Logistics is important to small businesses and corporations alike, though each often handles the varying fields of logistics very differently. Logistics can be broken down into a number of fields, including procurement, reverse, disposal, emergency, and distribution. Business logistics is another field of logistics that encompasses the management of project or product life cycles, supply chains, and resultant response.
Business logistics can have a focus on either inbound or outbound flow within supply chain management, from storage to consumption. Professionals in the field – known as logisticians – should be knowledgeable of all the facets of logistics, including materials, supply chain, and channel, management, as well as distribution. Logisticians are the core of just about any project, as they are responsible for coordinating the sequence and organization of resources. This may include budget or time constraints.
Time and budget may be, in large part, considered the keys to logistics, as time and cost are typically the two major concerns of both supplier and consumer. Each step of the process, from manufacturing to delivery, involves these key components. Time can also impact budget – either positively or negatively – and vice versa.
For example, let’s say you order a part for a company vehicle from a new supplier you’ve never dealt with before, as your regular supplier hasn’t been very reliable as of late, and their shipping costs have increased. You would be satisfied if your requested part is in stock, can be shipped to you at a fairly reasonable cost, and you can get it as early as tomorrow. That’s ideal, right? The goal of every logistics professional is to ensure that order processing and delivery occurs on time at a cost that stays within the company’s budget. On your end, you’d like your order to get to you quickly and at the lowest price possible. You’re likely to stick with the supplier that can deliver, literally and figuratively!
Logistics also matter in project management. As with delivery of parts, project management logistics involve time and budget constraints. In this part of business logistics, time refers to how much time is needed and available to reach project completion. Budget or cost refers to the amount of funds are available to complete the project. Scope is another common constraint, referring to what must be done to produce the project’s end result in accordance to the client or customer’s specifications.
Third-party logistics or outsourcing may be used for projects with a larger scope or most commonly, with large companies. This may involve sources like a single contract service supplier, warehousing facilities, or a logistic service provider, such as United Parcel Service (UPS). These needs are based on any portion of the project scope, from truck space needs, pallet numbers, or even international duties.
As we have discussed, logistics can be very important to your business for two reasons – it will save you time and money making your business more profitable and efficient. Just ask Walmart, there efficiency improvements in 2012 saved them $15 million and they increased their shipping by 1.1 billion cases over the same period.
Atlantic Precision Spring is dedicated to meeting your delivery requirements, including blanket orders and ship-to-stock delivery schedules. Shipment tracking and notification services are available as well. Contact us for more information on our available services or to request a quote today.