5 Things I Did to Improve Efficiency at my Logistics Company
Looking to improve efficiency of operations at your logistics company? Follow this 5-step guide to achieve the same.
Any company that wants to grow and beat the competition needs to keep working on efficiency in its logistics operations. Not only that, this efficiency needs to be maintained throughout the supply chain. Most of the times, the required improvements need just time and a focus on the right areas.
In my company, business expansion led to increased costs, which we could not let eat into our profits. The different strategies that we took to for combating costs included re-timing/re-routing our deliveries so that transportation costs could be lowered. According to an article on the B2C magazine, training staff on the modern methods of information and order management can be of huge help.
Here are the 5 things that I did to improve efficiency at my logistics company.
1. Started Planning More Realistically
We began by identifying a baseline, since we needed to know the areas where improvements were needed. In our current system, different functions, such as order management, inventory management and distribution, were operating independently of each other. We realized this was the reason for the high logistics costs and a slow-moving inventory.
Planning realistically helped me to figure out a goal that was achievable. It also offered flexibility, in case demands changed. I started by determining immediate requirements and forecasting future requirements, keeping in mind capacity and transportation and inventory constraints.
2. Ensured Sizable Warehouse Inventory
Like many other businesses, mine did not have a warehouse large enough to have surplus quantities of stocks. Consequently, our business often suffered from delayed orders and supply shortage. But then I decided to address this problem, since the absence of a good inventory management system was hurting our sales.
That’s when I decided we needed to get third party warehousing. I started searching for reliable partners that could provide a sizable facility for the inventory. Before getting third party warehousing, make sure you have analyzed your customer data insights and information management system.
3. Improved Systems of Communication
Most organizations fall behind when it comes to internal communication. Worker productivity can be increased by up to 25% by implementing social technologies, according to a report by McKinsey. I realized that if we were to streamline our processes, we had to automate our communication technologies. This way, we could also do with minimal staffing.
MobileTek Web was just the mobile application we needed to ensure timely communication for our on-demand deliveries. We could access it on different browsers and it didn’t need installing. The biggest plus was how it made automated communication between us, our drivers, and customers easy. Mobile solutions for logistics also help with dynamic tracking.
4. Redefined our Standard Operating Procedures
This helps to make sure everyone on a team is on the same page. We started by working on domains like free information flow throughout the value chain. Another good idea is to introduce double checking of orders, regular analytics reports to guide different teams on market behavior trends and sales flow. I got our important policy jargon printed and pasted around the office.
5. Focused on Increasing Customer Satisfaction
If a business has to be successful, it must design its logistics process keeping in mind its customers’ needs. There are several ways to do this, quite a few of which I learned along the way. Each part of the supply chain should ideally be customer-oriented, and a great way to achieve this is by reducing the lead-time between the order and the delivery. In my case, I sat back and carefully examined the order fulfilment process throughout. From processing of sales orders, stock and credit control, to warehousing and transport, every department needs time and effort.
I had realized early that customer satisfaction was key to improved logistical efficiency. Logistics companies must stop looking at transport as a necessary evil. In fact, make it a part of your customer service and not a cost.