Logistics is used to refer to the process of planning, coordinating and moving resources, such as inventory, equipment and even people – from a specific location to storage. Logistics management refers to managing all the processes in moving and storing such items.
There’s a number of different things that logistics involves, such as
- Order Fulfillment
- Inventory Management
- Demand Planning
- Fleet Management
- Materials Handling
Logistics Plays An Important Role
There’s no question that logistics plays an important role as this is how your customers receive their products.
Using resources that allow your customers to get your products in a timely manner is important to keeping your customers happy. When the process fails you have unhappy customers.
Logistics Versus Supply Chain Management
While logistics and supply chain management are work together, the two are completely different.
Remember, logistics refers to what happens within your company, including purchase and delivery of materials, packaging, shipping and transporting goods to distributors.
Supply chain management (SCM) refers to a larger network of outside organizations that work together to deliver products to customers, including vendors, transportation providers, warehouse providers and call centers.
Effective Logistics Management
There’s a few key points we want to focus on here to help you manage your logistics effectively.
Logistics can be complex, so planning your logistics out is essential.
You have a lot to consider in planning logistics, from buying goods and delivering products to lowering shipping cost. There’s a lot of different processes in logistics management you’ll need to review.
While you want to make sure you plan for everything you can control and have a plan for emergencies too.
You can’t be effective with your logistics management without proper warehouse management. Warehouse operations are going to be dependent on the type of product you’ll be storing.
For example, your products may include refrigerated product. In this scenario, you’ll need to be sure this product can be stored in the appropriate storage facility.
Not only is proper storage important, you also want to make sure you’re using all the warehouse space you have effectively.
There’s no question that technology plays a big role in effective logistics management. It doesn’t matter if your logistics is complex or not, you should be leveraging automation in your logistics.
Having some type of business process software will allow you to get real-time updates on product movements. The last thing you want is to be tracking these manually.
We can’t discuss improving your logistics without discussing transportation. Transportation departments can help you deliver products faster. For example, your logistics firm would plan deliveries based on the best routes to take. The safety of goods is another action they would plan for, ensuring your products get delivered safely.
Tracking Your Key Metrics
You can’t improve something without knowing what’s wrong. By tracking your data, you’ll have the ability to improve your logistics process.
Metrics including cost, cycle and service are just a few that you want to consider tracking.
Ecommerce Logistics Management
Solid logistics management is significant to all businesses, but especially for ecommerce businesses. Ecommerce businesses heavily rely on logistics and supply chain management every step of the way.
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store or storage room, your ecommerce business will have to rely on others to help store and ship your products.
While a smaller ecommmerce business can pack and ship their products from home, as demand rises, so does the need for effective fulfillment. Even if you have a brick-and-mortar store, demand and growth can quickly overwhelm your business.
Depending on your needs and goals, you can outsource your fulfillment or at least, different parts of the fulfillment process.
Effective logistics counts on your ability to manage your resources and to make real-time decisions. As we discussed earlier, the right automated systems and processes can be a big benefit to your business.
Equally, having the right inventory management software and to track your products in real-time are important too.