The 5 Secrets of Productivity in Logistics

The 5 Secrets of Productivity in Logistics

The following article is a guest post.

One of the pillars of a successful business is inseparably linked to the productivity of its logistics operations.

Productivity is a vital business measurement which is determined by the ratio of what the business is able to generate from what it has put in.

The ‘output versus input’ definition involves various factors such as the performance of the workforce, use of equipment, manufacturing time and return on capital.

According to a 2014 survey by Deloitte, 79% of companies with high-performing supply chains achieve revenue growth greater than the average within their industries. This leads us to understand how essential it is to improve productivity in logistics.

Here are the five vital factors which need to be taken into consideration for a more productive logistics operation:

1. Communication.

Communication with employees is a crucial element to any organization. It’s imperative to have the right tactics and tools in order to ensure efficient internal communication.

Weekly meetings that include collaborative problem-solving and brainstorming can also be very beneficial because logistics employees will be able to enhance their critical reasoning ability.

Also, fostering open and transparent communication between employees and business leaders via regular meetings ensures that everyone has the same viewpoint about productivity.

2. Clear Procedure Standards.

Establishing clear process controls is important to achieve operational efficiency and avoid unforeseen expenditures due to misaligned procedures and output.

Customer satisfaction should drive all key personnel associated to supply chain and logistics. Thus they should always ensure full-adherence to quality codes and standards to optimize productivity and deliver value to their clients.

Typical logistic functions requiring strong compliance in relation to quality include:

  • receiving and shipping schedule;
  • inventory;
  • picking and packing;
  • shift scheduling;
  • quality control;
  • facilities management;
  • and tracking.

3. Key Performance Indicators.

Knowing the key areas of improvement is crucial to maximising logistics productivity. When the management focuses on things that matter the most, it will be able to avoid wasting of valuable resources.

For those new in the business, identify and focus on 5-7 most critical areas that drive the business, and directly assign a Key Performance Indicator for each so it can be tracked and measured.

Some of the top Key performance indicators surrounding logistics and supply chain businesses include, but not limited to:

  • Safety,
  • Service Delivery
  • Inventory Accuracy/Turns,
  • Employee Productivity
  • Cost per Unit/ Total Landed Cost
  • Product Damage/Claims
  • Customer Satisfaction

4. Workforce Motivation.

A motivated workforce is the backbone of a successful organization. To ensure that every employee is engaged, their core skills should be identified and aligned with the tasks where they can excel the most. Doing so helps maximize the potential of each employee and result in a continuous increase of productivity.

Here are other considerations to ensure a motivated workforce:

  • Equip them with the right tools and systems they need for their day-to-day job. This will help complete their tasks at hand much faster and more effectively, thus boosting their morale.
  • Create rewards and recognition system.
  • Add variety to work schedules and shifts. By enabling your staff to revolve tasks periodically, you also gain the benefit of a multi-skilled workforce, allowing you to adjust your workforce level if someone gets sick or demand-specific activity hits a peak.

5. Employee Training Program.

Implementing a robust training program will keep your workforce updated with the latest tactics and tools used in the logistics operations, which is important if you want to stay relevant in your competition.

Here are the guidelines for establishing a training program for your employees:

  • Create a comprehensive plan which details specific business goals.
  • Identify the most important skills required to improve efficiency and effectiveness of each of the team member in your logistics operation.
  • Use an external training company or hire certified professional as in-house trainers.
  • Consider online training courses and packs so that your employees can still access them whilst on the go or offsite.
  • Create a schedule that enables all relevant employees to benefit as soon as possible, without affecting the workforce level of your operations.
  • Make sure to gather feedback from employees regularly via employee surveys.
  • Create an action plan with goals and measurements indicating how well they apply the skills in which they have been trained on their actual jobs.

These are the five secrets to achieving maximum productivity in your logistics operations. Check out the infographic below from Alba Logistics to learn more about the secrets of productivity in logistics.

productivity in logistics

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Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

E-commerce is a booming industry and will only continue to grow in the coming years. That’s why it’s not so surprising that there are plenty of people who want even just a small slice of the proverbial pie.

But whether or not you are looking to establish a full-blown online store or would simply want to supplement your income by buying and selling items on the side, you have to pick a product to sell that would, well, sell.

With the right marketing strategy, one can argue that anything and everything can be sold online. However, the real challenge is finding a product that is conducive to success. How do you find that product? Here are a few pointers.

Finding The Ideal Product to Sell

1. Target Hobbyists and Collectors

You’ll be surprised by just how much money hobbyists and collectors are willing to spend to fuel their passions.

If you have a knack for finding rare items, you’ll be a big hit with collectors. Whether they’re interested in action figures and toys, lapel pins, first edition books, stickers, sports cards, or even antique dinnerware. Just make sure that everything is legitimate.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of hobbies on which people willingly invest their time and money.

Some of the more popular ones include biking, fishing, knitting and crocheting, calligraphy, model building (including radio-controlled vehicles), and handicrafts. Look for a leisure pursuit where you can act as the product-based solution and you’ll easily enamor yourself to these customers.

2. Something Hard to Find or Can’t be Bought Locally

There are some things that can be easily found in a local grocery store or a specialty shop — say gardening or baking supplies. But what about specialty foods, magician’s accessories, eco-friendly products, and fandom items?

Most likely, people will go online to find these. You can enlist the help of Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool to get a glimpse of what kinds of products people are searching for online and use the results as a guide to pick a niche product to sell.

You can also try to sell products that can’t be bought or difficult to procure locally, like Japanese Kitkats, the “three-story” alfajor Oreos, or Asian beauty products. The latter, in particular, is a good place to start since a lot of products are only available in select countries or regions but are available through wholesale Asian cosmetics websites. Do the hard work of sourcing these products (and offer them at reasonable prices) and see just how much your customers will love you.

3. Star with The Accessories Before The Big-Ticket Items

When people buy big-ticket items such as 4K TVs, high-end smartphones, and gaming laptops, they buy them only once. Their next purchase of these kinds of products will probably be in the next two to three years.

These are big investments, after all, and people are much more reluctant to spend huge amounts so often. However, accessories are much more common purchases and people are relatively more agreeable to spending more often on these items. Especially when they’re meant to increase the performance or ensure the longer life of the bigger product.

Think about HDMI cables and switchers for TVs, charging cables and power banks as well as cases and protectors for smartphones, and gaming accessories like a mouse, a keyboard, and a good pair of headphones.

If you already sell the big-ticket items, then it’s a wise decision to add the accessories to your online catalog. If you’ve yet to choose what to sell on your online shop and/or you have a limited capital, you should consider selling these kinds of accessories first.

4. Consumables Mean Customers That Keep Coming Back

Consumables mean that you will have a steady customer base and a rather reliable revenue stream. What’s more, when people need to order products from you regularly, it’s much easier to build a loyal customer base.

Think about specialty cooking ingredients (Himalayan pink salt, anyone?), supplies for arts and crafts, and even cosmetics. Just make sure you’re able to deliver each and every time, since you don’t know when your customers will run out of their stock or order in bulk in advance.

Of course, choosing which product to sell is just one part of a thriving online business, since you should also take into consideration the demand, potential competition, and reliable suppliers, among others. However, it’s also undeniable that finding a saleable item is a huge contributor to your business success. Good luck on your journey as an online entrepreneur!

If you're into ecommerce, you might be wondering what product to sell on your online store. Here are 4 great ideas that are sure to make you money and bring you loyal customers: #ecommerce #onlinestore #makemoneyonline #sidehustle