Most people when they think about logistics think about components such as warehousing and transportation. And while these things are critical, it is important to look at the bigger picture – to develop an overarching logistics strategy. This is the only way that you will be able to ensure your business has a high level of performance in the supply chain.
Your logistics strategy must be more than individual components such as transportation and warehousing. It must include your principles and goals for the organization that help you improve the organization’s performance and supply chain management. Your logistics strategy will also help to identify how you will respond to the ever-occurring change that is happening in the supply chain.
What should be included in a strategic logistics plan?
There are various components that should be part of your strategic logistics plan. These include the following:
- Transportation – you must ensure that your current levels and modes of transportation are adequately serving your business.
- Outsourcing – ask yourself which aspects of your logistics strategy could be improved through the help of a third-party logistics company.
- Logistics systems – how are you currently managing your data? Are there other logistics systems that could improve your performance?
- Competition – compare your logistics operations to those of your competitors. Are there any changes you could make that would improve your service to your customers and give you an edge over the competition?
- Strategy review – finally, once you have a logistics strategy in place, you should periodically review that strategy to ensure that it is still current and relevant and meeting the needs of your business.
How to create a logistics strategy
Now that you have an idea of what elements to include in your logistics strategy, you must find a way to weave them all together. The following tips will help you ensure that your logistics strategy is an effective one.
- Make connectivity a priority. Your logistics strategy should focus on keeping you connected to manufacturers, suppliers, customers, etc. Build in the appropriate technology and processes to effectively link your business to all stakeholders and mitigate the challenges of time and geography.
- Find solutions that are flexible and configurable. Since the supply chain is always changing, it is important to find solutions that are flexible to your organization’s changing needs rather than solutions that will be a forced fit at best.
- Use accurate data for decision making. With the current technology that is available, there is no excuse not to make decisions based on real-time, accurate data. Ensure that you have the necessary technology in place that provides accurate data and make decisions accordingly.
- Adopt new technology strategically. When there is new technology that will improve your operations, do not be afraid to adopt it. Innovations such as track and trace, truck scales, and 3D printing are all examples of technologies that could help give you an edge over your competition.
If you want your business to stay relevant, having an effective strategic logistics plan is not only important but it is absolutely essential. For help with your strategic logistics plan, contact us today.