Flexibility in Logistics

16 April, 2022 logistics trends

Flexibility is perhaps the most important factor for supply chains because of the everchanging and unpredictable nature of today’s consumers.

To be flexible means that we can adapt, and in terms of logistics it means having the necessary systems and processes to be in sync with our clients and our business sector.

Many companies plan their production and distribution every fifteen days, which demands a great capacity to adapt so we can react as soon as possible to any issues arising in routes, volume, shipments, and deliveries.

Nowadays, our capacity to react quickly is critical, and companies can only do so by having a digital supply chain. Long gone are the spreadsheets, e-mail, and fax to update different statuses. An efficient coordination of information among the departments of procurement, warehousing, manufacturing, order management, and shipping is essential for responding to clients’ demands, resulting in lower stock levels and lower shipping costs.

Flexible logistics involves having a cloud-based digital supply chain that centralizes and shares information from manufacturing, administration, and logistics systems, among others. It becomes a control panel that joins systems, processes and information in real time and has three main features:

  1. Delivery Model: implements a Software as Service (SaaS) that helps create networks outside the company and benefits the latter financially by matching savings and costs.
  2. Functionality: combines the best commercial practices with supply chain management tools that can be deployed by modules.
  3. Services: adds analytics, comparative assessments, business intelligence, engineering, and administration to the platform.

This planned flexibility can be reached through perfected and functional logistics systems (able to carry out certain tasks), accurate (safe and stable in the operation), easy to implement, and – most of all – customizable.

To react quickly we suggest implementing logistics standards based on the best internal practices that overcome exceptions and difficulties. By applying norms to processes, facilities, equipment, and infrastructure, we will end up with a series of standardized and structured solutions that will enable flexible responses to any eventuality.

Issues we can solve with flexible logistics

Issue

Description

Flexible Solution

Weather conditions

Extreme weather events, such as flooding, may affect the transport of goods between suppliers and customers.

Using other means of transportation. Railroads can be helpful to avoid the traffic jams caused by floods.

Visibility of products

Monitoring the status of goods manually.

Using bar codes that yield information in real time.

Political climate

Political decisions regarding international free trade agreements.

Adding or lowering the capacity of warehouses and international shipping.

 

Definitely, flexibility is part of the value companies offer to their customers; but implementing specialized supply chain management software is not all. The real challenge is to find experts in logistics that know how to best use these systems, processes, metrics, practices, and techniques.

Embracing flexibility in logistics may be a disaster if we do not have proven experience and knowledge, which is a feature of logistics companies like Solistica.

New call-to-action*This blog was originally published on December 20 2018 and modified on April 16 2022.

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