How do you know if your supply chain management and logistics are really effective? You can’t see them or touch them, but they’re making sure the products you need are getting to the places you need them in a way that enables you to make your customers happy. To improve your logistics and supply chain management, here are five tips to keep in mind.
A business’s success or failure relies heavily on the quality of its logistics and supply chain management. This requires an incredible amount of planning and organization, which can be difficult to manage without the proper training. However, by following these five tips to improve your logistics and supply chain management, you’ll find that it gets much easier to keep your business running smoothly and effectively. If you don’t know where to start with your logistics and supply chain management, this article will give you all the information you need to get started.
5 Tips for Improving Your Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management and logistics may seem to be a topic that only big business and government organizations need to worry about, but the fact of the matter is that every company relies on an efficient supply chain management system to provide their customers with the product or service they want, when they want it, at an affordable price. While improving your logistics and supply chain management doesn’t have to be difficult, there are still some things you can do to improve your efficiency and cut down on costs and waste. Here are five tips to get you started.
After all, logistics management is just another way of saying supply chain management. If we break the supply chain down to its simplest definition: everything from how you source your raw materials to where and when you sell your final product. Businesses are complex, so there are lots of decisions to make. That’s why effective logistics can increase efficiency by smoothing out a company’s inbound and outbound processes, cutting costs that occur during transit, and creating efficiency for customers who would prefer an option with less variability. It even has a major impact on your business’s bottom line because better logistics lead to higher profits. The following tips will help you better manage your supply chain and improve logistics.
1) Create Inventory
Before you can improve your logistics and supply chain management, you have to know where your problems are. Start by creating an inventory of all of your business processes. This list should include everything that goes into making something happen in your company: every step, from quoting to delivery; every part, from design to assembly; every stage, from sourcing materials to selling products; every supplier, from raw materials suppliers to logistics companies. While it might seem like a lot at first glance (and it will be), there’s nothing worse than having a great idea without knowing where or how to apply it. We suggest getting started with as small an inventory as possible (such as a specific shipment or process) before tackling anything more comprehensive.
2) Automate Your System
If you’re a logistics or supply chain manager, one of your biggest responsibilities is getting goods from point A to point B. However, one way to save time and money is by automating that process. There are plenty of shipping robots out there (like OTTO), so instead of sorting packages manually or spending valuable time driving your delivery van across town, take advantage of new technologies that can save you both time and money. To improve your supply chain management, think about ways you can incorporate modern technology into your business model. Even if it’s just an incremental change—like taking advantage of robot work—it could make a big difference over time.
3) Create a Back-Up Plan
One of your primary responsibilities as a logistics manager is to ensure that everyone in your company has a backup plan. In today’s uncertain world, you can’t rely on anything or anyone to be 100% reliable all of the time; you must be prepared to solve problems immediately when they arise. If possible, avoid outsourcing logistics and manufacturing operations—you want to keep control over certain aspects of your business so that you can quickly and accurately adjust in response to changes. A good supply chain is like a bank: although it should have some form of backup (for example, redundancy within its own network), it shouldn’t rely on one single source because what if that source were suddenly cut off?
4) Partner With Service Providers
Many of us are logistics experts—we just don’t know it. So it should come as no surprise that in order to improve your company’s logistics management, you need to focus on outsourcing your logistics needs as much as possible. As long as you’re partnering with service providers that offer quality services at a reasonable price, there is little reason not to look outside your organization for solutions to your logistical issues. In many cases, only then will you realize how truly complicated managing supply chain operations can be. The best way to get a handle on what your options are is by researching logistics companies near you and getting in touch with a few of them. You never know when one might provide exactly what you’re looking for!
5) Test New Routes
With a lot of logistics companies being outsourced, it’s critical to have a deep understanding of where your organization is spending its money. Don’t be afraid to test new routes or try out new providers—your clients will love you for it. They’ll also probably pass that newfound loyalty along to their peers if you make an effort to deliver their goods on time every time. There are several ways to improve how well your organization executes logistics and supply chain management, but sometimes all it takes is taking a step back and reevaluating how your organization works from top to bottom. After all, don’t reinvent our processes sometimes mean simply moving away from what doesn’t work?