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The cost of logistics is too high in India. As per the latest media report by Mint, logistics cost in India is currently 16% of India’s GDP, which is much above the global average. The government has established National Logistics Policy to bring it down to 8-9%. While that happens, it is important that MSMEs understand the role of logistics in their respective businesses. It is important to choose a good logistics solutions provider that will offer reliable service and make logistics a cost-efficient function. Because good and efficient logistics solutions can lead to the growth of your business. This article highlights the role of good logistics solutions in business growth.
What is a good logistics solution?
Logistics is one of the key functions in a business and the role of logistics in business growth is extremely important. Here is a quick example: If you are an ice cream maker, your product needs special packaging and handling in transit. A good logistics company will understand your business needs and deliver your products damage free, avoiding losses. Therefore, a reliable, trustworthy yet cost efficient logistics solution can be defined as a good logistics solution.
How can good logistics solutions/services help your business grow?
Logistics plays an important role in your business growth. Here is how.
- Timely deliveries: A good logistics solutions provider will make timely deliveries of your goods to the customer. Timely deliveries in B2B logistics as well as B2C logistics lead to happy customers, which then leads to subsequent orders from the same customer meaning more business. B2B shipments are often delayed due to multiple reasons. Hence, it is of utmost importance for businesses seeking B2B logistics services to select the right partner.
- Tracking facility: Tracking facility in the e-Commerce business has gained importance. Customers prefer to track their orders through tracking number and know the whereabouts of their orders. A good logistics solution offers a tracking facility so that transparency is maintained, and customers know when to expect delivery.
- Customer satisfaction: Detailing in the logistics services such as tracking facility, timely deliveries, use of the right packaging, etc., lead to customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to give you additional business.
- Paperwork and documentation: One of the tedious tasks in logistics is paperwork, transit insurance, compliances, etc. This is especially true in the case if import-export. A good logistics solution provider takes care of these tasks. They usually have a skilled and experienced workforce to do so. Therefore, they are able to do tedious paperwork quickly and in hassle free and error free manner. This in turn saves your time and efforts in doing mundane jobs and allows your business to focus on your core competencies. Your employees can target on doing tasks that can help you grow your business.
- Cost efficiency: As mentioned earlier, logistics is a costly affair for any business. Therefore, along with assured services, the solution provider that offers you services at a reasonable cost can help you reduce logistics costs. The logistics solution provider can offer your services at a better rate because they get a bulk order advantage with trucking companies and freight forwarders.
- Control over inventory: In case you are hiring 3PL services, your logistics partner has visibility over your inventory, which is critical for your business. Real time visibility on orders, available stock, etc. can help you manage production more efficiently. The real time data also helps in demand forecasting, which can help you avoid business losses due to less or over production.
What determines a good logistics solution for your business?
The idea of good logistics solution differs from business to business. This is because businesses have diverse needs and missions.
Here are some tips that can help you to deploy good logistics solution to your business.
- Suitability to your business needs: The first step is to analyse and understand your business needs, volume, destinations, etc. Also, understand what kind of services you need. For example, for an e-Commerce business, next day delivery is an important aspect.
On the other hand, for simple logistics needs such as moving goods locally through road transport from your plant to the customer may not involve complicated logistics solutions, a trucking company serves as a good logistics solutions provider.
- Relevant experience: The good logistics solution provider for your business is a logistics company having the necessary experience and expertise in moving the types of goods/products you are engaged in.
For example, some food and pharma products may require cold supply chains with special trucking needs and experience in handling such products. Else, the result will be damaged products in transit, which will lead to business losses for you and unhappy customers. Therefore, it is important that the solution provider has the requisite experience to handle your products.
Moreover, being equipped with necessary tools and equipment is also important. For example, for a steel manufacturer, a good logistics partner would be the one that has the necessary equipment for transporting bulk materials.
- Good customer support system: Good customer support defines a good logistics company. The logistics company needs to be responsive to customer’s queries and grievances if any with the help of a customer care system.
- Reliability: A good logistics solution provider has to be the reliable one. For instance, your business has to serve the African market and you have no regional branch. Then, your international business depends on your logistics partner. When you have no regional branch – You need to ship your products to Africa, store it in a warehouse and dispatch them in batches as ordered by the distributors. Now, you are completely relied on your logistics partner to ship, store and dispatch your products to the distributors in a timely manner.
Therefore, a good logistic solutions service provider will be the one, which can manage your international operations along with inventory management.
Also Read: How to start a logistics franchise?
There is no right and wrong in determining a good logistics solution – a good logistics solution is reliable, proficient, cost effective and most importantly fulfilling your business needs. Such a solution can come in the form of a logistics partner, or it can be as simple as a road transport.
Moreover, its definition changes from enterprise to enterprise. Meaning a good logistics solution for you may not necessarily be the good one for other business owners. This is simply because your needs are different. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to define your needs and set the right expectations. That is when you will be able to determine what is a good logistics solution for your business.