Once you have the foundations of your business model in place and have identified primary factors such as products, target markets, and suppliers, your next step is to look at your supply chain to formulate, establish, and implement a logistics strategy. The logistics process is the crucial factor that keeps a well-organized business running, no matter what industry or sector you operate in.
Raw materials to manufacturers and finished products to end users. Consumer goods from distribution centers to retail shelves. Solid supply chain management means a reliable and cost effective logistics system.
Identifying the Essential Components
The logistics needs of every business can be very different. Identifying which components are essential to your needs is the first step in efficient logistics management. There are four primary areas you need to consider:
- Transport. What are your transport needs? If you are working with a logistics organization, can they fulfil those needs? Do they offer multimodal transportation solutions?
- Outsourcing logistics. How much of your plan depends on outsourcing services and how much can be done in-house? Do you outsource enough or would a third party logistics company offer more efficient service? Examine every scenario and look at detailed costing and how it affects customers and products.
- Systems. Do your in-house systems allow for successful logistics management? Are there efficient ways of collecting and analyzing data to ensure your logistics plan is working? If you cannot analyze your data, then you cannot identify any issues that may arise and make adjustments needed.
- Learning. Learn from your competitors. What strategies and systems do they use to ensure high levels of customer service? Also, recognize when mistakes have been made and learn from them. Not every aspect of any strategy may work the first time. Be prepared to monitor, analyze, and then adjust in real time if needed.
Communication and connectivity to every link in your supply chain means customer satisfaction and efficiency. What seems to work for you may not work in another part of the supply chain and when you are working on a global scale, communication becomes even more essential. Knowing there are lean manufacturing processes and good warehouse management at other stages of the chain can help plan – or adjust – your overall strategy.
Always ensure that any strategy you implement has the capacity for adjustment. Even if your strategy is initially sound, factors change, and if you have included that capacity for change, then it will be easier to customize your strategy based on the current circumstances.
Concentrate on facts and reliable data. Making decisions based on real evidence means your service levels are more optimal.
Embrace technology. Logistics is becoming more digiatialized. Use the cloud to store and protect data, use tracking technology to give your customers a more hands on experience at every step of their supply chain. Follow industry sites and competitor’s sites to see what new developments are happening at local, national, and global levels.
Implementing and maintaining an effective logistics strategy is one of the cornerstones of business success. No matter what your core business is, you will have some reliance on efficient logistics and a solid supply chain. From getting raw materials to your manufacturing base through to delivering consumer products to supermarkets, reliable logistics are key.
If you are looking to implement or update your logistics strategy, Asiana USA has offices around the world and an extensive network of partners in every area of the industry to meet your needs. If you would like more information or wish to request a quote, please contact us at (855)-500-1808.