Essential Knowledge: Your Guide to Logistics Management
Logistics management is a crucial step in any business’ supply chain operation — but what does logistics actually entail? If you are looking to outsource your business’ logistics operations, then it’s important to understand every aspect and who better to guide you through than our elite team of specialists?
Logistics concerns the planning and implementation of any multifaceted operation, which, in a business sense, can generally relate to the end-to-end operation of moving goods from point A to B. The most important element of logistics (and where professional management comes into play) is establishing a natural workflow that complements other operations. Whilst this is a broad-stroke simplification of the practice, there are three key areas that encompass logistics management — general planning, transportation management and warehouse management.
Comprehensive research and planning are required to optimally action an effective logistics plan that suits a business’ supply chain. Let’s use a fashion retail store, for example, that sells both online and in-store at multiple locations across the country. Outsourcing their entire logistics operation to a 3PL provider can mitigate the need to hire more staff and rent/purchase land for product storage.
From a logistics management point of view, items will need to be catalogued and stored accordingly so that they are easily accessible to be despatched out for online orders or in-store stock requests as well uploaded to a digital database that the business owner and managers can access whenever they require. This involves intricate planning; factors must be taken into account such as:
- Store locations and distances from the warehouse.
- Does the retailer provide international shipping?
- How much stock is stored in a warehouse on average and is there room to scale for busy days and sales.
- Are there any special wrapping/packaging or storage requirements?
Transportation is an integral part of any logistics operation concentrating on the stock’s movement between locations. A solid transport operation relies on stability, information and transparency. A good logistics management company will always strive to use the best available information to provide the most efficient transport operation and, whilst the client won’t need to know all the details — those details should nonetheless be accessible to them via a centralised cloud environment. Some key aspects of transport management include:
- Planning optimal routes: This can require some trialling to find the fastest and most efficient route; routes should be constantly optimised for where possible to achieve the best results.
- Finding the right freight companies: Different freight companies have their own pros and cons so finding one that suits the requirements is imperative; at ELA we have our own in-house fleet as well as partnerships with leading transport companies.
- Leveraging technology: Taking advantage of a modern freight management system (FMS) is key to unlocking your transport logistics’ true potential; an FMS allows access to the aforementioned information as well as stock tracking, freight invoicing and premium business intelligence and insights.
When products aren’t being transported they must be stored and catalogued, and that’s where warehouse management comes in — the division of logistics that deals with the storage, cataloguing and pick-packing of the products in question so they are ready to be despatched at a moment’s notice. Warehouse management goes beyond simply loading items onto a pallet and storing them on a high shelf — some of the integral features encompass:
- Pick and packing: Warehouse staff will work to pick the items listed on an invoice (this could be an online order from a customer or a stock request from a physical store) and pack them appropriately so they can be despatched on time.
- Cataloguing: Stored items must be catalogued efficiently so they can be easily located via a WMS and then found on the floor; ELA implements a complete tier 1 WMS which allows for a speedy and streamlined pick-and-pack operation.
- Scalability: A great 3PL warehouse provider will offer scalable solutions tailored for stores and retailers that experience busy periods throughout the year — allowing for the impromptu upscale to account for an influx of items.
- Technology: Warehouse management requires a significant investment in technology to ensure not only visibility for the client but also that the most efficient practices are being followed in order to pick the items as quickly and accurately as possible.
Logistics solutions made easy
At elite logistics australia, we specialise in handling your complete logistics operations from 3PL warehousing to retail transport solutions. Backed with the latest supply chain technology, a dedicated warehouse team and an in-house freight fleet, our services are second to none; take advantage of a personalised, comprehensive and most importantly, efficient logistics management service today and take a load off your shoulders.
Get in touch with our representatives today to find out more about logistics solutions.