Generally, companies that ship products to other companies and/or individuals have contracts with at least one shipping company (Bannock, 1997; Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003). Other companies have many shipping options and allow the person to whom the item is being shipped to choose which shipper that person wants. Does it make sense for a company to nominate a particular shipping company for all of its shipping needs?
There are advantages and disadvantages of doing that, and any company must consider those advantages and disadvantages carefully before deciding on which company will be used for routine shipping. The company must also decide if there are to be exceptions to the rule when it comes to shipping special orders or something out of the ordinary. If the company is using a shipping company that is not appropriate for all of its needs, then the company may want to reconsider which shipper it uses and whether it should change shippers so it can have all of its shipping needs met by one company (Perry, et al., 1997; Shanker & Astrachan, 1996; Stopford, 1997).
To do that, however, the company has to find the right shipper. Not all shippers charge the same rates, and not all shippers deliver to the same places on the same kind of schedule. Each shipper is different, and a company that is serious about shipping has to understand that and plan for it so that the shipping that is done can be the right price and quality and reliability for the company and the person to whom the item is being shipped.
In the case of Taiping Carpet, it would appear that having one designated shipper would be the best idea. That way the shipping costs are always known and the company can develop a relationship with a shipper that can help them get rush deliveries out and handle other issues. Here, it is important to explore how having a designated shipper contributes to the overall production flow of a company that markets goods to others.
The production flow of a company is the way in which the company takes raw materials, turns them into the products it sells, and then sends those products out to the consumers who purchase them (Bannock, 1997; Birch, 1979; Birch, 1987). With that in mind, it is very important that the production flow operates smoothly so that the company can be successful in its endeavors and so the customers can get what they ordered quickly and efficiently (Birch, 1979; Birch, 1987; Chopra & Meindl, 2007).
With a large item like carpet, shipping can be costly and there is always the risk of damage. In order to mitigate those problems, a company must consider finding a trusted shipper that will charge reasonable rates and that will provide careful handling of the product and insurance in case there is any kind of damage done to the product (Benett, 1986; Cooper, et al., 1998; Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003). Nominating a particular shipping company and using only that company can also impact the production flow if that company is unable to fulfill its shipping obligations for some reason such as faulty equipment or a driver or vehicle shortage (Bannock, 1997; Bardi, et al., 2006).
In that case, another company may be able to be used on short notice, or the company that needs to ship the product may have to delay shipping its product to the customer until the shipping company it normally uses is operating properly. Anytime a shipment to a customer is delayed it can lead to hard feelings between the shipper and the customer, which could mean that the customer would not purchase from the company again (Cooper, et al., 1998; Edmiston, 2010; Lay, 1992).
Word of mouth advertising could also mean that the customer would tell others that he or she had a bad experience with the company, and that could mean that the company would lose out on business that it would have otherwise been offered (Wallenburg, et al., 2011; Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003). In order to avoid that kind of problem - and other problems that may crop up in the future with shipping considerations - it is very important to address the issue of what shipper should be used, what shipper is the best for the company, and which shipping company is more reliable (Stopford, 1997).
One of the ways to be sure that one has the correct shipping company for the business' needs is to use the process of continuous production. That way the production flow is the same nearly all the time and every department knows what should be expected of it (Milchen, n.d., Milgate, 1987; Mitchell, 2003). Without that basic understanding of what is expected, it can be very difficult for a company to focus on any kind of adequate production of its goods, which will cause its customers to fall away and can even mean bankruptcy for the company (Bannock, 1997; Bardi, et al., 2006; Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003).
To avoid that, it is best to understand the ideas behind continuous production in order to see how they relate to shipping. The practice of continuous production is also considered flow production, and it is used in order to process, manufacture, or produce goods in a way that is uninterrupted (Bannock, 1997; Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003). It is generally termed a continuous flow process or just a continuous process (Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003). The reason these terms are used is because the materials that are being used to create the finished product are constantly in motion. The manufacturing plant or other area where the finished goods are created may operate 24 hours a day.
Depending on the needs for carpet and how many people are ordering carpet, a continuous flow of production may not be the most realistic way to handle a shipping issue. If there is a designated shipping carrier and that carrier does not always have work from the company or is not always needed, the company can end up spending extra money for an 'on call" carrier that is not always used (Wallenburg, et al., 2011). The terms of the agreement with the shipping carrier are very important, and they have to be clearly spelled out and addressed or they will not benefit the company or the customers.
Not all customers care about the company that ships their items (Bannock, 1997; Perry, et al., 1997). As long as they get the items in a timely manner and undamaged, what difference does it make what carrier ships them? However, the same cannot be said for the company that is sending the items to the customer. That company needs good, reliable shipping (Bannock, 1997). There are two ways to get that in the long-term. The company can have its own shipping department, where the shipping is actually done by the company itself, or the company can enter into a contract with a shipping company, whereby that company will do all the shipping (Mitchell, 2003; Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003).
A company with its own shipping department has some distinct advantages, because there are no outside carriers about which the company has to worry (Ziegler & Aguilar, 2003). There are issues to consider, of course, when it comes to company shipping, but that does not mean it is not an area that should be explored by companies that do a lot of business and pay a lot of money in shipping costs. When a company is able to have its own shipping and does not need to use another company for that purpose, there is more that can be handled more quickly - and that often means happier customers (Bannock, 1997; Edmiston, 2010).
It can also mean a lower cost for the company, which can be passed on to the customers through lower prices or taken from the bottom line in the form of higher profits. Either way, the company sees a benefit. Of course, there are some concerns to be had, as well, because not every company is able to just create a shipping division. Some companies have to deal with much more than just how much the shipping department might cost to operate on a daily basis, because there are start-up costs, training, hiring, equipment gathering, and much more that will need to be done if a company is going to have an internal shipping department as opposed to letting another company handle shipping (Bannock, 1997).
The costs that a company would have to undertake if it is going to have its own shipping department are the first thing that the company should look at, aside from determining if there is an actual need for shipping in that manner (Cooper, et al., 1998). In other words, it may be much more feasible for the company to hire out its shipping, but in some cases it may not - and that has to be determined first and foremost. Once…