Managing your business gets increasingly more difficult as you scale it, Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to ensure that your company stays organized as long as you adopt some golden rules to help streamline your workflow and logistics processes. So in this post, we’re going to talk about five important things to follow.
1. Proper planning is mandatory for an efficient logistics system
Before you make any sweeping changes to your business, it’s vital that you plan out all of your actions to ensure that you’re not missing anything and that you’ve included everything that is a part of your logistics chain. Planning is important because it allows you to get a better overall view of your business’s current logistics system, giving you a better look at the areas that need to be optimized and where you can maximize your profits.
However, what’s arguably more important than proper planning is the ability to prepare for any potential situations where your plans don’t work. Unforeseen circumstances aren’t uncommon regardless of the type of business you operate. Whether it’s a problem with your products, adverse weather conditions, transportation issues or even internal organization problems, you need to have contingency plans in place for when things go badly.
2. Focus on building solid relationships with third-party services
While you might manage most of your general logistics chain, there’s undoubtedly going to be areas that you need to rely on other companies–at least for now. Everything from outsourced drivers to a pallet delivery company can be considered an essential service for smoothing out the bumps in your logistics chain. In some cases, you might even need to rely on a warehousing service to help you store excess goods as you grow your company’s storage space.
However, if you find that you’re constantly forced to use external employees to help, you might find it more convenient to hire new staff instead as long as the cost of recruitment and training can offset the current cost of hiring temporary workers. Eventually, you’ll want to manage virtually every aspect of your logistics chain so that you have more control over it, but until then, it’s perfectly fine to rely on outside services.
3. Efficient warehouse management is the key to a well-oiled logistics system
Proper warehouse management, such as indexing of items, can help a considerable amount when it comes to optimizing your logistics system. This is especially important for companies that typically deal with items that are perishable, such as food items that need to be refrigerated. The capacity of your warehouse should also accommodate your needs. This can be difficult to measure unless you’re actively monitoring every aspect of your logistics chain, hence why analytics and accurate reports can be important.
Warehouse management also means having enough workers and equipment to store and retrieve orders as needed. This includes having staff that are knowledgeable of all the safety considerations of working in a warehouse, and also having access to forklifts and similar pieces of equipment to make their life easier.
4. Use automated processes to become more efficient
Whether it’s organizing goods or printing labels, automation can make your logistics chain a lot simpler to manage. With the right type of software and engineers to monitor and tweak it, automated processes could play a major role in the way you operate your logistics.
Automated tools are usually always a big help, but it’s worth remembering that they can be difficult to set up and are usually prone to problems. Make sure you do your research and trial any piece of automation technology you use before putting it into service.
5. Analytics will help you get an objective look at your logistics chain
We mentioned this briefly already, but having analytical tools to track different metrics is critical to the operation of your business. Warehouses benefit greatly from using analytics because it allows you to make informed decisions backed by real statistics and facts that you personally generate. It allows for smarter inventory management, it helps you expand when needed and it also works well with complex supplier networks.
In addition, analytics can also help you react to certain situations. For instance, if there’s a supply chain issue like a truck getting stuck in transit, then you’ll immediately notice there’s an issue. Using your analytical tools, you can make decisions on how to proceed. This can be done by examining current stock, how much the truck is carrying and also how long your current stock will last. You can even track financial objectives to see if you’re meeting your targets.