To masterfully carry out all these operations, it is necessary to map all phases, collecting data and controlling each one of them through information technology
The Logistics sector involves a series of complex and costly operations in which we take care of the transport and storage of a multitude of items. A supply chain that starts at the raw material supplier, passes through the transformation industry and trade, both wholesale and retail, until it reaches the final consumer.
Managing this set of operations requires knowledge, training, technology and resources. In Brazil, logistics costs consume 12.37% of companies’ gross revenues. The information is from Fundação Dom Cabral, the best business school in Latin America.
According to journalist Talitha Adde, in an article published by the Nuvem Shop website, “operations and logistics management deals with controlling the delivery of products (in correct quantity and quality) together with the conscientious use of resources (labor, time and invested capital), always meeting the established deadlines ”. It sounds simple, but it’s not.
According to the Docu Sign website, logistics operations management basically involves three areas:
- “Processing orders and information — This is the beginning of logistics operations, which is characterized by collecting, verifying and transmitting information on sales made. Thus, it is possible to create an adequate planning to meet the needs of customers.
- Inventory and storage management — Refers to the activity that seeks alternatives to keep finished products evaluatable in a practical way, in places that preserve their integrity and facilitate their distribution quickly and safely.
- Transport — It is the process that guarantees the delivery of orders. In order to optimize the transport of goods, companies are investing in information technology, which helps to improve the planning and monitoring of routes” .
Still using the same source, we can say that “ the components of logistics are interconnected and are indispensable for the proper functioning of the entire operation. Discover, below, the five steps that are part of this process and how they work:
- receipt of goods : when the goods arrive at the company’s unit, which must be checked and identified in order to be sent to the stock;
- storage : when the goods are stored in stock, in a safe and qualified place. Items are coherently organized, separated by categories, circulation flow and expiry date, for example;
- picking : when products are prepared for delivery. If the previous steps are performed well, the separation is optimized;
- dispatch : when the products are shipped, which requires appropriate equipment, correct documentation, in addition to control over the volume of the package to be dispatched;
- cargo movement : when goods are transported. Therefore, they need to be handled correctly, which requires adequate equipment and a trained team”.
To masterfully carry out all these operations, it is necessary to map all phases, collecting data and controlling each one of them through information technology. It is recommended to purchase a WMS (Warehouse Management System) and a TMS (Transportation Management System), computer programs responsible for managing storage units and the fleet of vehicles, respectively. This will also allow the implementation of KPIs to measure the performance of employees, at each stage and of the system as a whole.
Logistics specialist Luciana Silva, in an article published by the Check List Fácil website, listed 10 good practices to efficiently manage Operations Logistics:
- “Map orders — It is essential to know which regions the business serves, with what frequency and intensity. Thus, it is possible to understand the products that have the greatest output per period, in which there are more sales, for example. Thus, you can plan orders more efficiently, in addition to organizing sales and, therefore, the company’s invoicing. Remembering that the process also involves separation and packaging, influencing the calculation of deadlines.
- Organize stock — Stock organization is what ensures good productivity rates and reduces waste, breakdowns and losses. And, consequently, balances operating costs. This step comprises:
- Storage, by product groups and categories;
- Correct identification of products;
- Conducting periodic inventories.
- Align the process with suppliers — By sharing and aligning strategies, you will have greater control over unforeseen events, which tend to have a strong impact on the logistical flow, with replacement processes and delivery of goods affected. Whenever you implement a new routine, you must notify your suppliers. Likewise, request that anything out of the ordinary in what was discussed between the companies be immediately alerted.
- Standardize processes — As important as mapping actions, it is necessary to define methods so that the logistics flow makes sense. This means eliminating production bottlenecks and seeking improvements in the development of activities.
- Automate processes — Automation improves the performance of activities, since the system itself simplifies procedures and facilitates integrated communication between sectors. In this way, ensuring greater agility, security, and reliability of information – everything you need to extract and analyze them at the end of the month in specific reports!
- Use checklists — Digital checklists are nothing more than automated lists that you can customize depending on your needs. This makes management easier, since the system is fed with data from the operation in an organized and standardized way. This means a hand on the wheel when it comes to controlling the entry and exit of raw materials and products, for example. In addition, it assists in replenishing resources and dispatching new orders. The digital checklist can also be used in the following situations:
- Use of equipment — such as forklifts, for example;
- Release of a load;
- Conference of necessary documents;
- Monitoring the realization of an inventory.
- Monitor transport — Cargo monitoring is essential for the manager to know the status of a certain cargo. All in time for decision-making and creation of more effective actions, ensuring that the agreed deadline will be met. However, ideally, the customer can also follow up by tracking their cargo. In this way, it is possible to offer more transparency and reliability, improving the relationship with customers.
- Track performance indicators — Percentages of on-time deliveries and collections, lost cycle time, rate of returns and damages in transport and storage costs are good KPIs to track.
- Keep an eye on customer satisfaction — Through this indicator, it is possible to carry out an even deeper analysis and assess the main bottlenecks that cause the indices to be unsatisfactory.
- Seek improvements — Continuous improvements are process analysis methods that aim to identify failures and find solutions to eliminate them or minimize their impacts. Among the advantages are:
- waste reduction
- Reduction of operating costs;
- Increased levels of productivity;
- Greater agility;
- More quality.”
One more suggestion fits here: take good care of your employees. Try to pay attention to recruitment, invest in constant training, give awards for good performance and also try to listen to them. They need to know that they are important to the company, just as the company is important to them.
All these measures will bring several benefits, such as greater synergy between the company’s various departments, customer loyalty, reduction of total costs and, of course, increase in profit margin.