Monthly Archives: December 2016

Aspiring To Be A Logistics

A logistics manager is a responsible for managing processes within a supply chain. The process includes bi-directional movement of goods, services and information. In many instances, it also includes handling, packaging and warehousing. As a logistics manager, you have to liaise with raw material suppliers as well as customers.

A logistics manager actually keeps everything tied up together. S/he never stops trying to find newer ways to improve logistics, which may sometimes require enrolling in a weekend MBA logistics course in a business school. Logistics is one of the aspects of business that change as the business grows. Inappropriate logistics management may sometimes signify the difference between profit and loss of a business.

In a manufacturing unit, the logistics manager is responsible for interacting with suppliers so as to procure raw materials. The manager is required to manage supplies in a way so as to reduce inventory costs. This actually translates in to a situation where a logistics manager has to be constantly aware of both the demand as well as the supply situation in the industry.

The rapid pace at which multinational corporations have grown in the past few decades has been instrumental in the evolution of a new business model that survives solely on efficient logistics. Large corporations prefer to operate a collaborative supply network of specialist business partners. Each partner focuses on only those activities in which it specializes. It is the job of a logistics and supply chain manager to coordinate the activities of all partners and move each item from it is place to its rightful place, right from the point of origin to assembly to end user.

A logistics manager in a retail set up has to manage the inward flow of each item that the company deals in, manage inventories and home deliveries.

Briefly, the duties of a logistics manager include:
– Efficient and cost effective movement and storage of goods and configure an appropriate distribution network
– Coordinating supply and demand orders and information associated with the order cycle
– Monitoring performances and strategies for improving existing systems
– Allocating available resources
– Coordinate all activities to achieve the lowest logistics cost

A logistics manager is of special interest to a logistics service provider. Small to midsize companies that have shipping needs find it difficult to control the logistic aspect of the shipping process. Since small companies find no economic justification in hiring a logistics manager, they prefer to outsource. Many small businesses hand over the responsibility of purchasing on behalf of the company along with the job of warehousing and transportation logistics to a third party logistics provider.

Logistics managers in logistics service providers may sometimes be required to manage warehouse and transport staff. In that case, s/he has to pay special attention to issues related to employee health, safety, training and motivating staff to achieve declared objectives.

Implementing An Effective Logistics

When goods are delivered on time and in good condition, it encourages repeat purchases. In addition, if your logistics system is well implemented, it also gives you an edge over competitors as your business will draw a wider audience.

Significance of Logistics

Just like with large enterprises, small businesses also have to find suppliers, and transport their merchandise to different outlets. The key difference between the supply chain of a small company and that of a big one however is that the latter will often involve all the main fields of logistics which are procurement, production logistics, distribution logistics, and disposal or reverse logistics. If you are a small business owner, chances are you will only engage in two or three of those fields, and will hardly employ a third party. Nonetheless, when your system is well managed, your productivity will be increased, inputs will be put into better use, and excess inventory will be reduced. Not to mention, with a more efficient supply chain, you will avoid waste and cut costs and subsequently improve your bottom line.

To take advantage of the benefits of an effective system therefore, it is important to have those operations managed by a professional. As a small business owner, you may think it is better and cheaper to handle your own logistics. In reality however, you may end up encountering problems that may make it difficult for you to deal with other business concerns and in the long run, your bottom line will hurt. Thus, as much as it is important for you to sharpen your skills in logistics, it is best to assign the job to a logistics manager. Such a professional will adopt the best practices to ensure that your business experiences the highest benefits.

Improving Your Business Logistics

To facilitate efficiency in logistics, one of the first things you have to do is to analyze your storage processes. Whether you have only one person or several workers to help, you have to ensure that enough space is created in your warehouse before the arrival of your goods. This also calls for proper preparation of the storage facility. If you are dealing with perishables for instance, you have to make certain that the temperature and air conditioning is right. Otherwise, your goods may go bad before you move them through to your customers. In line with this, the merchandise shouldn’t sit in the facility for too long because then, the cost of each unit will climb and your profit margin will shrink. You must devise a strategy that will enable you to minimize the storage period from the time a product is completed to the point it is sold.

Transportation is yet another key area of concern. Even as fuel costs go up, you have to aim at cutting down transportation costs. This should essentially begin from the product design and packaging. Packing items of the same shape in one container prior to shipping will for example enable you to maximize on space. Also, if packaging takes up a lot of space, where possible, it is wise to reduce the weight and size of the packaging material so you are able to bundle more of that particular product. In addition, it is vital to limit the number of boxes you use for shipping; hence, the lesser filler you can use, the better. With few trips to be made, the costs incurred will be more manageable.

Bottom Line

Similar to any other business processes, you are likely to encounter difficulties in your logistics system every once in a while. Whenever a problem arises though, it is important not to panic because if you do, you may lose control of other operations. The best thing to do is to work alongside your logistics manager and think of a way to solve the problem temporarily while you work out a better solution. Remember, even though issues such as quality, image, and pricing matter when it comes to marketing a product, all these will be meaningless if you can’t effectively deliver that item to your customers.

Logistics Solutions for Substantial Business

Every business organization whether big or small, requires an efficient business plan to control organization’s growth. Similarly, logistics firms too require business plans in order to enhance productivity, determine feasibility of business and achieve goals during specified time period. A well-organized business plan helps logistics companies in measuring progress towards achieving specific goals.

With increasing competition pressure in the logistics sector , most firms are turning towards innovative marketing strategies to outsmart their competitors. Marketing strategies are developed keeping in mind the needs of customers so that they are attracted to utilize logistics services. Firms offer logistics solutions to customers by delivering products on time. Timely delivery of goods is beneficial for business growth, as it helps in receiving orders instantly.

Logistics basically refers to transporting goods from one point to the other. Logistics services comprise of activities such as transportation, storage of goods and timely delivery of goods to customers. Customer service is a vital element in the logistics business process. Customer service plays a crucial role in logistics business. Improper customer service can negatively impact logistics business.

• The shipper will have to incur higher costs due to poor customer service, which in turn impacts logistics business. One of the disadvantages of improper communication is that it results in higher transportation costs. Shipper and receiver must communicate well in order to avoid these transportation costs.

• Lack of communication between shipper and customers will result in loss of business. If customers are not satisfied with logistics services, they will never choose or recommend your company to others, which will lead to loss of business.

• Integration with your customers and within your organization is important. Your vendors, including your carriers and warehouses, must understand what you are doing and why. You must share your logistics vision and plan with them. This sharing and understanding will better enable them to cooperate with and assist you.

It becomes increasingly important to improve customer service in order to keep logistics business running well. The foremost step in improving customer service is developing a fine strategy and setting service standards. Good customer service allows logistics companies gain competitive advantage over its competitors.

Technological advancement has benefited several logistics firms in improving business. Logistics firms use internet technology to maximize profits and meet customer demands. Various modes of communication are being used these days by logistics firms to stay abreast on recent business trends.