In any organization, logistics planning is essential. It’s when a business owner strategizes on how to deliver their product to the customer at the lowest cost and at the right time.
When a business takes the time to plan its supply chain, it allows them to budget costs, evaluate resources and go into detail regarding the logistical processes. Without it, a company is putting itself at risk of expensive surprises, inefficiencies, and lacking resources to scale up the business. Here’s our guide to logistics planning to help promote growth and longevity for your company.
What are the three main factors in logistic planning?
There are three major aspects of logistic planning. These include long-term goals, means, and process.
- Long-term goals: This covers customer satisfaction, supply-chain management, and your business’ competitive advantage.
- Means: How will you achieve your long-term business goals? Customer service and delivering value are incredibly important.
- Process: What will your process be to achieving said long-term business goals? This will include how you will execute your logistics strategy, plus anticipating and dealing with change. Also relating each aspect of this strategy to the overall business objectives of your company.
So, why should you always have a logistic planning system in place?
Improve financial gains
When you’ve got your logistics and management in order, you can prevent wasted products by securing all of your shipping transactions. You’re able to identify places where you could be spending less money, like storage spaces you don’t necessarily need.
Setting up a system that keeps track of everything is a streamlined way of staying one step ahead and above your business costs. Plus, it also lets you use the money you’re saving on areas of improvement which will help to increase your revenue.
If you can run a business and save the planet at the same time, why wouldn’t you? Logistic planning can actually help your company to produce less waste due to preventing the use of excess materials. This helps your company reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill (which is a lot, by the way). And in the 21st century, when it’s more important than ever to do your bit to protect the environment, improving your efficiency through logistics planning is a very sensible place to start.
Boost your efficiency
Want to boost the efficiency of your business? Logistics planning is a really good way to do so. It helps you to keep an inventory of all of your materials and stock, which makes it easier to locate your items, speeds up the transaction process and order times, and therefore improves the productivity of your business.
Plus, prioritizing this planning allows you to use top-notch tech to track said inventory and orders. They also offer advanced analytics, too.
In logistics planning, once you’ve improved your efficiency, it lets all the other areas of your business be developed.
Optimize your supply chain
The increased efficiency we mentioned before allows items to be quickly located, which obviously speeds up transactions. This means your company is able to send out more orders than before, which increases the number that can be physically processed in the future.
Introducing logistics planning is also helpful if you want to add same-day delivery options to your business, for example. By embracing and getting through more orders than normal, you’re able to demonstrate to your existing customers and potential new ones that you’re a trustworthy brand, regardless of how demanding the market is.
This will also deepen the levels of customer loyalty you already have, leading to them being more likely to make repeat purchases. This will obviously continue to boost your conversion and revenue levels.
Logistics planning tips
From why you should have a logistics planning system in place to tips on logistics planning and strategy…
- Keep your customers in the loop:
Your customers are your most valuable asset. One bad review to a friend, a colleague, or on social media can cause your reputation to plummet.
That’s why total transparency from the start of the purchasing process to the end is incredibly important. For example, when a customer is aware of the status of their order at all times, it reduces their post-purchase anxiety. This puts your business in the lead customer service-wise over your competitors.
One solution is Track & Trace, ideally in a branded environment. Our latest whitepaper discussed the importance of having all tracking information in-house and in one place, rather than letting customers find it on a third-party site.
Part of the conversation read: “Many retailers fail to integrate all eCommerce order tracking information and events within their site. They let users find important details about their shipment on a third-party or carrier site instead.
Research has shown that users find it harder to access, understand, and navigate the order-tracking details there, although major carriers have made great strides in recent years.”
So this begs the question - why would you give up control over the end-user experience when you know that it could affect your business?
“A tracking page on your website can fulfill the role of a dashboard, managing shoppers’ expectations and transforming shipment tracking to shipment marketing. Ideally, consumers can indicate when and where they want to receive push messages about the shipping process.”
So, make sure you’ve got a communication system in place that combines confirmation emails and tracking numbers, plus your business’ contact information should customers need to contact you with queries or concerns.
- Use analytics and data collection to improve your results:
You need to integrate data logging tools so that you can manage circumstance monitoring for your industry. This lets you put in place analysis, measurement, and insight sounding boards. When you implement circumstance monitoring, you’re effectively managing your supply chains and elevating your efforts.
- Take note of your competitor’s service delivery habits:
Sometimes the best ideas and improvements come from examining how your competitors do business. For example, being aware of how they manage their transport logistics can give you inspiration when it comes to improving yours. Not only this, but you’re able to compare your company and figure out how your business can have an edge over theirs.
- Take note of the preferences of your customers:
It’s also important to be aware of the preferences of your customers, too. Make sure you’re in constant communication with your customer service department as they’ll be able to fill you in on any complaints or advice.
For example, do they often receive requests regarding missing delivery options or alternatives? If so, take these suggestions into consideration and appropriately implement them into your logistics planning strategy.
Essentially, listening to your customers is the key to growth.
- Develop a contingency plan:
In logistics management and transportation, nothing is ever 100%. Things can go wrong and you can’t predict exactly what will happen. This is why unforeseen circumstances will always play a potential part in your business operations.
But instead of dealing with each issue as they arrive, you can give yourself some leeway by developing a contingency plan. This way, you’re more prepared to handle problems in real time if things don’t go right.
Let your business thrive
If you’re serious about delivering quality products on time to your customer base (and just generally being a reliable and trustworthy business), implementing logistics planning is vital. From improving the efficiency of your company to optimizing your supply chain, it’s something that can really take your organization from a 5 to a 10 and beyond. At Salesupply, we can help you with this by taking care of your ecommerce fulfillment. Check out our ecommerce fulfillment outsourcing page to learn more about us and our services.
Plus, it makes things easier for you in the long run, which can only ever be a good thing, right?