Like most things in life, when things are going well we don’t really notice but when they go wrong, we are often unprepared. The same thing can be said for logistics. We tend to forget about the many complex processes that have to come together in order to get a product from location A to location B. We may not even understand all of them or want to unless a massive failure occurs.
Focusing on the negative
When disruption takes place, whether due to bad weather, breakdowns or labour shortages, logistics suddenly take a prime slot with regard to our time. When this happens, it is all too easy to focus on the bad things and end up with a negative impression of the logistics system in general; the irritation of having to share resources like roads, trucks and warehousing with others is enhanced, as are the many difficult tasks often faced by logistics managers.
However, despite the many intricacies of logistics and the potential pitfalls that can occur, logistics are and always will be a crucial part of modern life and essential to many businesses. With this in mind, much is done throughout the UK and Europe to promote and market logistics in a very positive way, with trade fairs and promotions taking place to show the industry in a good light. Logistics will always be essential when it comes to the running of the economy globally; the sector may face many challenges and keeping logistics running smoothly and efficiently may not always be easy but it is something that is crucial and indispensable.
Managing your logistics
When it comes to your company’s logistics plans, they need to run smoothly alongside corporate strategy and the two should influence each other; for instance, if selling at low prices is one of your company USPs then your logistics plan should involve moving your goods for the lowest cost. If instead, your USP is one of speed, then you need your logistics strategy to take this into account and it follows that if quality is your thing, then delivering orders absolutely on time every time is what you need to do.
Whatever your company’s logistics management strategy you need to always live up to client expectations. Obtaining the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective carrier to handle your products is imperative if you are to run a successful business. No matter your sector of operation, a well-run and well-managed supply chain is critical to advancement. It is worth taking the time to get it right as you will be more able to deal with competitors and your productivity will take a boost. By being proactive and doing all possible to look out for and avoid supply chain disruption, you can prevent your business from being handicapped and suffering a dent in its reputation.
Essential systems and processes
Most of all, you need to have systems and processes in place that will help mitigate any extenuating circumstances in the supply chain. Forward planning has to be done effectively and carefully and no shortcuts should ever be taken. Much better to spend a little time getting things absolutely spot-on than having to spend days dealing with the chaos generated by hiccups in the supply chain logistics. Of course, much will depend on the type of products that you are shifting. Are they liable to spoil if delayed in transit? Do you have to move fragile goods that may suffer if handled mechanically and not by hand? Your contingency plans that kick in in case of logistical problems need to be harnessed to the right solution. If you are pulling products together from different parts of the globe then your technology also needs to be capable of linking communications in order to provide consistent contact and connections. Dealing with problems as they occur in real time is so much more effective than trying to put things right after the event. Your business will be successful if your supply chain is robust and intelligent and getting management involved at the right time can eradicate customer service issues in the future.
By identifying the right solutions well in advance, you can change the way you operate within what is often an uncertain and frenetic market. Warehouse processes need to be well controlled, fleets tracked and inventory kept a check of. Whether you have your own warehousing or are making use of a shared warehousing facility that is handling a massive number of shipments year after year then you need to choose one that makes use of additional help at peak times and places a high value on speed and accuracy. Relying on memory and what is in your head or the minds of others within the team is no replacement for a sophisticated process that keeps on going even when memories do not. When it comes to logistics, don’t make the error of relying too much on manual processes as this can waste time and money, preventing a business from achieving its full potential. Forward planning is the key when it comes to keeping logistics logical, whether you decide to use fleet management software, systems to keep a close watch on product inventory or to invest in maximising every inch of your warehouse space with improved processes.
Logical and consistent logistics
When it comes to current day logistics, system innovations are hitting the market every day and providing management with access to centralised data and real-time access to information such as hs code classification tools when and where they want it and in any country, home or abroad. New technology linked to logistics is providing improved links for shippers to customer and customers to the end client, enabling fast and flexible responses that make great strides when it comes to staying ahead of the competition. Logistics today can be as mobile as you need them to be; by accessing and using data in the right way, you can propel your business forward with logistics that remain logical and consistent all of the time.