Logistics management encompasses all that goes into the efficient movement and storage of goods and materials as they are transported through the supply chain — including the management of resources and people.
Given the number of moving parts and uncertainties that can come with logistics, efficiency is key to supply chain success. There are various practices that can be put in place for more effective logistics management, including employee training and automation with technology. But you should also always be prepared to improvise in times of change or uncertainty. When your business witnesses growth, you must find ways to streamline logistics planning processes to improve output. Read on for our tips for managing logistics more effectively.
Important Tips for Effective Logistics Management & Network Optimization
1. Make a Plan, but Expect the Unexpected
The first step to accomplishing a task is planning. It encapsulates various factors and involves procuring the goods, storage facilities, and delivery of products to an exact location.
But it also encompasses time, transportation, and costs. You’ll need to be able to devise a flow chart for the entire operation. The purpose of planning is to attain maximum work in the least possible time. At the same time, the planning should aim to maximize profits.
Proper planning is wise, but an experienced manager will be able to prepare for unforeseen circumstances as well. These situations can be related to:
- Product availability and quality
- Available shipping capacity or transportation options (or the lack thereof)
- Internal organizational issues, such as staffing shortages or pandemic protocols that may impact processes
- Researching and picking the correct freight class
Just think of the supply chains around the world that have been disrupted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses have been forced to adjust their supply chain planning on the fly. This is why logistics planning is incomplete without a contingency plan. At GlobalTranz, we help shippers plan for the unexpected and navigate changes as they arise.
2. Adopt Automation and Embrace Supply Chain Technology
In the age of automation, technology plays a major role in increasing the efficiency of an organization. Adopting automation techniques will help you optimize your business processes. There is valuable software that can be deployed in the logistics process to do just that.
For example, you can integrate business process software that provides timely updates regarding the movement of goods. You will get updates regarding:
- The goods that are dispatched from the supplier
- Procurement of the goods at the warehouse
- Delivery of the goods at the destination
This saves a considerable amount of time because manual interference is eliminated. Moreover, accurate tracking helps improve overall process management.
When choosing a logistics partner, be sure they have the technology in place to help you streamline your processes. GlobalTranz offers end-to-end transportation management technology that gives you everything from tracking capabilities to real-time analytics.
3. Value Your People and Relationships
Your team plays a major role in growing your business. That’s why you need to invest in a robust employee training program. Regular training workshops can keep employees updated with the latest trends in the logistics industry and new technology.
A logistics manager with impeccable interpersonal skills is crucial for the organization. There are times when things don’t work according to the plan. In these situations, instead of panicking, you need a reliable person who can sort out the issues with the utmost efficiency. That manager should also have authoritative contacts in the industry, which will be beneficial in exploring new business opportunities. Give your employees the resources they need to join industry groups and attend events where they can grow their network of potential business partners.
In addition to the people you hire, it’s important to prioritize the relationship between your employees and your third-party logistics (3PL) partner. Open dialogue and clear communication will go a long way in ensuring a successful logistics management program.
4. Prioritize Warehouse Management
Effective logistics management is incomplete without proper warehouse management. Warehouse operations can vary greatly depending on the type of goods you produce, store and distribute. For example, perishable goods like dairy products need refrigeration facilities, while grains should be stored in a moisture-free environment. And if your goods are not moved quickly enough, it can result in wasted product and lost revenue. Implementing a real-time inventory management tool will help you reduce the cost of maintaining inventory.
Moreover, maximize the storage capacity of your warehouses. Vertical storage columns are often recommended to get the most storage out of your space. No matter how your warehouse is organized, it’s important to implement software for sequencing the products so that there is no delay while locating the product once an order is placed.
When choosing a partner, look for someone who can help you prioritize warehouse management. GlobalTranz is not just a logistics partner. We have expertise to help you with warehousing, fulfillment, and transportation.
5. Efficiently Transport Your Products
Getting your products in the hands of your customers is key to your overall success. That’s why you should focus on building out an efficient transportation strategy. When it comes to moving your products, you should prioritize factors such as fast delivery, cost savings, and overall efficiency. Here’s what you should consider for efficient transportation:
- Look at both time and safety when determining the most cost-effective delivery route
- Opt for cost-effective packaging that balances both low investment and high safety for goods
- Optimize the packaging so that it occupies less volume and does not increase the weight of the package
- Pick the mode that is right for each individual load, whether its full truckload, less-than-truckload, intermodal, or other
Your third-party logistics provider can help with all of this — and more. Your provider should be a partner, guiding you to make the best decisions for your transportation strategy. Choosing the right mode, finding the best carrier at the best price, tracking the movements of your loads, and collecting valuable data are all things a good partner can help with.
6. Put Data and Expertise to Work for Your Logistics Management Strategy
Logistics network optimization is incomplete without integrating measurement, analysis, and feedback. When you deploy new strategies in the system, you need to measure the output. This is important as it implies the success or failure of the strategy.
Aim to integrate measurement tools and software that easily determine and classify the data. The insights you get from these tools will help you make data-driven decisions for your future planning. Analyze the metrics related to different operations, including:
- Cycle time metrics
- Cost metrics
- Service metrics
But data doesn’t tell us everything. Industry knowledge and years of experience is also crucial. Create an environment that encourages feedback and ideas from your employees. You should also keep this in mind when choosing a logistics partner. A dense carrier network and best-in-class technology are important, but the people making it all happen are where the true value lies.
Improve Your Logistics Management With Help From a 3PL
The aim of effective logistics management is to improve the efficiency of your operations, ensuring customer satisfaction and increased productivity. Adopting technology, valuing people and their experience, and taking an innovative approach to logistics management will help you succeed over the competition.
But you don’t have to do any of it alone — GlobalTranz is here to help. We are a full-service third-party logistics provider, bringing award-winning customer service, exceptional industry expertise, and market-leading technology to shippers like you.