03 Feb 5 Logistics Management Tips for Small Business Owners
Sun Tzu said, “The line between disorder and order lies in logistics.”
For small business owners, money is a vital factor in how they manage their business, therefore, a sound logistics management is an absolute must. But it is not just the logistics that drive a business. It is the well-oiled machinery integrating logistics AND supply chain that helps an organization run its business efficiently and keep costs in check, for without a strategy, costs invariably rise.
Let us look at some proven 5 logistics management tips for small business owners:
#1: CUSTOMER IS THE KING
Customer satisfaction is always at the top; followed by time and money. Your business strategy must fulfil customers’ requirements. For example, shipment tracking would be more useful for a customer rather than the “fastest delivery”, where they have no idea when their product may arrive. Keep them in the loop.
#2: PLAN, STRATEGIZE, EXECUTE
Secondly, align your strategy with the business goals. Say, you brand yourself as a low-cost provider, then your strategy should keep a tight rein on cutting costs. If your business campaign boasts of being the fastest in terms of delivery, your focus is on time and not cost. Your plans must include a strategy based on objectives of your business and not the other way around.
#3: MONEY MATTERS
From customer demand, quotations, supply chain visibility, transportation, and data management to capacity – money is a critical deciding factor.
The Inbound Logistics 2020 Market Research Survey reported that cost reduction was a crucial transportation and logistics challenge for 85% of participants followed closely by visibility, transport optimization, and data management.
Whatever business area you might have a grasp on, as an owner, knowing about logistics and supply chain would help you keep your ledgers neat and tidy. You will know where your money is going to or coming from, for better control of budgets.
In addition, take advantage of the competition and negotiate where you can – always manage your time so that you have two or three quotes in hand at all times. This ensures that you always have a back-up and you are not hard-pressed to cut corners.
#4: SALES AND OPERATIONS
The forecasts by sales and operations (S&OP) can get you information on new product introductions, promotions, or other demand changes. They will enable you to get the right products in your inventory to meet the present demand.
#5: Work with a third-party logistics company
While many SMEs are of the opinion that a third-party logistics company (or 3PL) may be too heavy on the pocket, it is always good to have first-hand experience. Considering that the third-party logistics company is already in the business, they could help your enterprise get the best rates and ensure quicker deliveries. In addition, they would already have a good productive warehouse team and would be willing to provide the necessary visibility and collaboration tools to you.