While searching for savings, most companies start by eliminating inefficiencies in outbound logistics. Only a few companies have gone to the next step by taking control of their inbound freight.
A structured inbound program will guide vendors, improve inventory control, validate the terms and conditions of the purchase order and minimize the need for expedited shipments, and ultimately provide significant savings.
Not surprisingly, many of the techniques used to save time and money on outbound transportation actually work for inbound freight as well. Having a clear picture of your inbound freight costs is paramount in pricing your products. Leaving the control of your inbound freight to your vendors is ill-advised and can be very costly.
At the end of the month, with little regard for your needs, many suppliers are eager to get freight off their dock so they can bill it. Your savings occur when your supplier optimizes shipments, consolidates loads, and maximizes weight and cube in a trailer.
Terms of sale are also an important factor when looking for savings. Generally speaking, FOB Destination/Freight Collect will allow you to take more control by allowing you to select a transportation provider that meets your service and pricing criteria.