Logistics can be an intimidating concept for some businesses, especially SMBs. But, for businesses of all sizes, understanding logistics might be the most important part of your business plan. You could sell the best product or solution in the world, but if you can’t get it into customers’ hands, you will fail. Let’s explore a few ways enterprises of all sizes are taking control of their logistics, and thus the future of their business.
Understanding your supply chain
Logistics requires a complex meshwork of different carriers, ports, governing bodies, routes and modes of transportation. Each step is further complicated when doing international business, where different languages, customs and regulations might come into play. It’s important to have an idea of the basic needs of every step in your supply chain.
Evolution of logistics in e-commerce businesses
E-Commerce has changed the face of logistics. While it was once only of interest to multinational corporations, now even small business owners must have a basic understanding. Along with this shift, logistics departments must contend with different needs – the needs of small or medium sized business owners. It’s important to choose the right logistics operating model, to ensure you aren’t left behind when markets shift and change.
Logistics in 2022
Logistics in the upcoming year promise to change and morph to meet the needs of a new, global customer base. It’s time to prepare your business to take advantage of the upcoming logistics renaissance, or start creating your own strategy for shipping success in 2022. Let’s explore a few best practices enterprises of all sizes are using to take their logistics, next-level.
Your supply chain knowledge will benefit from finding and hiring staff who understand the logistics process, and can help guide you on your journey to logistics domination. Think about your future as you hire. For example, if global shipping is something you aspire too, hire someone with global logistics experience and contacts, to ensure your future growth is unhindered by lack of on-the-ground knowledge.
Create a plan
Allocate your new staff to appropriate departments, and plan for future growth before you are overwhelmed. Your current staff should be aligned with the logistics department, to get every level invested in the process. Many choose to work with logistics professionals or partners to create an optimal plan. Consider employing a logistics consultant to work with your new staff to create the perfect plan for your business.
Source cost-effective supplies
Relationships with suppliers will help you maintain steady product flow, as a shortage with one supplier simply forces you to turn to a second supplier. Do your due diligence to ensure the supplies you are sourcing are cost effective. This is also your chance to invest in sustainable shipping supplies, or eco-friendly shipping options – so get creative!
Just as you wouldn’t source every product from the same supplier, you shouldn’t be sourcing all your delivery needs from one company. In 2021, logistics isn’t as iron-clad as it was before COVID, so it’s important to work with a wide range of suppliers, to avoid being affected by delays. Look for suppliers that use different partners, shipping methods and support, for more reliable coverage and delivery in every situation.
Big data analysis
Improving data analysis will help you optimize routes, warehouse locations, and even stocking and warehousing. This will save you money on long-distance shipping, giving you the data you need to see immediately when you need new routes or warehouses in a new, profitable area. Big data will also show you when and where you can afford to scale back, or where you might want to invest extra marketing dollars to boost sales – in short, big data will be the key to your future planning and business success.
Inventory management optimization
Excellent inventory management means the difference between a successful logistics strategy, and no strategy at all. Many enterprises are turning to technology, by deploying Shipping APIs to streamline the entire logistics process. With the ability to see every step in the logistics chain using technology, you can easily optimize your shipping processes, and your business as a whole.
Most businesses are looking for new or innovative ways to optimize their shipping processes, and this means taking control of your logistics. Following these steps will ensure that any size business is prepared, and knows enough about their logistics to be a real market contender, in any situation.