The Evolution of Logistics and Competitiveness
Currently, the logistics activity of a company is crucial for the effective functioning of processes. It is practically impossible to start a business without considering the logistics for carrying out activities.
But that wasn’t always the case. There was a time in history when the responsibility for moving goods and resources was divided among several people in the process, without a single plan as it is today. This fragmentation generated conflicts, since there was generally no common objective in the movements.
The fact is that companies began to pay greater attention to logistics processes in the second half of the 20th century, following the evolution of business processes. However, the first attempts to centralize logistics under a single responsibility occurred for military reasons.
The Logistics of War
Like many technological and procedural activities, logistics also had its origins in war strategies. The first centralization of logistics under a single hand took place around 1943, during the Second World War.
The fact that logistics originates from military activities already demonstrates its strategic nature. With a single person controlling the movements, it was easier to achieve the transport objectives, in addition to facilitating the organization of arrivals and departures, obeying the combat strategy.
This idea of centralizing logistics was incorporated by administrators into their businesses in the 1940s, and the positive results of this practice made this activity widespread among companies at the time.
The later years
In the 50s and 70s, companies began to pay greater attention to logistics, following the growth of technology and the increase in business competitiveness. Economic changes, such as the great migration of people to urban centers and the growth of cities, have driven businesses to expand, seeking proximity to the consumer. This made the concern with a logistical process part of the routine of many companies at that time.
Another factor that made logistics consolidate at that time was the pressure to reduce costs. In the quest to carry out activities with a growing profit margin, companies began to reduce the costs of their processes as much as possible. This generated the need for a precise administration of logistics for the calculations to be assertive.
The arrival of informatics
After the 70s, computers began to be part of the routine of companies. This significantly increased the productivity of companies, generating a demand for efficient logistics management.
With the abundance of goods produced and stored in various warehouses, an efficient and agile distribution was necessary. And information technology also helped with this, facilitating the program of increasingly efficient processes for moving products.
With the emergence of the internet and accelerated globalization, more and more logistical processes began to spread. From the 1990s, this has become an area of interest for studies, with more and more people specializing in the area.
In this way, today logistics is an important area of knowledge, and it is fundamental for companies. The professional in this area does not necessarily seek the individual improvement of transport and storage processes, but the overall evolution of the logistics system for an efficient flow of entry and exit processes.
Logistics in Brazil
In our country, Logistics still has several challenges to overcome. The main one is the little variety of transport modes, which forces companies to use road transport in their vast majority. This modal, which corresponds to almost 60% of transport across the country, makes the process and the final product more expensive, raising the prices of products and services.
However, as these challenges are faced by all competitors, efficient logistics management, focused on solving problems and identifying bottlenecks, can be a great advantage for your company in the market.
Logistics as a competitive advantage
Over time, logistical processes have become increasingly efficient. With this area becoming more and more important in companies and with the rapid technological evolution, specialists in logistics and handling emerged, who soon began to incorporate the companies’ teams.
Nowadays, however, the performance of the logistics professional is increasingly indispensable. This area is now responsible for the entire flow of goods and information, from supply to the end customer.
Efficient logistics management is concerned with deadlines, quality and process cycles, always seeking to improve efficiency. This can be an important competitive advantage in today’s market, and this for 5 main reasons:
- Control: A clear and efficient management of a company’s logistical processes allows better control of the movement of incoming and outgoing goods. This is an advantage as it is possible to assertively negotiate deadlines for the arrival of goods and deliveries, increasing customer confidence in your company.
- Speed: Any client likes to be positively surprised with regard to deadlines. Well-organized logistics ensures that deadlines are met, often with ease, improving your customer’s visibility and shopping experience, which is an important factor for loyalty.
- Flexibility: A well-organized logistics system allows for clarity in the management of stock products, and can ensure flexible management of incoming and outgoing goods. This can be a great advantage, as it can assertively change delivery times or receive goods and products, without negatively impacting the flow of processes.
- Productivity: The more control you have over a process, the more easily you achieve excellence in it. The efficient management of logistics even allows the improvement of the company’s internal processes, increasing productivity as a whole. Logically, this efficient management also allows this increase in productivity to be guaranteed, directly improving the company’s results.
- Cost: With a precise and detailed analysis, it is possible to identify more and more points of improvement in the logistics process. The search for efficiency in this sense is not only in relation to the process itself, but also in reducing operating costs. Finding ways to do more with less can help you get a more attractive price on your final product, which is always beneficial in terms of competitiveness.