risk Avoidance
  • Proper Certification (such as SQF)

 

Your best interests will be at heart if the 3PL you hire is seeking to grow a relationship, and that’s exactly what any competent 3PL is looking to do. Bear in mind, third party logistics may consist of many different types of services. Some providers may have the resources to help package your goods and make them ready for market. Others may have room in their warehouse and simply seek to make this space available to your purposes. And some 3PLs are equipped with the knowledge and software necessary to manage the transportation end. The goldmine you may seek, however, is a one-stop shop solution.

A 3PL that can handle all of these logistics services will save you a lot of time and money on the path from production to market. A ubiquitous 3PL is going to carry an exponential advantage in communication and expertise that is truly unrivaled. By maintaining these functions under one specialized roof, a one-stop shop is going to have invaluable oversight on the very inventory that is stored, packaged, and shipped out of that facility. In this sense, your 3PL’s entire staff is more closely exposed to each aspect of the supply chain. Direct communication can be maintained from the warehouse team to the packaging team to the transportation team, who will be looking to select the best value carrier for every shipment handled. Attempting to put all of this into place on your own could result in quite the capital expense. When a well-oiled logistics operation is already in place and available to you, why not take advantage of such expertise? It may just be the cost-effective decision that takes your business to the next level.

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5 Reasons Why Safe Quality Food (SQF) Certification is the Big Man on Campus…

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The food industry puts the safety of its consumers at the forefront, so it is to be expected that this industry adheres to stringent accountability and documentation. Through its widely accepted principles, Safe Quality Food certification (or SQF) has become absolutely paramount to the modern world of food shipping. But why is this particular certification so advantageous and appealing?

  1. Recognition – It’s good to remember that food is a global industry. Food suppliers and retailers recognize SQF on a worldwide scale. The simplest manner to leave a blip on that radar is to wield a verified merit of quality. Certification tends to speak for itself, and SQF is the Rosetta Stone of food safety.
  2. Productivity – A messy room… A cluttered desk… We’ve all been there. We all know the sluggish feeling associated with a dusty, disorganized workspace. People work better, faster, and more efficiently in a tidy environment. The sanitary requirements of SQF naturally compel a facility to become an organized and well-oiled machine. A well kept operation is an effective and efficient operation.
  3. Responsibility – Similarly, an operation with clear oversight of its facilities is going to make fewer handling mistakes. By meeting SQF standards, a food grade operation finds itself paying closer attention with alert eyes on a regular basis, thus eliminating chances of misplaced freight or other handling errors that can cause a time-sensitive product like food to go to waste.
  4. Integrity – Fun slogans and fancy logos are fine methods to give off the vibe of professionalism, but true brand integrity is found in the tangible evidence. An SQF-verified brand is going to be more appealing to buyers and consumers, and rightfully so. The Food Marketing Institute (the administrators of SQF) is a trusted source that only endorses quality. The approval of the FMI is a badge of honor that this industry respects in a brand.
  5. Dependability – When you’re in the business of taking care of business, audits can be a disruptive pain in the rear. Wouldn’t it be nice to forgo such redundancies? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one audit to rule them all? Well, an SQF certified company exudes the trustworthy qualities that help reduce or even eliminate excess audits and allow a company to thrive uninhibited.
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