No matter what your business is, there exists an undeniable truth. That undeniable truth being those bad logistics leads to preventable losses. Logistics, while commonly believed to only be about the transportation of materials, supplies, and finished products, encompasses the whole business process. It begins before a client’s purchase and it ends with the client receiving the goods. Kinks or creases in this process can severely affect your business and even potentially lead to losing customers.
How It Brings Losses
Dealing with suppliers who don’t meet your required deadline would mean a halt or delay in production. This obviously leads to postponing projected dates of completion, something that your clients will not be happy with. Beyond late deliveries, there are also multiple factors that ultimately leads to disadvantage: receiving a bad shipment with less than adequate parts means either a reduced overall quality of your product or if you choose to wait for a better batch of shipment, then longer wait times to produce output.
On your end, inefficient management of logistics can result in miscalculated costs that incur higher expenses than necessary, and any hiccups in your product or delivery might ruin your relationship with valued customers and clients. There might be missing supplies, late deliveries, or low shipment products- and this will all reflect on your company. All of these can destroy the contract of trust you’ve built with your clients, resulting in major losses.
As mentioned before, failures in logistics management are preventable losses. While multiple factors affect effective logistics management, there are ways to ensure that your company stays in good shape. When it comes to the growth of your business, ‘covering the bases’ is a necessary step to ensure that the process will be smooth and avoidable mistakes are avoided.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Any project or business is bound to fail with insufficient planning. While the advice ‘plan properly’ might sound vague and general, the reality is as simple as that: project as much as current information allows you to, interpret how that data affects your business, and using the information you’ve gathered plan as much as you can.
Your preparation should include the first motion of your business, collecting the contacts of credible suppliers (keeping their locations and availability in mind), look at your own holding and production capacity, and analyze your delivery system. This should include contingencies and alternates should one leg fail. Once you’ve created your supply chain process, stick to it but don’t be stiff and inflexible when you see problems arising. It’s best to have a strategy but not everything will go according to plan.
Communication is Key
Internally, communication between departments or OICs is vital to ensure an efficient workflow. While it’s easy to assume that this only includes official forms of communications like emails or written forms, the real nitty-gritty of potential supply chain troubles can be discovered through face to face socialization. Knowing the ground-level of your supply chain workforce brings along many benefits. You might hear an offhand complaint about an errant machine that’s not broken enough to be reported but is causing minor hiccups- something that’s worth looking into. Communication also includes utilizing technology convenient to most, like smartphones. You can reduce unnecessary meetings by communicating through instant messaging apps instead of having short meetings that simply disrupt your employees from their tasks.
Externally, communication is as vital. Remember the 3 C’s: clear, concise, consistent communication is integral to a smooth process- especially when working with external figures. Letting your suppliers clearly and concisely know what you want, when you need will be crucial to getting the results you want. Consistent back and forth of this kind will hopefully result in a more stable relationship that will benefit you both.
Hire Outside Help
Looking at your own process will never be as objective as you’d like since your own eyes will be muddled by your own biases. Self-awareness is often difficult, and companies struggle with this. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what we’re doing wrong, and thus outside help is more than welcome.
Getting a logistics consultant to help you objectively analyze your own process will highly beneficial, as you will be receiving someone else’s perspectives. You might be notified of problems that you weren’t aware of before- and that’s great. There will be some parts of the process that we believe are acceptable but from an outsider perspective, needs a lot of work. This is the true price of receiving external help: seeing things we don’t normally see, and being made aware of information about ourselves we wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Meta title: Logistics Is King, and Here’s How to Improve Yours
Meta description: Companies rely on efficient logistics to create a product and make it reach the customers. Any troubles in this delicate process results in losses. Read more to understand how it works and what you can do about it.