From starting a coffee shop to a nationwide transportation company, having a poor logistics plan in place could be paramount to failure. Here are five simple tips for the logistically challenged to ensure success.
Make logistically sound decisions, in other words calculate risks carefully. When providing logistics support for any operation be it a gas station or a hospital your budget and preparation are everything. Take into account shopping around for better deals and pass those savings on to your customers. If you are limited in where you acquire supplies try to negotiate a better deal, you will be surprised what you can get sometimes by simply asking.
When talking about logistics, an easy way to eat up a budget is accruing excessive shipping costs. Reducing costs for shipping provides an opportunity to put your company’s money into the product where it belongs. Keep in mind there are many aspects of your transportation department, moving product to the consumer is only a portion of the costs associated with shipping a product. Keep an eye on how much you’re spending on packing materials because they add up in the long run.
Stock is the bread and butter of logistics, properly rotating stock according to expiration dates on a first in-first out basis will ensure you keep waste costs to a minimum. Separating different items that may look similar is another way to minimize human error. Try to maintain an attention to detail attitude when working with supplies. Some people tend to cultivate a “Ground Hogs Day” attitude which can cause unintentional errors that could be avoided.
Having an appropriate inventory management system in place to track your usage and stock locations will make upkeep a breeze. This is something that can be in the form of a free flowing excel spreadsheet to a multimillion dollar program specifically designed for every aspect of tracking and shipping product. Keep in mind that a simple spreadsheet will allow for more human error then something more sophisticated but if only a few people will be working with it, a detailed spreadsheet is sufficient.
Know your audience and appeal to the market you work in. Casting too large of a net or advertising to an audience that doesn’t have a need for your services will cost extra in the long run. Evaluate who your target audience will be and provide them with information they can’t afford to ignore.
Logistics is ever changing and something you will learn as you grow. What works today may not work tomorrow when you are bigger or have a higher demand for the product you provide. Make sure to change with your market, keep an open mind, and a hands on approach to ensure success.