Time Management for Logistics & Warehousing
They call it the supply chain, a very essential part of Logistics. And rightly so, because if one link in the chain is broken, the entire chain is broken.
Logistics is a booming industry all by itself but organizations are still trying to manage it properly. Warehousing also is very essential to every business who is in such industry. But how does Time play a role here?
From the moment an order is placed to the moment the order is delivered, time is very critical to every piece of the chain. For the order to get delivered to the right place on time, you need a lot of principles and processes set in place. Let’s have a look at how we can manage Logistics and warehousing better.
Understanding the chain
The first thing you have to do is understand the various parts of your supply chain. Starting from the order itself to every minute detail like the place where you stock, the vehicle you use for transport, the courier delivery service, packaging of goods. There is a lot and to properly organize a supply chain, you need to understand what the various parts of the puzzle are.
So, try to see a package through various steps of the chain and document your understandings.
Identifying & Removing Bottlenecks
Now that you have seen how the supply chain works, the second step would be to see what bottlenecks you currently have with the supply chain. What are the steps which cause delay and why. Also try to see how it can be made better and start seeing how to remove them.
It can anything like a delay in shipping due to the pandemic or disruption in courier delivery service, or any other issues. You have to be ready
Identifying fallback strategies
The supply chain industry involves a lot of manual labour and intervention even when a lot of it is automated. So, humans are not bound to or expected to behave like bots do. So, try to get fallback strategies in place for each step in the chain if something goes wrong.
This is the time, you have to see your supply chain like a flow chart. Start seeing your best and worst possible paths and see how you can tackle if the worst were to happen.
Now, this is very critical to the supply chain industry. Cause, things will be chaotic without it. If you are to give promise to the customer on delivery of a product by a certain date, everything in the chain has to work right and for it to work right, you need a whole set of processes which people can follow.
Creating a process creates discipline and its not bad cause it also reduces the stress or anxiety levels because people know exactly what to do, when to do it and how to do it. This clears out all the chaos you might otherwise have.
And these processes have to evolve with time. You have to see all the places where the processes fail and try to improvise on it with appropriate feedback.
Automation & Intelligence
You don’t need human labour for everything. There is a lot of machinery available which can automatically do labelling, organizing in warehouse, packaging, loading/unloading. So, try to use these machinery where you can and automate as much as possible and use humans for the tasks which really add value to your supply chain and to the customer.
Nowadays, Machine Learning can also be an integral part of automation given all the predictions you can do with all the data you have at hand. Like, which products should you stock together, how should packaging be done, trucks to choose for transport and so on. Use intelligence to get all this done for you rather than having to spend your valuable hours trying to figure this out.
There are a lot of tools which can help you figure out the right route to take for you to get the order delivered faster and economically. Try leveraging some and try to optimize on the cost incurred to increase profit.
A lot of mistakes can be avoided if you have everything organized. Classification and organizing can make your job much easier. Being organized in the warehouse grouping similar items together, being organized with transport, and essentially every part of the chain matters a lot.
Right Partnerships & Services
The world is huge and you can’t aim to ship anything, anywhere, anytime. Atleast not by yourself. So, try to see if you can partner with the right organizations (with SLAs) and try to delegate or outsource the work as much as possible. While you will loose a lot of control this way on the experience you might try to provide, this can simplify your operations and let you focus on what you are really good at and what you really want to do.
Gathering and working with analytics
If you really want to identify all the trouble in your supply chain, you have to start by collecting all the data you can — when did you receive the order, when was it packed, when was it delivered, what did it cost you and so on. This is when you will understand how to make incremental improvements to the chain.
Try not to centralize everything in one place. The more distributed you are, the less are the bottlenecks. This way, you can also spread the work amongst multiple distribution centers, increase parallelization, and also optimize on the cost having the shipment delivered to the distribution center closest to the customer.
While all these might seem obvious as done by Amazon, Flipkart and others, these are some of the important things to make sure you do right if you want to optimize your supply chain and manage the time from order to delivery.
Hope this was useful to some. Will see you all again in the next blog.