In the present scenario of global economics, logistics play a key role in facilitating trade and, by extension, ensuring the success of business operations. However, changing consumer demands, complex business models and growing client demands are just some of the top factors that pose a challenge in streamlining logistics management. So, how can logistics management personalize a conventionally standard service? Well, that is perhaps the top challenge that the industry has been facing in the last few years among others.
In their struggle to ensure optimum results, here are the top challenges faced by logistics managers today:
- Cutting Transportation Costs: Growing fuel prices increased wages, and peaking inflation indexes all work in tandem to increase transportation costs daily. Cutting a few corners here and there does not always help in meeting the cost cutting goals for transportation. Adopting a strategic approach to eliminate or reduce bottlenecks can prove pivotal in revamping network designs and consequently cutting down on transportation costs. To implement these strategies well, logistics managers need reliable information on existing and future orders. Using a visibility software can help in simplifying these challenges. For a small business, relying on a cost-effective third-party transportation agency that caters to air, ocean, rail and road transportation is sometimes the best bet for accessing quality services in a cost-effective manner. For one, it rules out the added expenditure of maintaining a fleet of delivery vehicles, paying salaries to the transportation staff as well as dishing out freight charges and other taxes. You just pay a lump-sum to an expert third-party and they take care of the rest.
- Processing Enormous Amounts of Information: Logistics managers have to deal with a lot of figures and data on a daily basis, besides coordinating smooth discharge of operations. The scope of their work includes ensuring the safety of the fleet and staff, fleet loading, cross-checking route maps, sanctioning fuel bills and so on. When done manually, this can be a time-consuming and tedious task that can take your focus off from attention to details. Investing in an automated solution or application for data entries, fuel bills, loading and unloading ledgers can go a long way in streamlining operations by allowing logistics managers the luxury of time to look at the finer nuances of operations.
- Offering Segmented, Customized Services: Thanks to globalization, logistics management is turning into a multi-layered job where managers are expected to keep tabs on multiple supply chains simultaneously. You don’t just need to deliver goods on time but also offer customized services to different suppliers and customers in terms of packages and pricing. The keyword for success in this scenario is flexibility. Logistics operators need to can offer personalized experiences to multiple segments of customers. Using a software system that can automate the process of projecting different services to different customers can not only save time and effort on the managerial level but also bring added accuracy to data compilation and compliance.
- Manpower Management: Manpower is the trickiest of management responsibilities. You must maintain a humane approach toward the employees while keeping the best interest of your organization in mind. That can be a complicated equation in any managerial setup, but especially so in case of logistics management, as the drivers and staff are often placed in different geographic locations to maintain swift supply chain velocity. Decentralization of responsibilities, by appointing logistics managers in key locations, with appropriate work-order management solutions can help in more efficient management. For instance, the work order management module of comprehensive solutions like ReachOut, helps logistics managers manage team utilization, team schedules, show proof of work, generate quotes and invoices and do much more. Managers can easily keep everyone on the same page and notify the staffs immediately about changes or provide them with live info they need.
- Compliance with Regulations: Transportation rules, regulations and security norms can vary from city to city, state to state, and quite obviously, from country to country. If you are a business catering to a global clientele, keeping up with these varying rules and regulations and familiarizing your staff with these, can pose a grave challenge. Collaborating with an efficient audit software can help eliminate these pains and improve your compliance, audit results and lead to quality investigations, thereby saving you from the trouble of getting on the wrong side of the law.
With the landscape of business operation continually changing, there is a shift in the ensuing challenges as well. Staying abreast with these changes and taking preemptive measure to ward off challenges is sign of sound logistics management.
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