6 Key Functional Areas Of Logistic Management: How IT Solutions Help
Just a few weeks ago, we saw a boost in sales for retail businesses, thanks to Black Friday.
Consumers spent $9.8 Billion online during Black Friday sales. From a business perspective, although getting all those sales is excellent, the more significant challenge for them is to ensure that all of these sold items are delivered to their customers as fast as possible.
One of the main reasons is that businesses need to start preparing themselves for Christmas and Boxing Day sales going forward. They must ensure everything runs smoothly in the logistics processes, especially for Christmas sales. You do not want to be the business that delayed a gift from Santa to a child on Christmas Eve.
For this to happen smoothly, businesses need to ensure their logistics processes are set up correctly. They need to ensure that they have taken care of all the six functional areas of logistics management, which are:
- Order Processing
- Inventory management
Each functional area can individually or collectively be managed using custom IT solutions to ensure that when an item is ordered online, the system can check the inventory and ensure enough of the product at a relatively nearby warehouse to the customer who has called the product.
Then, the system can identify the correct transportation method (internal or external partners) to schedule the pickup and delivery of the product after it is packed appropriately based on the above information collected from the order to delivery.
Finally, a custom system can also monitor the delivery process by ensuring the product is delivered appropriately to the end consumer.
This will result in a happy customer and the potential for repeat business from the same customer. Which any business owner will agree is the best kind of business generated.
Streamlining Business: IT Solutions
While each of the six logistics functional areas is essential for the smooth running of a delivery-focused business, your warehousing strategy will potentially be the centre of the whole plan.
The location and management of your warehouse define how inventory is stored and managed, how quickly you can deliver the product to your customers, what modes of transportation you would need to provide the product to your customers, and how effectively you need to package the product for safe delivery.
Businesses that can face the challenges of the warehousing industry are often the ones to succeed well in the retail business. The warehouse industry has many challenges, for example, a benchmark report with insights from over 300 C-level business leaders in warehouse management and fulfillment identified the top three challenges as rising energy costs (32%), increasing labor costs (27%), and supply chain and shipping constraints (26%)
Depending on the location and features required for a warehousing business, the costs to run it might be too high or too low; it totally depends on what products you store in those locations. These factors will also impact the productivity of your business and turn off clear visibility of the whole logistics process.
This is why logistics and warehouse management businesses are pioneers in adapting to new technologies, which can help them manage all of these challenges in a better way. Businesses are exploring blockchain technology and data-driven management to ensure that retail businesses can focus on attracting more sales and less on managing warehouses.
Streamlined Success in Action: Vector Software
Managing inventory in a warehouse is no more challenging than working vessels in the vast ocean; Vector Software has successfully upgraded its existing vessel management system, VISSIM, to help the platform continue to track and manage the movement of vessels travelling across the global oceans.
Similarly, products within a warehouse can be easily tracked and managed using custom software, ensuring that each product is tagged, stored and delivered appropriately according to the business requirements.
Similarly, the movement of products from the manufacturing plant to the warehouse and from there to other warehouses or directly to customers is a process that requires a lot of tracking. This is something that Vector Software has already been able to do in a way for Øresund Bridge, where they needed to track and process payment for each vehicle (based on registration and type of the vehicle) at a faster rate.
Products in a warehouse can also be tracked using similar technology placed on conveyor belts at the inbound or outbound delivery locations to ensure that the right product is being received or sent, as well as be able to autogenerate bills and updates accordingly.
IT Solutions & The Future of Logistics Management
The warehousing industry is going local; more and more companies are looking to have smaller warehouses in nearby populated towns to ensure that the products are delivered to customers as quickly as possible.
With businesses across the globe also trying to bring out drones and self-driving vehicles as well as robots that can deliver products from a warehouse to a customer location directly, it will become more critical for your warehousing and logistics businesses to have custom solutions that can link to these devices to plan the whole delivery process.