Unless you provide completely digital products or services, and some of the 33.2 million American small businesses do, you’ll run up against logistics. Granted, it’s more of a concern for businesses that make products. They must worry about procurement logistics for material acquisition, as well as production logistics.
For retail businesses, the concerns mostly hinge on sales logistics planning. In other words, how do you make sure you get enough of the right products on your shelves at the right times?
If you’re not satisfied with your logistics management and planning, keep reading for some tips that should help improve your transport management.
Build Resilience into Your Supply Chain
As manufacturers and retailers learned the hard way in the wake of Covid and the Russian war in Ukraine, supply chains are shockingly fragile things. Productions slowdowns and empty shelves have cut into profit margins for businesses of all sizes.
While no supply chain can withstand every blow, you do want alternatives in place to help you weather unexpected shortages and delays.
Leverage Your Data
Good logistics planning often starts with good data analysis. While new businesses must often depend on hypothetical predictions or public industry data, that situation will remedy itself within a year or two.
You should look to your data to get a sense of what kinds of products sell and when. That can let you, for example, order the right kinds of materials or the right kinds of products for a given season.
Align Goals with Planning
Good logistics planning should always account for your company goals, mission, or vision. For example, if your company aims for sustainability, your logistics planning must include provisions for reducing your carbon footprint. If your company aims for speed of delivery, your logistics must look for the fastest ways of getting orders to customers.
Make Logistics Someone’s Job
As a business owner, you already deal with an overfull plate every single day. Adding logistics and logistics planning to the plate will just make your life harder and more unpleasant. Honestly, do you want fleet tracking decisions on your agenda?
Instead, make logistics someone’s job. If you don’t have someone on staff that fits the bill for a logistics manager, hire someone who has the right qualifications.
Consider Your Options
Don’t jump to the conclusion that you must make your logistics an in-house process. There are a variety of ways you can outsource some or even all of the logistics process.
Explores those options and, if they make sense, use them. There is no value in doing something poorly that someone else can do well and probably cheaper.
Logistics Planning and Your Business
Very few businesses get by without intersecting with logistics at some point. Even internet-based retail businesses must get their products to their customers.
Wherever possible, build resilience into your supply chain. Keep your company goals in mind while doing your logistics planning.
Put someone in charge of logistics. Consider all of your options.
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