Logistics managers and courier companies can never rest on their laurels. The industry is constantly evolving and, in today’s ever more environmentally-conscious world, the drive for efficiency and effectiveness in all elements of the business is paramount. The more you plan as a manager, the more efficient you need to be. Meeting deadlines and dealing with problems is a constant challenge and the larger the fleet, the tougher this is.
Here are five tips that, once implemented, will help logistics managers to run their supply chain in a more organised and effective manner.
Make A Solid Plan
It is not good enough to just jot things down as you think of them. Instead you really need to take the time to sit down and brainstorm your plan. You need to avoid making last minute decisions as much as possible, so by making a comprehensive plan that covers all the ‘what ifs’ you are limiting the requirement for unprepared solutions and choices. To be a good logistics manager you need to plan ahead and help to wipe out any potential delays and issues in the supply chain.
Every good plan has its flaws, so it is wise to always have a contingency plan. It is impossible to predict every circumstance, so good logistics managers know that they need to follow the supply chain and eliminate issues as soon as they arise. Contingency plans should cover every element of the logistics plan. With experience comes the ability to make the call regarding which plan to use. Sometimes the original plan needs to be stuck to, but every manager will soon learn how to decide.
Logistics Managers Need Interpersonal Skills
If a plan does go wrong and leaves huge issues to deal with, the person picking up the pieces needs to be confident in their interpersonal skills. They will be the face of the business and the one re-arranging everything in order to maintain the company’s reputation.
Logistics managers deal with people on a daily basis, whether industry contacts or customers. Interpersonal skills are imperative if you are to prove your worth as a manager.
Update and Automate Systems
With so many digital tools out there to help make life easier, it is wise to get your logistics process automated. The systems put in place help you stay in control of tracking and deliveries, as well as keeping all members of the fleet informed. Other aspects of the software help to highlight factors that contribute to the all-important ‘bottom line’.
Turn Mistakes into a Positive
Mistakes will always be made when humans are in charge – this is to be expected. But too many mistakes can cost a company a huge amount of money every year. Learning from mistakes is the only way a logistics team can move forward, so as a manager make sure you have team discussions that openly talk about mistakes that have been made and address how they will be avoided in the future.
Take all of these tips on board and you, as logistics managers, will be on top of the game. Your supply chains will run more smoothly and ultimately fewer mistakes will be made – meaning more business profit generated.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 fleet operators, logistics managers and couriers are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.