Businesses rely on logistics to get raw materials so they can produce products. Then, they need logistics to get their products out to the public. Most businesses rely on their supply chains in some way. Therefore, it is important to learn about common logistics issues and how to address them.
Part of the planning process includes forecasting future needs. A key component of effective forecasting is demand prediction. This is especially important in companies that supply other businesses with raw materials, parts and products because this lack of planning can impact more than just one business, leading to b2b logistics nightmares.
Some of the best solutions to planning ineffectiveness are technological. Today’s planning and forecasting software tools help logistics companies prepare for demand fluctuations through data analysis.
Fuel Cost Increases
Every company and individual has experienced the challenges of rising fuel costs, and these challenges are especially difficult on logistics cost management. Rising costs impact profitability, and some companies cannot handle the increases and have to leave the market.
Software tools, such as routing optimization, can help companies find the best routes for their deliveries, reducing fuel costs. In addition, businesses should keep their vehicles well-maintained and avoid idling. If possible, these companies should invest in fuel-efficient vehicles for these costs.
They can also work with other organizations to reduce their costs and improve delivery times. For example, companies like UPS and FedEx work with the U.S. Post Office for local deliveries because the Post Office already delivers to most people in cities, towns and rural areas.
Miscommunications Among the Parties
Communication is vital in business, and companies need to remain in constant contact with their customers, especially if they placed an order and expect a delivery. Miscommunications can result in lost items, delayed shipments and customer dissatisfaction.
Even logistics companies need effective communication systems that provide their customers with clear, concise information about shipments and orders. They should also provide tracking and receive updates from their couriers. If their customers have specific delivery requirements, their couriers or shipping partners should have access to those instructions.
These companies need to build relationships with their customers so they can meet their needs, allowing the parties to work together effectively, preventing misunderstandings and solving problems.
Lack of Supply Chain Visibility
Unfortunately, some companies still don’t have effective supply chain digitization capabilities. Therefore, when they sell products that they have to ship, they cannot keep their customers informed of where their shipments are.
However, most customers appreciate the ability to track their shipments. They like to see where their products are at any point in their journey. In the case of b2b sales, this ability to track packages helps companies plan their manufacturing, sales and fulfillment requirements. Software tools allow businesses to become more transparent with their customers.
It is surprising that some companies still have disorganized or mismanaged warehouses, which extends the time it takes to get products out the door to customers. This can be especially challenging for logistics companies that have multiple shipments to numerous addresses coming into and leaving their warehouses or facilities at the same time. Key employees need to find and get these shipments out the door quickly.
An effective warehouse management system integrates software into the process. Many organizations have also implemented automation in parts of their warehouse management process. Inventory systems and improved oversight have also helped.
Product Damage While in Transit
With increasing costs, the last thing logistics companies want is claims of damaged products, requiring refunds for shipping and product costs. This not only impacts these companies, but also both sides of the b2b purchase, impacting forecasting, manufacturing and sales.
Proper training and open communication can address this challenge. Couriers and drivers need training on how to properly pack their vehicles and check the packages for damage at various stages during their transport. Then, they can communicate this damage to their customers right away.
Logistics is a constantly changing industry with many cost, environmental and efficiency pressures. However, these companies can overcome these and other industry challenges through innovation, training and technology.