You may well have the smartest employees, the best products, and even the most efficient work practices, but if you can’t get your product to the customer, it will be impossible for your company to succeed. Don’t despair though, because even if your business’s logistics are currently a complete nightmare, there are ways that you can improve it and so enhance your company. Read on to find out what they are.
Don’t confuse or inconvenience the customer
While we tend to think of logistics being concerned with warehouses and lorries, their real goal is to provide the best delivery service to those that are ultimately buying your product, the customer. With that in mind, clarity and convenience must rein for your business’s logistics to be successful.
What this means is clear delivery time, and pricing needs to be displayed at the point of purchase. Also, consider updating your customers with live tracking and information about when their products will be delivered, and what to do if they cannot receive them when expected.
In fact, this is a service that both individual private customers and large-scale business customers will be impressed by and make use of. Something that can significantly raise customer satisfaction and ensure that your business isn’t being let down by your logistics.
Do consider swapping to a demand driven system
If you want your business to thrive, swapping from a supply-driven logistics system to a demand driven one is something to consider.
Supply-driven systems work, by being able to furnish customers with what you already have in stock. This means if demand increases there will be a delay while your logistics system catches up. This is important because it’s not just the product you are supplying that is crucial in getting customers to buy, but also the time constraints in which you can provide this.
What that means is that if their choice is between you and another company that can get the same or similar product to their door faster, you will lose out. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your logistic system is one that works on demand, rather than supply. Something you can get details on at inboundlogistics.com.
To achieve this, you will need to integrate the use of real-time data into your ordering, sales, and shipping systems. Something that will allow enough flexibility to meet individual customer’s demands, as opposed to just the wider trends. Doing this, if action properly, should also allow your business to ship more efficiently. Something that can save you a great deal of money as well, making it a double win.
Don’t ignore the value of technological developments
Developments in technology and software a have a lot of potential for making your business logistics run more smoothly, be more efficient, and meet your customers needs better. What this means is you need to stay on top of the latest trends in this area concerning how they can be applied specifically to your business.
For example, logistics masters Amazon, as you can see at qz.com are now using automated warehouse robots to pick and pack orders in a much more efficient and cost-effective way. A strategy that can be even more useful to your business than merely swapping to a human operate barcode stock and shipping system. Therefore don’t be afraid to embrace even very new tech, if it will make a significant improvement to your business’s bottom line.
Do set yourself up for success
If you want your logistics to support the ongoing success of your business, it’s essential to set them up in the correct manner. What this means is that you have the right people and the proper infrastructure to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible, day in and day out.
Of course, when it comes to people, good logisticians like the ones discussed at cerasis.com need a range of skills to be effective in their role including fantastic interpersonal and leadership skills, as well as a head for finance and an active network within the logistics community, that they can rely on in a tricky spot.
When it comes to the actual infrastructure of your business logistics, things are not so clear-cut. In fact, the best logistics department are ones that are accurately matched with the needs of the individual business that they serve.
For some companies, outsourcing or partnering with a larger name in the logistics world will be the right choice. However, for others renting or even building their own logistics hub to their business’s specific requirements is smarter.
For the latter, you will need to find a commercial developer like CochranEng.com that is experienced with industrial estate builds, the location where a logistics hub is usually best situated. Also be sure to check that the firm you choose can construct a logistic centre for your enterprise that has the flexibility to grow with your businesses needs and demands as well. Otherwise, you could end up needing additional facilities in the long term as your business grows and becomes more successful.
Don’t forget that small things make a big difference
Imagine wrapping your Christmas presents but having to walk across the room every time you need a new sheet of wrapping paper, some tape, or a tag. Then multiply this by the thousands of packages that the picked, packed, and shipped every day by your business! Something that demonstrates you are looking at a serious waste of energy and effort, and this can really add up and eat into your business’s bottom line if you aren’t careful.
That is why is crucial to not forget about the importance that even minimal changes can make when it comes to logistics. With that in mind, auditing your logistic department’s system on a regular basis can help you identify any inefficient practices that are costing you money, and are therefore is well worth doing. You can even read the post at vijaysangamworld.wordpress.com on how to do this effectively.
In a similar vein, analyzing your practices to ensure that they meet the goals that you have set for your business regarding logistics is essential as well. Therefore don’t forget to integrate this into the way that you run this arm of your company.
Do invest in logistic staff training
While choosing the right logistician to manage your operations is vital, it is also crucial that every single person knows exactly what they need to do to get the job done well too. That is why it’s essential to invest in regular training with your whole staff, including reminding them of any processes that have recently been updated, according to SCMEDU.
Also, don’t forget value on the onboarding process that they pass through when they join your company either. In fact, as logistics departments often have a high turnover of staff, inductions are not only crucial to ensuring that everyone knows how to work efficiently and safely, but can also help reduce your staff turnover in this area as well. Something else that can contribute to better continuity and positively affects your business’s profit margins well.
Don’t be reactive – be proactive and plan ahead
Having a plan B for emergencies is crucial for successful logistics.
On occasion, being able to improvise in the field of logistics can be a plus. After all, a little creative thinking can turn a major crisis into a win, and allow you to get your products exactly where they need to go to please your customers.
However, as a rule, it’s much better to run your logistics department on a proactive, rather than reactive basis. What this means is that you need to identify risks and potential problems ahead of time and come up with plans and solution that will deal with these before either turn into significant difficulties. A task you can get some help with at flashglobal.com.
In particular, having a firm grasp of the capability of your supply chain, as well as the availability of transportation over any given period is essential. Otherwise, you could end it in a nightmare situation like the ones KFC in the UK suffered when they swapped over logistics providers, and stores around the country ran out of their most popular and eponymous product, chicken!
Do be eco-minded
Your logistic department and customers services are intrinsically linked, and many businesses would do well to remember this. In fact, a particular issue that is a hot button subject with consumers at the moment is the vast waste that logistics can create regarding packing materials.
This means it’s crucial that you address this, both in your packing policies by ensuring that small items are packed in suitable size boxes, and concerning the actual materials you use. A topic that is discussed in detail at theguardian.com.
Happily, there are ranges of boxes, packs, and tapes that are not only recyclable but also come from sustainable sources as well. Something you should consider switching to, and advertising to your customers, if you want your logistics to support your company rather than let in down.
In summary, logistics is much more than getting your products from A to B., In fact, effective logistics is about pleasing your customers, meeting their demands, and demonstrating your business’s commitment to social responsibility. It’s also about being efficient, effective, and proactive too.
Therefore if your logistics are letting your business down, now is the time to review and make the fundamental changes that are needed. Otherwise, much more could be at risk that a late package, or a disgruntled customer!