Any logistics company can improve its bottom line through better service, but first, it has to get the strategy right – as it is linked directly to delivering greater customer value. Logistics has witnessed tremendous changes in recent years – becoming increasingly complex and sophisticated. It has assumed global proportions heightening the competition and increasing the customer expectations – logistics users today demand timely delivery at very low prices.
‘In time’ is the most favourite mantra of supply chain. The mounting competitive pressures and increasing costs for movement and storage of products have compelled the logistics companies to assume a cautious stance. Rather the logistics companies can learn from the efficiency-focused approach of the goods and products based companies that want everything ‘In-time’.
What then would be the ideal means for achieving efficiency? Technology seems to be the most plausible answer to this question. Until recent times, major parts of the logistics processes were managed using an assortment of techniques, from paper forms to spreadsheets to piecemeal applications. The availability of applications for different aspects of logistics operations though did not serve the actual purpose of increasing efficiency. Instead, they brought in their wake problems like poor inter-communications between departments, poor access to information and increased manual efforts.
However, with innovations and rapid advancements in technology, today software can automate just about every process of logistics operations, starting from order entry and processing, warehouse management, freight and transport management and partner relationship management. There are software available that focus on every conceivable aspect of the logistics management process.
A point meriting consideration is that even consolidated software will not be effective if it lacks external integration. Any manager would tell you what the major obstacles are to ‘in-time’ shipment delivery. If the software is not able to exchange information with carriers and other agencies in the supply chain then you are deprived of valuable information that is critical to the success of your operations. Complete logistics management software is one that accomplishes both internal and external integration.
Having talked about the operational part, we cannot overlook the customer service part, which is also crucial for delivering greater value. The supply chain today seeks to be informed on every step of cargo movement until it reaches the destination. Visibility has become a crucial part of the supply chain and customers are demanding it more vocally than ever before. Again, the advancement in technology comes to rescue with customer visibility made possible round-the-clock through online integration, email and SMS.
So if you are a logistics company looking to improve your bottom line through better service it would be wise to look at your strategy and get it straight. Your bottom line is linked directly with your customers and delivering greater value can give your entry straightaway into their good books. Technology being a key tool for efficiency any strategy based on using right technology will yield greater dividends in the long run.