Communication is Key When Optimizing Logistics Networks
We know that communication is key to any conversation.With the continuous growth of technologies, our economic society and life are changing significantly in the 21st century. Whether you shipping thousands of products across the globe or just talking to a friend,anything misinterpreted can lead to tons of chaos and confusion.The logistics industry is an ever growing industry.If you come across any logistics network there are numerous vendors, warehouses, distribution centers, service operations,importers, exporters, and more. The idea of optimizing all of it is enough to give anyone a splitting headache. Difficulty to communicate between all these factors in logistics leads to a large storage and transport capacity waste causing numerous problems.
A company’s communications strategy should be in place to explain the concept and objectives of its procurement strategy to suppliers.
The goal of optimization is to reduce prices while becoming more productive. To do this, some companies use the greatest technologies they can buy.Others hire analysts.We think that by simply getting advice or upgrading our systems we’ll finally achieve what we want, only to find that we come up short. Most seem to forget about the essence of communication.
If a company hires an professional for advice,then it needs to be shared and acted upon in all departments. New technologies must either joined with current technology or replace it all together. Imagine a company integrating a new transportation management system that doesn’t communicate with an existing billing system. While scheduling and tracking shipments becomes easier, employees still have to manually take the information down from the TMS and upload it into the accounting system. This inefficiency costs the company time and money, and increases the margin for error. Now, imagine inefficiencies like this running rampant across an entire logistics network.
Before jumping into the latest innovation, it’s important for everyone within your company to understand what success looks like. It’s easy for each department to become bogged down with their individual goals. However, for optimization to succeed, all departments must be held accountable for achieving the same goals.
Remember the definition of a network. Everything is intertwined and connected, and has to work cohesively. Map out your network to determine areas needing the most improvement and consider how your efforts in streamlining one area of your business will affect the others. Listen to your operations staff when they discuss where time is wasted with repetitive tasks. Address your communications down to the lowest level of sophistication. Lastly, review your data exchange. Is it easy for any party within the company to access data for a transaction via phone, fax, email, or other means? Do all technologies work cohesively to transfer data, creating one integrated system? The ability to interact with all constituents is a good base line for any optimization effort.
Also, anticipate your future needs. All too often, companies invest in a technology that’s made irrelevant within a couple of years. Plan to have a more fluid approach by looking at the company’s projected business goals.