If you’re in the business of producing, distributing and/or selling products, supply chain management (SCM) should be central to how you do business. Doing SCM well drives overall business efficiency – which is critical to ensure you are competitive locally and globally. So how do you improve the way you manage your supply chain?
Firstly, let’s take a quick look at the various stages of the supply chain. Very broadly speaking, SCM can be grouped into three areas: purchasing, manufacturing and logistics. For most business, SCM is an enormously complex and technical aspect of their operations. As any one component of the supply chain can severely impact another, managing SCM is critical for businesses to not only survive – but to thrive.
While purchasing and manufacturing are major elements of SCM, this article focuses on the area of logistics management. So what is ‘logistics management’? Let’s take a closer look…
In a nutshell, logistics management is all about planning, implementation and control of the flow and storage of goods, services and information somewhere in between the production and the end users.
So how do you go about improving logistics for your business and making them cost-effective? To start with, you need a responsive and economical transport network. While many companies outsource their transport logistics, reliability, flexibility and customer service can sometimes prove challenging. For this reason, many manufacturers and suppliers are now choosing to incorporate transport within their own business operations.
If you are thinking about investing in your own fleet of trucks, you’ll need to ensure you achieve maximum efficiency and safety. So let’s take a look at how to do this.
Information technology solutions play a major role in achieving greater fleet efficiency. Real-time freight tracking through electronic monitoring and messaging systems are now commonplace and installed in most transport vehicles. What is often overlooked though is the efficiency of the vehicles themselves.
With fuel prices continually and steadily increasing, this is major consideration for any fleet manager. Vehicles need to extremely fuel efficient and comply with ever-tightening emissions standards. Trucks also need to able to carry the maximum, legal amount of cargo, while ensuring driver comfort is not compromised. To achieve this, you may need to source vehicles from a supplier who can customise build trucks to suit your business’ specific needs. One such supplier is Western Star Australia.
As a fleet manager, you are legally responsible for the safety of your drivers. This means providing safe vehicles that are regularly serviced and maintained and ensuring that drivers receive the correct training (e.g. defensive driver courses for heavy vehicles). Fostering driver and vehicle safety shouldn’t just be about meeting your legal requirements. It will also make you an employer of choice and ensure goods are transported more efficiently and reliably. This will ultimately improve the productivity and profitability of your business.
Logistics is a fundamental and almost inseparable element of SCM. By improving your business’ logistics management, you’ll have a significant impact on the management of your overall supply chain and ultimately; the productivity of your business as a whole.