An efficient transport, warehousing and distribution network delivers a competitive edge and crucial customer satisfaction. It’s the part of the operation that fulfils the sales contract and the needs of customers. Therefore it must be constantly monitored to keep it lean and streamlined.
An inefficient warehouse damages your hard-won customer satisfaction, erodes profits, and risks losing your business market share to competitors who do it better. Streamlining the processes involves taking action to shorten cycles, speed up throughput and make your people more efficient and productive.
Topics: Improve Warehouse Productivity
Logistics is the biggest influencer on your customer satisfaction ratings. If that seems like a blanket statement, then think of it from your customers’ perspective. Happiness is getting the product they ordered quickly or at least on time. Their opinion of your business is rapidly broadcast across social media and review sites. What they say influences potential customers and therefore the growth of your business. The tricky bit is balancing 5-star fulfilment with tightly controlled costs and efficiencies.
The results of a leaner and more resilient supply chain go far deeper than just cost savings. Speed of delivery to the customer is a differentiator, especially in consumer goods and online sales. So how can a supply chain consultant help achieve this desired outcome? What skills are involved?
Topics: Supply Chain Strategy
Successfully growing your business sometimes means you outstrip your warehouse capacity. Optimising storage and rationalising stockholding is the first step to freeing up space. A new warehouse is the only option once all avenues have been exhausted. Ensure you choose wisely.
Available space inevitably gets used up under normal operating conditions. It’s almost a law of nature, just like Parkinson’s Law (work expands to fill the available time). Opportunistic bulk discount purchases, overstocking, old stock or just inefficiency eats up costly space. Suddenly you cannot add new lines that consumers are demanding. Your stock represents too much capital. Business is constrained by your warehouse capacity but expanding to an additional facility may not be feasible at this point. The only option is to increase storage space by better utilisation of what you have available. Where do you start?
The fact that Amazon was considering drones as a delivery channel highlights how important that giant considers retail supply chain management to be. That particular innovation focused on only one aspect of the process – speed of delivery to customers (at as low a cost as possible). Optimising the supply chain is not just about reducing costs. It also enhances competitiveness by making your proposition more attractive and winning market share. In the fiercely competitive retail and eCommerce space, winning often equates to faster and cheaper delivery. How well those costs are absorbed into product pricing depends on smart and proactive supply chain management.
As a logistics or warehouse manager, you appreciate that you have an expensive but critical facility at your command. Is there scope for improvement? Have you considered every avenue of exploration to realise even greater efficiencies, productivity and cost savings?
What tactics and processes do logistics consultants utilise to improve the efficiency of a client’s supply chain? And how can recommendations be implemented by a manager? While the end results are improved logistics planning processes, let’s examine how a typical consultant would approach the challenge of correctly identifying areas worthy of attention and improvement.