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Technology Manufacturing: Third-Party Logistics and Warehousing

Tighe Logistics offers tailored solutions that meet the exacting requirements and high level of service that technology manufacturing sector demands.
Our expertise in supplier management and just-in-time delivery to manufacturing helps technology manufacturing companies achieve their goals.

Overview

Technology manufacturing is an exacting business — and demands a logistics partner that is just as exacting. The complexity of the tech manufacturing supply chain, with its intricate network of suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors, requires a logistics partner with expertise in managing high-tech products, sensitive components, and just-in-time inventory requirements.

The right partner can provide efficient transportation solutions, optimize inventory management, and offer advanced tracking and visibility capabilities to ensure that products are delivered on time and in optimal condition. Additionally, a reliable logistics partner can help tech manufacturers navigate regulatory compliance, mitigate risks, and adapt to changing market conditions. Read on to find out more about the vital role the right logistics partner plays in tech manufacturing.

Supply Chain Pains and Challenges

When it comes to technology, supply chains are often complex and global — with components and materials sourced from various parts of the world. Managing logistics across multiple regions and countries can be challenging.

Demand volatility

Rapid changes in demand due to factors such as seasonality, product life cycles, and market trends make managing inventory levels and production schedules difficult.

Just-in-time manufacturing

A just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing approach minimizes inventory costs. However, this approach increases the risk of disruption in the supply chain if there are delays or shortages.

Transportation costs and efficiency

Transportation costs can be a significant part of the overall logistics costs for tech companies. Optimizing transportation routes and modes can help reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Supply chain visibility and transparency

Tech companies often struggle to have full visibility and transparency into their supply chains and their logistics providers.

Supply chain logistics play a major role in tech manufacturing

The technology manufacturing supply chain involves several key stages, starting from inbound logistics from suppliers to the storage or enhancement of components, then manufacturing, and finally outbound logistics to the end point of consumption — making choosing the right 3PL partner a critical part of a company’s success.

Inbound logistics from suppliers

Inbound logistics involves receiving, storing, and distributing materials and parts from suppliers — whether they are coming by truck or rail, to be stored in a warehouse. This includes activities such as quality inspection, inventory management, and transportation planning.

Storage and product enhancements

Once checked for accuracy and quality, components are stored in warehouses. Some components may undergo enhancements or modifications before being used in production. For example, components may be tested, labeled, or assembled into sub-assemblies.

Manufacturing

Just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing aims to reduce inventory levels and improve efficiency by producing goods only as they are needed. Materials are received from suppliers and immediately used in production, eliminating the need for large inventories of raw materials, work-in-progress, or finished goods.

Outbound logistics

Once the products are manufactured, they are ready to be shipped — which could be a distribution center, retailer, or directly to the end customer. This includes efficient and timely order processing, transportation planning, and delivery tracking.

Reverse logistics

Returns, repairs, and recycling can be challenging in the tech sector. Companies need efficient processes for handling reverse logistics to minimize costs and maximize value recovery.

Technology Manufacturing Sub-Sectors

Robotics and Automation Manufacturing

Production of robots and automation systems used in various industries for manufacturing and other purposes. Key companies include: ABB Ltd and Honeywell International.

Consumer Electronics Manufacturing

Devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, televisions, and other personal electronic devices. Key companies include Apple, Dell Technologies, HP, Motorola, Garmin, and more.

Industrial and Commercial Electronics Manufacturing

This includes the production of electronics used in industrial and commercial settings, such as control systems, sensors, and monitoring devices. Key companies include Emerson and Rockwell Automation.

Medical Device Manufacturing

This segment involves the production of medical devices like diagnostic equipment, imaging systems, and medical implants. Key companies include Medtronic and Abbott Laboratories.

Automotive Electronics Manufacturing

This includes the production of electronics used in vehicles, such as engine control units, infotainment systems, and safety systems. Key companies include Tesla and General Motors.

Computer Hardware Manufacturing

Computer components such as motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices. Key companies include Dell and IBM.

Networking and Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturing

This segment includes the production of networking hardware such as routers, switches, and telecommunications equipment like cell towers and modems. Key companies include Cisco and Juniper Networks.

Six Requirements Technology Manufacturers Look for in 3PL and Warehousing Providers

Supply chain logistics and warehousing are critical components of the technology manufacturing sector, ensuring the efficient movement and storage of goods. Support for Just In Time (JIT) manufacturing is a key component of many companies in technology manufacturing. Designed to be flexible and responsive to changes in customer demand, JIT manufacturing allows quick adjustment of production levels and product mix based on changes in demand. The goal is to minimize inventory levels by only keeping enough stock on hand to meet immediate production needs — and reduce the cost of storing excess inventory. Key requirements are as follows:

1. Efficient and Timely Transportation. Technology manufacturers require reliable transportation to move raw materials, components, and finished products between suppliers, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers. This includes access to highways, ports, and airports.

2. Accurate Inventory Management. Effective inventory management is crucial to avoid stockouts or overstock situations. A 3PL should be able to have real-time visibility into inventory and be able to optimize replenishment processes.

3. A Top-Tier Warehouse Management System (WMS). Sophisticated WMS software is essential for technology manufacturers to manage warehouse operations efficiently. These systems help in organizing inventory, picking, packing, and shipping orders, and optimizing warehouse layouts.

4. Reverse Logistics. Technology manufacturers need to have systems in place for handling returns and repairs. This includes processes for diagnosing issues, repairing or replacing products, and returning them to inventory or disposing of them properly.

5. Supply Chain Transparency. Technology manufacturers require real-time visibility into their supply chain to track shipments, monitor inventory levels, and identify potential disruptions. This visibility is often achieved through the use of tracking technologies and data analytics.

6. Compliance and Regulations. Technology manufacturers must comply with various regulations related to product safety, environmental protection, and labor practices. This includes ensuring that their logistics partners also comply with these regulations.

Tighe Logistics: Tech Manufacturing Services and Capabilities

Tighe provides customers with the highest quality, full service, completely integrated warehousing and transportation solution available. Tighe Logistics has the people and expertise to manage your suppliers, be your warehouse distribution hub, your factory annex, or an extension of your manufacturing floor. Here are some of the services we offer:

Supplier Management

We can receive, store, and ship inbound raw materials, sub-components and parts from suppliers that are used in manufacturing processes. From inbound receiving, to developing item masters and uploading into the WMS, to developing uniform shipping requirements for suppliers that streamline processes and reduce costs, and more.

Precise, Transparent Inventory Management

Our experienced team specializes in managing thousands of manufacturing parts from suppliers with precision and accuracy your business requires — from the tiniest washer to a pallet-sized robot arm. We can meet your fill rates, provide on-time delivery, and optimize replenishment processes for JIT manufacturing.

JIT Manufacturing Expertise

We’re experts in JIT manufacturing warehousing and transportation to help ensure an efficient, cost-effective supply chain. JIT relies on the efficient coordination of raw materials, components, and finished goods to minimize inventory and reduce waste. We can manage the transportation, warehousing, and distribution of goods, ensuring that components and finished products arrive at the right place, at the right time, and in the right quantity.

With thorough and efficient supplier management, we help customers reduce lead times, lower inventory holding costs, and improve overall supply chain efficiency. We offer value-added services including sub-assembly, picking, packing, packaging, labeling, quality control — can further streamlining the manufacturing process.

Full Service Transportation and Transportation Management

We offer an in-house transportation fleet that covers the entire Northeastern United States. As an extension of your team, our logistics crew will assist you with supply chain planning, day-to-day execution and strategic partnerships that will reduce your freight costs and improve operational efficiencies. We fully support transportation solutions for JIT manufacturing and more. Some of our specialties include:

LTL/TL. We offer flexible shipping options for both LTL and Truckload shipping. We help costumes choose the right option depending on factors such as shipment size, urgency, and cost considerations.

Cross Dock/Pool Distribution. A quick, cost effective way to move product efficiently through the supply chain. With our ability to cross dock your products from inbound railcars, Tighe can help streamline your supply chain from point of origin to point of destination and reduce your costs.

Drayage Services. With our experienced fleet of TWIC certified drivers, we are able to provide extensive port and intermodal drayage service to all rail yards and piers in the Northeast. In addition, Tighe provides transloading, consolidation, deconsolidation, and warehousing services for overseas shipments.

Dedicated Fleet Services. Tighe’s dedicated fleet services and highly-trained drivers provide the benefits of a private fleet without the associated liabilities and capital investment, allowing customers to concentrate on running and growing their businesses. Tighe can provide a dedicated fleet operation of any size.

Value-Add Services

Tighe offers a variety of value-added services ideal for technology manufacturing companies — and that complement our core transportation and New England warehousing services.

  • Pick & pack
  • Sub-assembly
  • Labeling/packaging/repackaging
  • UPC barcode printing
  • Overflow/seasonal warehousing
  • Kitting

The Latest Technology to Support Your Business

With state-of-the-art hardware, software and business applications, including our WMS, Tighe is able to provide highly accurate, real-time information that can be used to integrate seamlessly with your supply chain management or ERP systems.

Real-time visibility into the metrics that matter

Tighe provides on-line access for customers, giving them visibility to all aspects of their business. In addition, customers have their own dashboard with key metrics, so they can always be up-to-date.

Reverse Logistics

Tighe can handle returns, including replacing products, returning them to inventory, or disposing of them properly.

Compliance Reporting

Tighe helps you meet your safety and compliance requirements as well as provides the supporting data and reports you need.

Why Tighe Logistics: Ideally Located in Boston, the Silicon Valley of the East

Boston and its surrounding areas, including Cambridge and the Route 128 Tech Corridor, are home to a significant number of tech companies. There are hundreds of tech companies in and around Boston. These include established companies as well as startups and research institutions, covering a wide range of industries such as biotechnology, software development, robotics, and telecommunications. Many major tech companies have a significant presence in the Boston area including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM, among many others.

Eastern Massachusetts is home to a skilled workforce familiar with the technology sector. A 3PL located in this area can tap into this talent pool, ensuring that they have the expertise needed to provide high-quality logistics services to tech companies. The tech corridor is well-connected with highways, airports, and other transportation infrastructure. This ensures that the 3PL can easily move goods in and out of the area, providing efficient logistics solutions to tech companies.

Tighe offers multiple warehouse locations in the Boston metropolitan area, including locations in Winchester and Woburn, with additional warehouses in Avon, Clinton, and Mansfield MA.

Being at the epicenter of the tech corridor means Tighe can offer efficient and cost-effective logistics solutions. We have a deep understanding of the unique logistics challenges including handling delicate and high-value equipment, managing just-in-time inventory requirements, and dealing with rapid changes in demand.

Key Metrics And Performance You Can Expect From Tighe Logistics

Tighe can provide the metrics and KPIs that help you make better decisions faster. Our teams are dedicated to providing you with the information you need — here are a few of the ways Tighe helps tech manufacturing customers stay ahead of business trends:

Access to customized dashboards

Tighe’s customized daily dashboard keeps you up-to-date on important metrics and provides complete transparency.

Conducting monthly business reviews

To review key metrics, make adjustments and smarter business decisions about what’s happening with inventory, distribution and the supply chain.

Tracking productivity by job function

We can track work-specific productivity by job function, enabling you to identify specific functional areas for improvement gains.

Identifying opportunities for improvement

By looking at different job groups, we can break down processes in a granular way and find what types of products or processes are driving costs.

Implementing best practices

Our team has the data analytics and process expertise to ensure your warehousing and transportation is operating optimally at every stage.

KPM Case Study
Case Study

Regional Outdoor Power Equipment Distributor

Focus: Long-term 3PL Partnership

Overview:

KPM Exceptional is a privately-owned and operated regional distributor of world-class outdoor power equipment, including stand-out brands like Scag mowers, Wright mowers, Sno-Way plows and spreaders, Vortexx pressure washers, and more. They were looking for a more centrally-located warehouse to service the Northeastern US, and a full service 3PL partner that could help them increase their level of service to their dealers.

Operational Profile:

  • Reduced LTL Shipment Transit Times from 6 days to 1 day
  • Ultimate flexibility for billing, volume and inventory changes
  • Increased service levels across dealer network
  • Executive commitment to customer relationship and success
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