7 Essential Logistics Tips For Australian Small Business Owners
December 12, 2018
A supply-chain network and its logistical operations are a critical part of every Australian retailer, whether it be large or small. By having a logistics plan in place, your business will be able to operate more efficiently and more cost-effectively, which is why virtually all businesses take the time to develop a logistics plan.
Without a good plan in place to manage your logistics for small businesses, you can expect costs to rise. and to consume more of your profits than they should. The seven most important aspects of a good plan for logistics are listed below, and if you incorporate these into your overall approach to logistics, you should be fairly successful in your attempts to manage costs.
1. Implement An Overall Strategy
Before developing your logistics plan, you should have a good understanding of your company’s overall strategy. For instance, if your company’s main strategy is to provide the quickest and most efficient deliveries in your particular industry, then you’ll probably need to spend more money on your logistics execution. On the other hand, if your overall strategy is to adopt a profile as a price leader then you’ll need to find ways to cut costs in your logistical plan.
2. Emphasize Services Most Desired By Your Customers
Regardless of your overall strategy, you’ll still have to effectively service your customers. Within the framework of your adopted strategy, you’ll have to develop methods which effectively satisfy your customers. The vast majority of companies, when queried on the subject, respond that they consider their customer service to be good, with only 2% claiming that their customer service is excellent. It could be that being informed constantly about shipment status with free shipping is more important to your customers than faster delivery at a higher cost is, and if this is the case, that’s where you should focus your efforts.
3. Don’t Skimp on Collaboration or Visibility
Collaboration will allow you to maintain low levels of inventory, while concurrently keeping lead times down to a bare minimum. All the most effective supply chains require high visibility, with the capability of quickly communicating to both suppliers and customers. Your supply chain and warehouse management system should be considered a fundamental part of your company’s equipment, so having visibility and collaboration are essential components in your supply chain network.
4. Track Your Costs
Logistics managers should have a thorough understanding about tracking all costs, and knowing how much is being spent on every aspect of logistics and the overall supply chain. It will be impossible to manage your costs if you don’t have a clear understanding of what you’re spending money on.
5. Get Competitive Quotes
Many supply chain executives and managers become so bogged down with details of their positions that they overlook the possibility of negotiating with multiple carriers for the most competitive rates. The irony of this is that any company you do business with would probably offer you a better rate if they knew there was competition for the services they provide. If you don’t check around, you might never become aware of the best logistics provider for your business, and remain stuck with a subpar provider. It’s almost always worth your while to get two or three quotes for any expenditure you are undertaking, so that you have a choice which is most beneficial to your company.
6. Plan For Shipping
It’s always a good idea to analyze your monthly shipping plan, and to try to arrange for full truckload shipping whenever that’s possible. For materials deliveries, you should have some contingency plans prepared, in case there are mishaps or disruptions to service. You don’t necessarily need to stockpile inventory to allow for such contingencies, but you should develop alternative sources for your materials, and you should also have the ability to transfer goods between distribution centers when necessary.
7. Collaborate With A 3PL
You might think that it’s too expensive to work with a third-party logistics company which offers great logistics solutions for small business, but this is usually not the case when you get right down to examining costs. When you do work with a good 3PL, you’ll often be able to get the fastest deliveries, the best rates, and the best possible warehouse team. Many 3PL providers can also offer you all the visibility and collaboration tools which will help make logistics much easier. A recent survey showed that 90% of 3PL providers and 73% of retailers believed strongly that 3PL’s offered significant new and creative ideas to enhance logistics. In addition, many 3PL’s will gladly offer extra services in order to create new business opportunities, and if you can find one of these helpful companies to work with, it could be highly beneficial for your company.
There are a number of elements which should be incorporated into your logistics plan, in order to keep it in sync with your company’s overall strategy. After deciding what is most important to your company, you should emphasize services which are most desired by your customers, closely track your costs, and get competitive quotes on rates. Review your monthly logistics plan with a view toward saving wherever possible, and align yourself with a value-added 3PL provider who can help you take your logistics operations to the next level. All of these issues can be addressed after you’ve asked yourself – What is my company’s overall strategy with regard to logistics?
Wondering About A Good 3PL?
If you are wondering where you can find an excellent third-party logistics for Australian retailers then look no further than eStore Logistics. If you are looking for fast delivery times, favourable rates, and a great warehouse team, we can fill the bill for you. We also are happy to work with clients to find innovative ways of streamlining logistics, reducing your average fulfilment cost per order, and making your whole operation smoother. Call us at 1300 735 133, and let’s start working together to solve your company’s logistics challenges!