The Great Paper Chase
As in-plants demand more just-in-time delivery, paper companies are upgrading their warehouses and inventory tracking systems to serve them.
When your in-plant has a job to do, you need to have the right paper—and the right quantities of it—available. And since many in-plants rely on paper vendors for just-in-time delivery, what goes on behind the scenes at your supplier's facility can directly affect you.
To get orders filled and delivered quickly, suppliers rely on strategically placed warehouses, and detailed inventory tracking and order management systems. They often must ship in advance of orders, too, to make sure supplies arrive on time.
Georgia-Pacific Communication Papers works with seven major market warehouses located in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle, as well as many smaller regional warehouses, according to Barbara Woods, manager of inventory planning and logistics.
From these regional warehouses, Georgia-Pacific operates its GP-NOW (Georgia-Pacific National Overnight Warehouses) program. With GP-NOW, Woods says, the company can ensure overnight delivery of products to destinations within 475 miles of G-P's regional warehouses. Woods reveals that G-P is planning to add high-volume grades of Microprint imaging papers to the list of items available through GP-NOW beginning next year.
To get a jump start in the ordering process, some companies, like Champion, forward-position their products.
"We ship rail cars out to the West Coast knowing that there are orders coming in all the time, so when they order, it may be there the next day," explains Dennis Essary, director of marketing for Champion cutsize papers.
Woods says Georgia-Pacific has a simular philosophy: "To meet the service requirements of just-in-time deliveries, companies need to have product already 'in the pipeline' by the time a customer order comes in. This means a great emphasis on...integrated inventory management and forecasting."