Business Planning Process Planning & Strategy

How Are You Supposed to Optimize Logistics, Anyway?

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Logistics, from a distant view, can seem like quite a simple process. You organize your delivery or transport routes, you make sure the trucks and drivers are well cared for, you rotate shift patterns, and voila, everything is sorted.

Of course, that’s just the outline of the matter. There’s a great deal of complexity involved with managing daily logistics, and that’s just when things are going well. It’s why many staff in the chain are required, and why everyone counts, from the fleet manager to your warehouse staff.

We might be used to “optimization” in terms of cutting costs, streamlining processes where needed, and developing robust contingencies. But when it comes to logistics management, does any of that apply? After all, if you cut five trucks from your weekly delivery schedule, that’s five trucks worth of product not being moved. It may seem like any step to consolidate just limits you, in a discipline that needs to be scale carefully.Luckily, there are some steps you could take. Let’s consider a few examples:

Route Planning Optimization

Every few weeks, it’s important to review the routes your delivery vehicles or logistical focuses are taking. Perhaps you’ve realized that a fulfillment center is better and closer to you, inspiring you to renegotiate your contract this time next year. Route planning can also give your drivers recommended routes to take, and backups for when traffic is bad. This way, you can make sure your journeys take less time, or you can expend less fuel and maintenance time in aggregate.

Implementing Just-In-Time (JIT) Inventory Strategies

When we think of JIT systems, it’s easy to think of what happens when they fail. But you’d be surprised just how often JIT systems are used for many aspects of international trade. This makes sense, because it’s a waste to host inventory in your warehouse arbitrarily, the quicker items can be picked up and transported, the better. You can improve your own JIT strategy by ensuring you have effective inventory and tracking systems and software, that you manage volume based on how quickly you can move it, and to keep a continual rotation of fleet management planning.

Prevent Downtime

Downtime is a consistent concern when it comes to managing the logistics of your business. This is because a lack of truck maintenance, improperly rotating trucking staff, or even failing to secure cybersecurity through specifically designed for the trucking field can be a mistake. Prioritizing these actions allows you to foresee downtime before it becomes, and come up with effective measures to recalibrate it. Moreover, you can use any downtime you do experience, be that through staff illness or improper warehouse management, as an opportunity to add contingencies and backup plans. The more you do that, the more you can optimize, even if it doesn’t mean adding efficiency. After all, it doesn’t matter how optimized your system is if it doesn’t function.

For this reason, we hope you can more easily optimize logistics in the best possible context.

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