The ability to ship product on-time and correctly is a critical aspect of our semiconductor companies’ success. However, this often gets short shrift during initial conversations with prospective Tensoft customers, for whatever reason. (My guess is that this is at least partially due to the fact that Operations and/or Finance teams usually lead searches for ERP/supply chain solutions, and their focus is usually on other equally critical processes.) So we’ll be publishing a series of blog posts – beginning with this overview – to highlight some of the key issues around the shipping for our semiconductor customers, and how Tensoft SemiOps addresses them.
Semiconductor Companies Typically Outsource Shipping
Many – if not most – semiconductor companies don’t do the actual physical shipping of their products. They may have their suppliers ship for them, or they may use a 3PL (third party logistics) company to ship to their customers. Often these outsourced suppliers are on the other side of the world. However, the semiconductor company is responsible for delivering their product to their customers.
So what can be done to make shipping processes as seamless and easy as possible? Tensoft SemiOps includes a shipper portal for use by your outside suppliers. Here they can log into your system – see only the data that you want them to see – and easily get all of the information that they need to ship. This ensures that your product will be shipped according to your processes, your documentation, your inventory, and your methodology. And that makes your customers happy!
Semiconductor Companies Need More Than Just a Packing Slip
Another key issue for semiconductor companies is the shipping documentation that’s required. They are shipping internationally, so they need customs documents. They are shipping product that’s often going to manufacturing lines, so they need shipping labels. Some companies need certificates of conformance.
Tensoft SemiOps has the ability to create shipping documentation directly in the system. You don’t have to go to several other places to get the documentation required – the options are right there in the menu. Having this capability as a standard feature has been a huge time-saver for many Tensoft customers.
Semiconductor Companies’ Customers Have Unique Shipping Requirements
The third key shipping issue that semiconductor companies face is that each one of your customers is likely to have unique – and complex – shipping requirements. In the simplest scenario, each customer typically gives their own shipping account information to you, the semiconductor company. So if you have 10 customers, you need to manage 10 customer profiles, 10 customer account numbers, 10 customer preferences for shipping, etc.
The complexity grows if your customers stipulate multiple shipping methods/models, depending on the scenario. For example, one customer may say: “If you’re shipping from this location to this location for me, and it’s below this weight, use this account. But if it’s above this weight, use this account. But if I tell you this, use this account instead.” Or perhaps: “On Tuesdays, use only XYZ shipping labels, and only XYZ certain terms for when it can be shipped.” So there are typically complex instructions from each customer, and that need to be communicated to the person doing the shipping in order for them to ship correctly.
How Tensoft SemiOps Helps
When you combine all those needs together – an outside third party logistics company doing your shipping for you; the need for many shipping documents; and complex, unique shipping requirements for each customer – you have some significant system requirements that aren’t easily addressed. In the blog posts to follow, we’ll take a look at each of these areas and how Tensoft SemiOps addresses them for our customers.