Manufacturing leaders must always strive to be something better for their customers. They understand that behaving purposefully allows their entire business to compete productively and efficiently — and the way they do that is through logistics management.
The Council of Supply Chain Management defines logistics management as:
“… that part of supply chain management that plans, implements and controls the efficient, effective forward and reverse flow and storage of goods, services and related information between the point of origin and the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements.”
While every business has different needs (and therefore different logistics strategies), certain strategies work across the board. To help business leaders with the daunting task of maintaining sustainable business processes, we’ve compiled a list of four basic logistics management tips.
1. Facilitate dialogue between employees.
The character of a business is represented by the behaviors of its employees. Which, in turn, is representative of a business and its objectives. By committing to strengthening employee relationships, manufacturing managers are committing to strengthening their entire business.
Creating a culture of success starts with a conversation. Manufacturing managers should talk to the people they hired to learn more about their experiences. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Take advantage of little moments. It’s best that managers get out of their office and interact with as many people as they can every day. Something as simple as asking someone about their day can get them to open up about logistics issues.
- Listen to what’s already being said. Just like how businesses shouldn’t assume what their customers are thinking, management should take the time to listen to what their employees are saying.
- Be transparent about decisions. If an employee comes forward with a suggestion that’s unlikely to be implemented, it’s important that their manager handles it respectfully. Managers should not only explain why it won’t work, but collaborate to recommend another solution.
When you talk to employees, they’ll start talking to each other, too. It’s not only a function of human nature, but a strengthening tool that allows businesses to compete efficiently.
2. Maintain an efficient inventory.
Inventories can make or break businesses. Manufacturing leaders must have the ability to manage their inventory in order to manage their operations and, arguably more importantly, the relationships they share with customers.
What it comes down to is staying organized. To do that, managers must rethink their inventory practices. Who is managing the inventory? Is quality control a priority? Can the current system support future growth?
Prioritizing inventory management allows businesses to efficiently eliminate waste. When businesses are able to show they can manage their customers’ needs by maintaining an accurate depiction of their inventory, they’ll be able to increase their business’ profitability.
3. Keep customers informed.
Smooth logistics management results in great customer service — which leads consumers to spend money. In fact, 70 percent of customers are willing to spend more money with companies they believe provide excellent customer service.
Customers are a business’s most important asset. Not only do they hold purchasing power, but their opinions have the power to influence other consumers. Therefore, it’s vital to keep them “in the know.” In other words, it’s necessary to be honest with them.
That means businesses have to be wholly transparent throughout the logistics of the purchasing process. When customers are informed, they’ll be happy. Sending informative emails, viable tracking numbers and other updates can ensure they aren’t in the dark. In turn, they’ll offer their support.
4. Learn from the competition.
Inspiration can be found anywhere — even in the competition. That’s why businesses should take note of their competitors’ experiences as a source of free knowledge. Some things managers can look out for:
- New methods of logistics management
- Efficient staff training programs
- Modern software systems
By learning what practices work well for for their competitors, logistics managers will be able to stay up to date with industry updates.
How do you improve your logistics management?
Here at Apple Rubber, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve. And we value your opinion, too. Do you have any other tips for improving your logistics management? If so, we’d love to hear them. Let us know by tweeting at @AppleRubber.