Given the growing competitiveness of the market, many companies seek innovative research aimed at survival and improvement in internal processes. One of them is milk run, a system that accelerates flows in the production cycle, seeking the integration between logistics and supply chain.
This procedure is generally used by industries in the automotive sector that are based on the just-in-time system. That is, the one that proposes cost reduction with high performance and on-time deliveries. To learn more about milk run advantages and disadvantages , keep up with us.
What is milk run?
In the early 20th century, milk distributors developed a method to save on transporting goods from farms to the filling companies. In this feature, instead of the producer taking his product, which increased the price due to freight, the cooperatives collected the demand, reducing the cost.
To speed up the work, a wagon passed through all the producers, collecting standardized milk cans. That way, they could exchange the empty cans for the floods with any manufacturer that was in the path of the planned route.
Over the years, the milk run has improved to make a better connection of the logistics chain through scheduled routes. This strategy made it possible to reduce the number of trucks during large batch deliveries, optimizing demand and the number of trips.
How does the milk run system work?
Now that you know what is milk run, the next step is to understand the main types of application of this technique. Although its emergence has come from industries in the dairy segment, it is widely used in the automotive, aeronautical, naval and technological sectors.
This is because your system has a single means of transport to collect the materials at each of the points planned in the routing of the fleet. At this stage, the routes and times are also defined, which must always be respected.
Unlike traditional methods, where the supplier is responsible for delivering the cargo to the customer, the milk run process leaves one commodity and takes another. Thus, the company saves on transportation costs.
However, this is not the only objective of the project, since it aims at controlling cargo in transit and reducing the stock level. Other points to be considered are the volume standardization in the products received and the agility in loading and unloading.
Why use milk run?
Do you understand what is milk run in logistics, but still don’t know how it can boost your business? Let’s explain! If your company is a service provider, it is up to you to seek solutions that offer quality transportation to the customer. It is in this context that the MR enters!
In this process, instead of waiting for suppliers to ship the products one by one, in spaced periods, a delivery and collection logistics is created. With it, the same travel vehicle is used to perform the tasks both on the way and on the return.
The method also reduces the accumulation of items in the client, helping them in the internal organization and supplying their needs with an efficient load consolidation. To make the assessment even more accurately, check below a list of pros and cons about MR.
Advantages for the carrier
The advantages of milk run logistics can be felt soon after its implementation. See below which are the main:
- Decreased inactive loads;
- Reduction in the rate of malfunctions;
- Flexibility and agility;
- Script preset,
- Use of space for the solidification of loads.
Disadvantages for the carrier
Before implementing the system, it is important to investigate some issues to avoid future problems with suppliers and customers. These include:
- Need for synchrony between suppliers and customer demands;
- Possibility of loss of credibility with producers,
- Commitment to all stages of milk run, avoiding delays in the availability of inputs and in the manufacture of products.
What are the prerequisites for applying the technique?
Despite all these advantages, making strategic planning, such as the alignment of demand between the factory and the customer, is essential. Thus, all are synchronized, avoiding stops due to lack of materials or excessive travel.
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