Optimising a Logistics Network: A Little More

Following on from our previous guide, here are a few extra things to watch out for when optimising your logistics network.

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(businesspress24) - So you’ve ascertained your goals, collated your data and you know the direction in which you need to move: what comes next? When optimising any logistics network, there are a few key things to watch out for. If you keep these in mind, you can avoid some of the most common sources of inefficiency as well as many other pitfalls.

Check and Check Again

Your data, no matter how fastidiously collected, will almost certainly have inaccuracies and outdated points scattered throughout. Naturally, before you can start optimising your logistics network, you need to know that you’re working from a solid, accurate knowledge base.

Take nothing for granted. Do those overheads make sense, or are they hiding avoidable inefficiencies? Are all of the addresses accurate? Are estimates for load and deliveries per day realistic, or are they optimistic and tending towards maximal output? All too often minor inaccuracies can add up to a big hole in the finances.

Get Everyone on the Same Page

When you optimise, ensure that everyone fully understands their role and the direction in which the logistics network is headed. A big part of this is linguistic: frequently different systems will refer to the same thing in different ways, which can generate confusion and fragment your network.

Additionally, not everyone involved in your network will have the same ideas. Therefore, it’s vital to ensure a compromise between the demands of stakeholders while maintaining good working conditions. Before you start the process, find out and note the concerns and aims of everyone involved in the network so that you can ensure maximum cooperation.

Test as Much as Possible

Before implementing any new protocols or structures, you need to do your very best to ensure that these changes are right for your logistics network. This is primarily done by simulating a large number of potential scenarios and calculating the most likely costs and benefits, after which your choice is to run a pilot scheme before making any permanent changes.

Involving consultants at this stage is common, in a bid to gain outside experience and a new perspective. If you do involve consultants, remember that while their advice may be useful, the final decision will have to be taken by you. It’s also wise to involve clients at this stage: by consulting your consumer base, you not only have a closer idea of where the market is going, but you’ll also help raise awareness about the impending improvements to your network.

Remember that a basic profit versus cost analysis may not tell the whole story: a vast improvement in monetary efficiency at the cost of quick delivery or some other USP could end up tanking your business. So be aware of what makes your logistics network successful and continue to play to your strengths.

There are as many ways to optimise a network as there are potential combinations of network and environment, so be wary of any single universal solutions. With our guide, however, you’ll be well on your way to finding an optimisation solution that works for you.

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Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides a logistics network for matching delivery work with available vehicles. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe ''wholesale'' environment. Visit https://haulageexchange.co.uk/solutions/haulage-companies

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The Haulage Exchange
BV2, The Perfume Factory,
140 Wales Farm Road,
W3 6UG
United Kingdom

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Date: 08/31/2016 - 07:12
Language: English
News-ID 1455350
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Firma: Haulage Exchange
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