As an eCommerce professional, you know that logistics and supply chain management is crucial to getting products to your customer on time; as well as in the proper condition is essential for your business. The actions involved with this, such as storing items and transporting shipments, might seem straightforward, but seamless logistics are far from simple on the back-end.
In this article, we’ll talk about why you can’t reach your lofty business goals without paying adequate attention to the quality of your logistics and supply chain management.
What Is Logistics?
Logistics refers to all the activities that have to do with helping you move products from one location, such as your warehouse, to another, such as your customer’s home or business. In practice, that could include the storage of items in your warehouse, their transportation from place to place, the fulfillment and packaging of items, the management of inventory, and more. Essentially, the goal of logistics is to satisfy the customer with correct, on-time deliveries.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management: How Do They Differ?
When discussing logistics, the term “supply chain management” will often come up. While similar, supply chain management and logistics are terms used to describe two slightly different things. While logistics describes the actions a business takes to store and transport products, supply chain management is concerned with the strategic relationships between companies and their suppliers and business partners that help move products from one place to another.
Why Logistics Is Important
At the start of your business, when orders are few and far between, you might be able to get away without an airtight logistics strategy. However, no amount of scaling is possible without a solid strategy. You simply must find a reliable, repeatable process for getting your products to their intended location without sacrificing quality or customer experience. Without that, your business will be struggling to compete in the modern business climate. Beyond this, proper logistics can have significant benefits for your business and your customers. With a solid strategy in place, you can:
- Delight your customers. Today’s world is all about immediacy. Your customers expect shipments to arrive promptly and for you to fix any issues that arise immediately. When your supply chain is airtight, this adds value to your customers’ experience with their business. Ultimately, this makes them more likely to become repeat customers or refer your business to others.
- Keep issues to a minimum. Work with the right third-party logistics provider (or 3PL), and you’ll experience fewer mishaps—it’s that simple. Logistics may seem easy, but there are plenty of ways for warehousing and shipping to get out of hand. The right strategy accounts for potential issues by being flexible and agile from the start.
- Save money. Efficient logistics can help you find areas where you’re wasting money; whether that’s related to your transportation methods or the way you’re storing products. More money saved with logistics means more cash to devote to other areas and priorities.
How Logistics Can Improve eCommerce Success
No one goes into business with the intent to fail. However, many businesses end up not succeeding at their goals, or at the very least, not being able to scale to the degree they intended. Sometimes the very thing that can hold you back is the way you handle your logistics.
Improper, inefficient logistics can waste your precious time, add additional costs, and lead to unhappy shoppers if deliveries and products are affected. Nonetheless, when you master efficient warehousing, fast and on-time deliveries, and seamless returns, your shoppers and your bottom line will thank you. Next, we’ll dig deeper into specific ways that better logistics translates to business success.
Improves the Way You Manage Your Warehouse
Different types of businesses require different warehousing solutions. Perishable goods, for example, may require climate control and other measures to ensure that your product stays in peak condition; as well as you cutting down on any likely waste. If you don’t know where to start with managing a warehouse, a skilled 3PL can help you customize the way you store goods; they use methods like warehouse slotting so you save money and use your resources effectively.
Ensures Prompt Deliveries
It can be a true challenge to keep up with your customer’s increasingly higher expectations for delivery times, but better supply chain and logistics management can help you speed up shipments.
There are many methods you can use to help you get closer to meeting your shoppers’ lofty expectations business. This can include; using expedited shipping, adopting a drop shipping model, working with an external transportation provider, and other methods can
Reduces Overhead Costs
Poor management could be costing you money you didn’t even know you were spending. Perhaps you’re paying for warehouse square footage you don’t even need or spending extra on product shipment. Working with an experienced 3PL that understands how to run an efficient warehouse, ship products promptly, and more can help you find and eliminate areas of waste.
Supports Business Scaling
You can see this happen in multiple areas of your business. When you have a repeatable process with the right amount of automation and the right players involved, it becomes infinitely easier to scale that process and get more and more one. The same is true for logistics. The better your company can get at delivering customers’ orders, the more they can do in less time and with less effort.
Start Taking Logistics Seriously
Logistics might not be the most riveting part of your business, but without enough attention to this discipline, customer loyalty, bottom line, and ability to scale could all be affected. Working with the right 3PL can help take some of the stress of managing your logistics off of you. The right 3PL will be able to handle and optimize not only the storage and transportation of your products but also other activities and steps in the supply chain. Some 3PLs will handle other business tasks such as printing, picking and packing, reverse logistics, and more.
When you’re ready to start leveling up your company logistics, reach out to the professionals at Print Bind Ship for a free quote.