As companies grow, they inevitably find themselves with more complex logistics challenges. Their warehouses, distribution centers, and third-party vendors all work smarter, not harder, and that’s one important way that they stay competitive.
What Is Smart Logistics Management?
Smart logistics management is an approach that builds on existing processes and technology to create a more streamlined approach. When a company implements this technique, it sees increased efficiency, improved cost control, and a lower carbon footprint.
The logistics industry is the backbone of all companies—it ensures their operations are efficient, reliable, profitable, and passed on to customers. While many businesses are familiar with the logistical services of steamship lines and post offices, there are countless more logistics-related businesses, including delivery services, transport providers, warehouse systems, and shippers. These businesses provide a valuable service to the global economy, but they need proper management to thrive.
Companies must track data, plan effectively, and automate their processes to manage logistics efficiently. But what does this mean in practice?
Here are six tips for smart logistics management.
Track and manage your fleet
Fleet management is all about keeping track of what you’re shipping, who’s shipping it, and how fast it’s moving. This should include tracking each shipment from the moment it leaves your hands until it reaches its destination.
Be sure all of the logistics management software is up-to-date across the board
Logistics software helps managers keep track of a multitude of details about a specific shipment or group of shipments, including the cost of each shipment, its expected delivery date, and the costs that individual shipments incur. But logistics managers should also consider automating other aspects of their business operations, such as warehouse management, inventory management, and employee management.
Clearly define and document expectations
Setting logistics expectations before and during a project is crucial. When a project’s logistics are clearly defined and documented, it makes it easier to manage the project, identify potential issues or problems, and ensure that all parties have a clear understanding of the project’s scope. However, it isn’t always easy. For starters, it’s challenging to set expectations when there are different levels of seniority, power, and tenure among team members. Secondly, it’s challenging to set expectations because expectations are often based on assumptions, knowledge gaps, and personal experiences.
Create specific logistics management goals and benchmarks
As businesses grow, they must develop logistics management goals and benchmarks. Setting these goals and benchmarks is important in helping a company become more efficient. Using logistics management best practices and goals will help create a customer-focused organization.
Make sure your logistics management strategy aligns with your overall business strategy
With the rise of e-commerce, retail and logistics managers face a simple truth: the supply chain is impacting more aspects of a business than ever before. To stay competitive, companies need to rethink their supply chain strategies, which means integrating logistics management into the overall business strategy.
Make sure your team understands the logistics management strategy and how their individual roles fit into the strategy
There is no size-fits-all for strategy when it comes to logistics management, so keep that in mind when crafting your logistics strategy. Begin by clearly defining your strategy, and then lay out the roles and responsibilities of your team. Next, bring your team together to discuss and understand the logistics management strategy, and make sure each person understands their role in the strategy.
Smart logistics management is about managing the flow of goods, people, and information. It’s a way for businesses to lower their overhead costs, improve their relationship with their consumers, and cut costs. Smart logistics management is about making your business more profitable and about keeping up with changing technologies and consumer needs.