If you run a business that involves shipping products or goods to customers locally or abroad, you know that logistics can have a huge impact on your operations.
When not taken care of, the process of sourcing products and shipping them out to customers can quickly turn into a nightmare. This can lead to numerous customer complaints relating to damaged goods and late deliveries. In severe cases, it can result in loss of customers and revenue.
However, managing logistics shouldn’t halt your business operations. To help you out, here are five ways you can avoid logistics nightmares in your business operations:
1. Be Conversant With The Supply Chain Process
In very basic terms, a supply chain refers to the entire process of moving products from the supplier to the buyer or from the manufacturer to the retailer. Logistics, on the other hand, refers to the movement of products between the supply chain intermediaries.
Furthermore, the supply chain involves the storage of the products, packaging, transportation. The labor required to achieve this, and the administrative costs that the business incurs in this process. For e-commerce businesses, the supply chain process involves moving products from manufacturers and ensuring that those products are shipped to clients who place an order.
Having good knowledge on how this entire process and the costs associated with logistics is a great way to prevent logistic nightmares in your business operations. Ideally, get cargo insurance, consolidate your shipments, and keep tabs on different parties. That are involved in the process using a single integrated platform. Also, when outsourcing shipping services, opt for a reliable company to prevent delays. This way, you’ll rest assured that products are delivered to clients on time.
2. Craft A Contingency Plan
When you develop a logistics plan and you test it to confirm that it works fine. You might be tempted to relax and not think of developing an alternative plan. But you can’t be ready for every possible outcome. This is why a contingency plan is a must-have.
When you have a contingency plan for each aspect of your logistics strategy, you’ll find it easier to determine when to follow the original plan and when to shift to your backup plan. When crafting your contingency plan, consider the various options you’d use to move products around and be ready to budget for emergencies. This will enable your business to take care of any disruptions that may result from failures in your original logistics strategy.
3. Work With Logistics Experts
You’ll be able to eliminate a lot of logistical inefficiencies in your business if you work with people who specialize in logistics. Hence, to prevent nightmares in your operations, opt for a supply chain and fulfillment expert who’ll be able to provide the support you need whenever disruptions happen.
A good expert should be in a position to help you identify alternative shipping solutions. Guide you on how to navigate fees, surcharges, and supply disruptions. If you ship products internationally, work with a logistics provider that offers global support, like HLOG.
4. Maintain A Significant Inventory Level
When you’re running an e-commerce business, inventory is one of the factors that you need to pay attention to. This is because stockouts can cause your customers to quickly move to your competitors.
While stockouts will rarely be a result of your business, you can prevent the inconveniences that emanate from them by building an inventory that’s sufficient to keep your business afloat for several months in case you experience a disruption in supply.
5. Have Some Backup Suppliers
Another way to prevent logistics nightmares for your business is to find other vendors. That can supply the products you need in the event your main supplier is unable to fulfill your order. This could mean identifying vendors in other geographic areas and nurturing a relationship with them. This will enable them to step in when you need them.
You could also diversify your supply base by ensuring that you have suppliers in multiple locations. This will give you a higher chance of getting goods in case of disruptions.
6. Audit Your Supply Chain
To prevent a logistics nightmare, you need to identify areas of vulnerability within your supply chain. The easiest way to do this is to conduct a risk audit to determine which areas of your supply chain are the weakest. With this information, you’ll be able to focus on areas that require backup.
When logistics are working well, it’s easy to overlook the need of having a backup plan until a disruption happens. Disruptions in the logistics process can halt the operations in your business and cause your sales revenue to dip. To prevent this from happening, you need to evaluate potential risks in your supply chain, diversify suppliers, and work with a logistics expert to effectively address eventualities.