Does it ever seem like your logistics team faces an uphill battle?
Your executive team knows the value they provide, of course, but they often don’t realize how much more value is being left on the table. Other projects and initiatives get the resources and funding, while the logistics changes you’ve been asking for get overlooked.
That’s because most logistics aren’t exciting enough. They’re not flashy. And they don’t make great PR stories – at least, not until you show how much money you’ve saved the company with them.
And that’s exactly what your C-Suite folks need you to do: show them the money.
To make that easier for you, here are seven things your team could do to increase the value of your company.
1. Process orders faster
For online orders, providing seamless integration with your suppliers is one of the best ways to reduce the lead times for your customers. Connecting your order management system (OMS) to theirs will eliminate a variety of manual as well as batched processes, bringing you a few steps closer to delivery. Speedier delivery means happier customers, more repeat sales, and more referrals.
OMS integration can also eliminate many errors and headaches that end up getting escalated and sorted out by management. That in itself represents a significant cost and reducing those occasions is something your executive team could easily appreciate.
2. Implement a cloud-based inventory system
In a previous post, we discussed the Top 12 Reasons to Use Cloud-based Inventory Management. You can review all twelve if you like, but I’ll share three of them now:
- Real-Time Inventory Tracking
- Visibility from Anywhere
- Reduce Inventory Carrying Costs and Out of Stocks
Connect those dots with real situations impacting your bottom line, and your C-Suite folks can’t help but see the value in your proposition. Each one of these factors has the potential to revolutionize the way you conduct your business.
3. Offer seamless inter-modal transportation
The products on a retailer’s shelves are well-traveled. They’ll often go through many layers of distribution on their voyage between the manufacturer’s facility and the retailer’s shelves. Those layers include trucks, ships, planes, trains… and more trucks. Each one of those transitions, of course, takes time. So if you could speed up each and every one of those transitions with better tracking and communications, you could get those products on your shelves much quicker. That means improving your SKU velocities and, ultimately, more sales.
4. Minimize risk and variability
According to Business Insider, “the longer the supply chain, the more exposure to risk and potential disruption.” This becomes a huge challenge in today’s globally sourced logistics.
It’s also where your logistics team can shine. By identifying potential issues, gaining transparency with suppliers, and creating contingency plans, your team can greatly reduce the risks inherent in that supply chain. It might even mean you won’t need as much “buffer” inventory for key products, cutting more costs for the company.
5. Provide security
Your supply chain operations will face two radically different dangers: physical and cyber. Violent physical threats – such as piracy and conflict – are best avoided with thorough planning and preparation. Theft, however, is the more common physical danger. Your logistics team can reduce the risk of theft by improving the integrity of your product tracking, as well as your warehouse management processes.
Cyber dangers, on the other hand, are best dealt with by adopting robust platforms. Expecting homegrown solutions and IT departments to keep up with the ever increasing threat from professional hackers is no longer a valid strategy. You need solid, scalable platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud that are constantly updated with the latest security measures.
So moving to cloud-based technologies not only provides financial benefits, it protects you from risks as well.
6. Get closer to customers
Another way to cut lead times and deliver to customers faster is by expanding your warehouse network. By getting your products closer to customers to begin with, there would be less distance (and cost) in the shipping. Unfortunately, expanding your warehouses used to mean accepting new costs in the form of new facilities, personnel, and inventory dispersal as well.
Now, however, your logistics team can get closer to customers without opening any new warehouses. Through what’s called omnichannel distribution, every one of your retail locations can be treated like an individual distribution center. And if you want to capture the attention of your C-Suite folks, try starting with this: omnichannel shoppers spend 50-300% more than traditional shoppers.
The caveat? Your logistics team will need to implement some state of the art mobile computing to get there.
7. Keep the organization from becoming obsolete
Whether you’re stuck with legacy systems weighing you down or your executive team isn’t ready to pull the trigger on modernizing your supply chain operations, your logistics team needs to champion a new supply chain vision.
If you keep ignoring the cloud, the entire company risks becoming obsolete. The advantages of these new systems are simply too pronounced – and they impact everything. You need to make sure all the members of your leadership team know it.
What Your Executive Team Should Know
If your logistics initiatives aren’t on the fast track yet, it’s up to you to explain why they should be.
Why wait for your competitors to start reaping the benefits of mobile and cloud computing? Why wait for them to start stealing your market share? Why not get there ahead of them and grow your market share instead?
At DecisionPoint, we specialize in modern inventory, warehousing, and retail delivery systems. Implementing new state of the art logistics programs don’t have to be as painful as you think. Contact us today and discover how we can help your logistics team deliver on everything they need to do.