Logistics is often viewed simply as the moving of goods from vendors to customers or from manufacturing facilities to warehouses or distributors. In actuality, it’s a lot more than that. Logistics is a process that involves the entire company, and inefficiencies within it can significantly impact the effectiveness of your business. Find out what they are and how to make sure they do not slow your company down.
Bad Information Management
In business, information is everything. Without relevant information, you won’t be able to do anything. There can be no planning, no insight into the work process, etc. By missing out on just one item, or piece of information, you risk destroying your company in the long run – and this simply cannot happen.
Therefore, the most important thing is to obtain all the relevant information for your business. The best way to do this is through an information management system. There are two ways you can go: custom solution or an existing one. If your company is in good financial standing, and you can afford it, we recommend that you obtain a customized system.
By integrating this information management system into your work process, you will be able to track all of your orders, warehouse inventory, supply chain, delivery, etc. Your entire business will go through a thorough transformation from the bottom up. Information management is the key to your business success.
Poorly Trained Employees
This is another part of logistics that many businesses somehow overlook. In every part of your company, trained, knowledgeable employees are an essential component of the entire work process. And logistics is no exception to that.
Your employees have to be fully trained for the position, and they need to possess enough knowledge to deal with their daily tasks and challenges. If you have staff members who were trained years ago, they won’t be able to contribute in their full capacity; they have to be trained anew, and learn everything about the new developments in the industry.
SOP That Needs Reworking
SOP or standard operational procedure is the axis of your work process. Just because you have a SOP and your company is working – doesn’t mean that you have the best SOP around.
Oftentimes, a good SOP doesn’t have too many steps. Some of the best SOPs have only a couple of steps, but they are all well thought out and tailored to the needs of the company. Therefore, you have to make sure that your SOP is in touch with the company values and your business requirements. SOP must address all the aspects of the work process, enabling them to work efficiently. Also, remember that a good SOP always includes regular quality control.
KPI, or key performance indicator, is a very important aspect of logistics, and you should give it your utmost attention. In essence, KPI is an objective measurement of your work progress, based on two factors – 1) your business goals and 2) your standard of performance.
Just any a physical measurement instrument, KPI tells you how fast you are going toward your business goals within a given time frame. In order to be effective, KPI must include measurements from all the key aspects of logistics, such as:
- order invoicing
- purchase and supply
- stock management
The more elements you include into your KPI, the more accurate its results will be.
Neglecting the Supply Chain
Supply chain is not some addition to your business. It is not an optional part of your business – it is your business. Think of supply chain as the bloodline of your company. If you block it, or don’t pay enough attention to it, your business will wither and die.
In order to make it as effective as possible, think of your supply chain as a standalone business within your company. It still belongs to your company, it works along with it – but it is also independent. Your supply chain is your connection to the market; without it, you are completely lost. The better your strategy for your supply chain is, the better your commercial results will be.
Be sure to have a supply chain with a good network design and solid supplier performance – both are equally important for its success. As mentioned earlier, your supply chain resembles a bloodline – in that sense, its network design is the system of veins and arteries and the supplier performance is a pulse.
No Strategic Planning
If you don’t know where you are going, you won’t get anywhere. This is where the importance of strategic planning lies. Your business, as a whole, needs strategic planning in order to survive, but so does every aspect of your business – including logistics. You need to develop a solid strategy for your warehouse, transportation, ordering, suppliers, vendors, etc.
Don’t leave anything to chance – each section of the work process has to be well thought out. Although you run your business on a day-to-day basis, you cannot allow yourself to plan on a day-to-day basis. Strategic planning requires seeing the “big picture” and thinking long-term.
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