7 Important Tips To Manage Logistics For Small Businesses
If you’ve ever wondered how your competitors have been able to manage their logistics very effectively, then, this is the shortest and the best guide you will ever read.
You will discover 7 proven tips you can immediately apply to manage logistics for your small business.
Let’s get started…
Your transportation department can be improved to deliver products faster or can be scrutinized to determine why it’s not efficient.
Either way, the two factors you should consider when analyzing your transportation department are:
- Delivery route. As a logistics firm, you need to shortest and safest route to deliver your products. This will save you money and reduce the time spent on the road by your drivers. So, ensure that all your drivers are taking the shortest and the safest route to their destinations.
- Packaging. While it is important to keep the goods safe, it is also important that you’re not over-spending on the packaging. For your packaging to be cost-effective, the goods you are to deliver must occupy the smallest space without increasing the weight of the package or damaging the goods.
Proper warehouse management
Without proper warehouse management, your logistics management can be very ineffective. However, the type of goods will determine the warehouse operations you will deploy.
For example, grains must be stored in a moisture-free environment, while dairy products must be stored in refrigeration facilities. Even at that, each product requires specific storage conditions. You will need a warehousing and fulfilment services which will help you to store goods such that there is little or no waste at all.
Also, I recommend you use vertical storage columns in order to maximize the storage capacity of the warehouse. To prevent delay in locating a product when an order is placed, use a software to determine the arrangement of products. Obviously, the warehouse operations will require a well-trained staff. So, ensure that you have the right staff for the warehouse operations.
Regular training of the employees
One key driver of your firm’s growth is the quality of your staff. Each member of your staff (regardless of their position) should deliver his duties responsibly and effectively.
However, you can increase the efficiency of your staff to satisfy your clients by enrolling them in regular training so that they are kept abreast of the latest trends in the industry.
Also, you need a logistics manager with perfect interpersonal skills and who can sort out issues efficiently especially when plans are not working out properly.
Ideally, the manager should be of help in tapping into business opportunities by having contacts top influencers in your industry.
Automate your processes (where applicable)
You can increase the efficiency of your firm’s operations by deploying technology or more specifically, an automation software to handle some parts of your logistics processes.
For example, there is a business process software that can provide you with updates about the movement of goods.
The software can also track:
- The movement of goods from the supplier
- the storage at the warehouse and
- The delivery of the goods
This will save time, increase productivity and improve overall process management.
Also, you can use software to manage account details and employee details.
Nothing gets done without a proper plan. You need to develop a proper plan of how to procure goods, store them and deliver them at the right addresses.
A flow chart is a simple and effective way of developing a plan for your operations. Your supply chain operative should be able to develop a workable flow chart for your firm.
The main aim of having a proper plan is to be more productive so that you can maximize profits..
If you must make changes to your plan, your manager should be able to react swiftly without having any adverse effect on any part of the operation.
However, an alternate option to prevent unplanned and unwanted circumstances is to create an emergency plan.
Use third-party logistics company
While this may seem expensive in terms of costs, it more than makes up for it in getting the fastest deliveries, the best collaboration tool, the necessary visibility and the best rates.
Bear in mind that you don’t have to outsource the entire process, you can outsource part of it. For example, the logistics part only. I suggest you embrace outsourcing so that you can free up time to grow your business.
Measure, analyze and improvise
You need to measure the results of any new strategies you have deployed to determine whether it is a success or failure.
The top three metrics you need to analyze are the:
- Service metrics
- Cost metrics
- Service metrics
You can improvise based on feedback from employees. Hence, when there is a need to make changes, you can implement any of the ideas from the feedbacks.
In sum: managing logistics is simple when you apply the above seven tips. So, get to it – you’re going to be glad you did!
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