Google+ Twitter Pinterest Facebook LinkedIn Wordpress

The way we do business has changed

 

The way we do business has changed

In recent years the routes to market available to retailers and wholesalers have expanded and evolved beyond all recognition (compared to say 10 years ago); with the internet being the biggest single contributor to change. Consumers can now place orders 24/7 from a far greater range of sellers for the same or similar product, all competing on price and delivery lead times.

The sellers in turn place greater demands on their suppliers and logistics operations throughout the supply chain (whether they are in-house and/or third-party logistics doesn’t matter).

As distribution centres are put under increasing pressure to meet customer demands in shorter delivery windows, drivers are put under increasing pressure to deliver on time.

As vehicles wait to be loaded and unloaded, with frequent delays, drivers are put under pressure.

Whilst not all of the issues above can be instantly solved there are things that businesses can do at an operational logistics level to relieve pressure on the drivers and in fact the entire logistics operation.

What I observe regularly with many of the companies that I visit is that lack of planning and process for order picking, consolidation, despatch and transport planning. Far worse than a lack of any process or procedures is the lack of compliance with the existing processes and procedures that are supposedly in place, and worse still the non-compliance is neither monitored nor managed. Lack of process at the loading/unloading point directly delays drivers; the very people who then receive the complaint at the point of delivery or collection for either being late or with the wrong order.

It is not surprising that the job as a driver, which is impacted by so many other parts of the logistics and transport operations, all of which are out of the drivers control, is perhaps not as popular as we want it to be.

It is down to companies to put it right through improved transport and logistics operations process, planning and management. Most of the operational issues have evolved and not perhaps had the focus they need as the sole focus has been to satisfy the consumer at whatever the cost. The amount of times I hear “our business isn’t broken, we get our product out the door and delivered to the customer, but we feel we could probably do it better”. In most cases this is true and doing it better is exactly the point.

DON’T PLAN TO FAIL

For example; If the order cut off time for same day despatch is 5pm, then that is the order cut off time because that determines the order picking routines, consolidation, marshalling, vehicle loading and departure times and subsequent delivery times in the current logistics operation. If orders are frequently taken later than the current ‘cut-off’ time, then change the cut-off time to reflect that. This will then be the point in time from which the rest of the logistics and distribution operations can be planned accordingly. Once the logistics network is planned against different criteria then the pick, pack and despatch operations and processes need to be changed to ensure they meet the distribution requirements.

Any plan needs to have some flexibility built into it, so make allowances for admin/ paperwork and vehicle checks at the beginning and end of shift times for drivers and be realistic on travel, rest and load/unload times.

Transport resources and the infrastructure that supports them, including the warehouse and distribution centre processes, need to be periodically reviewed to reflect customer service levels, sales volumes and product portfolio changes over time. If you are using transport and operations planning and modelling tools (either for daily planning or strategic transport network design) then allow for a lower efficiency percentage, as if you base your plans on calculations at 100% efficiency you will be planning to fail.

Correctly planning your logistics network operations, implementing the right processes to meet your plans, managing the compliance to those processes and showing appreciation to the job your drivers do will all play a part in determining the fate of the transport and haulage industry.

Author Gideon Hillman FCMI FCILT is a Logistics Industry professional with 24 years’ experience and Managing Director of one of the leading Logistics Consultancies in the UK. He is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Logistics and Transport, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of the Supervisory Board for UKWA (United Kingdom Warehousing Association).

 

⇐ Back to Featured Articles




Testimonials

More Testimonials

Latest News

Check out our Guest Blog

Supply Chain and Logistics specialists Gideon Hillman Consulting guest blog for Cast UK on the topic of Supply Chain…

Continue Reading

GH and BUILT/ - Finalists for SHD Logistics Awards 2018!

An independent panel of judges have reviewed all of the 2018 entries for the SHD Logistics Awards, and Gideon Hillman…

Continue Reading

More News Stories

Featured Articles

Supermarket Mergers and Supply Chain Consequences

Since their acquisition of Argos back in 2016, it seems Sainsburys have been left with an insatiable appetite for more; and as we approach mid-year 2018, the…

CVA shapes world of Retail and Fulfilment

Attributed to the deadly combination of ever-changing consumer behaviour, the current economic pressures on high street retailers, and the lucrative era of…

Digital Marketing and Social Media encourage ‘Direct to Consumer’ Supply Chain trend

 Reports from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that in 2017, 90% of households in Great Britain had internet access, an increase from 89%…

Rise of the ‘Cobots’

With Brexit looming on the horizon, the government pledging to reduce immigration, and a consequential drastic decrease in seasonal workers from Eastern…

Warehouses in the Hands of Wearable Tech

The future of the warehouse, may soon literally reside in hands monitored by ‘wearable technologies’ - devices connected to the Internet or to…

How technology is constructing the ‘Warehouse of the Future’

Every day, technology is growing to become more intelligent and advanced. Artificial Intelligence, Warehouse Automation, the threat of robots replacing the…

Logistical Elasticity

In these technological times, the interplay between supply and demand, has transformed from a supplier push to a consumer pull, and is what now defines modern…

Re-defining The logistics of Brand Loyalty

Entering into 2018, the pace of consumer demand for ecommerce is not showing any signs of slowing down; and as innovative technology ever evolves; social and…

Retailtainment - The battle against ecommerce

The office for National Statistics (ONS), defines ecommerce as: “the sale or purchase of goods or services, conducted over computer networks by methods…

How is Automation affecting your Supply Chain Processes

  Supply Chain Management and Consultancy is the strategic coordination of business functions within a company with the aim of achieving the most…

Gideon Hillman Consulting is a trading name of The Supply Chain Consulting Group Ltd is registered in England and Wales.
Company Registration No: 09751027. Registered office at Highdown House, 11 Highdown Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 1XT. UK
A supply chain and logistics specialist with knowledge of sales and operations planning, supply chain interim positions and inventory optimisation

CMI Awards Finalist 2010 SHD Logistics Awards UKWA Customer Service Award Finalist 2014 SHD Logistics Awards Finalist 2016 UKWA Winner 2016 SHD Logistics Awards Finalist 2015 ISO 9001 RegisteredLogistics Awards Finalist 2018