The global logistics industry is expected to expand and exceed 6.6 billion euros in size by 2024. This comes even after the market size shrinkage witnessed in 2020 following the global coronavirus pandemic.
Logistics Management: A Crucial Business Function
Logistics centers on the movement of goods. Effective logistics management ensures a unified and streamlined system and workflows for moving goods in all directions, from suppliers to the business and from the company to the customer.
Such a management system is based on several pillars, and getting it right translates to many benefits for the logistics team and the entire business. Therefore, a smooth-running logistics plan ensures your business runs smoothly. You can achieve a significant decrease in transportation and other operating costs, increase your revenue and turn a profit and deliver customer satisfaction when you manage your logistics plan well.
What Do Logistics Teams Do: Key Responsibilities
As outlined, robust logistics management is critical to the success of any business. To achieve this, you need the right people to run this function. Therefore, hiring a logistics team with the right skill sets acquired from professional training and on-the-job experience is essential.
A detail-oriented and organized logistics team leader will provide leadership and oversight to the rest of the team as they work toward executing their duties. These duties and responsibilities are as follows.
1. Material Sourcing and Procurement
Strategic sourcing is about more than just finding the lowest-priced supplier for materials used in manufacturing. However, logistics team members have to identify and manage all contributing factors and costs. These include the cost of add-on services and shipment costs based on the distance. Regulations are another crucial contributing factor affecting material sourcing in the logistics industry.
2. Transportation of Materials and Goods
Physically moving materials and goods between different points remain at the very center of logistics. Logistics teams select the best shipment mode and, based on factors such as cost and distance, the best carrier to use for transportation. It’s also about finding a carrier that offers truckload and less-than-truckload solutions to match your transportation needs at various times. Indeed, among the skill sets logistics teams should have for successful transport modeling is route optimization.
The team must be even keener on carrier selection where global logistics is at play. This includes ensuring the selected service provider is conversant and up to speed with the tariffs, customs, and all relevant regulations. As a result, the logistics team leader will take the lead in tracking shipments and providing reports on the progress.
3. Order Fulfillment
Customer distribution follows a specific sequence. As per the customer’s purchase order, the logistics team will pick items from the warehouse and properly package them. After labeling, the team will then ship the package to the customer.
Short and long-term storage is also a crucial part of logistics management. Warehouse organization and utilization of warehouse layout is often a part of the job description for the logistics team. Also, proper training ensures the team knows to place goods that move frequently at the front of the warehouse. The same goes for any goods that need scheduling for transportation. The team will place goods with lower demand towards the back of the store.
Similarly, the team needs to store goods that are usually bundled as close to each other as possible. Proper organization ensures the logistics team doesn’t waste too much time finding various goods. This, allows them to focus on other day-to-day operations.
5. Inventory Management
Inventory management and stock audits are essential in making various business decisions. With demand forecasting, inventory management ensures you plan for any necessary replenishment and keep up with increased demand. Additionally, the logistics team can advise on when to give incentives, such as discount pricing for goods with a slow inventory turn.
Furthermore, proper inventory management gives insights into how various goods perform across multiple stores on the retail sales front. Such information can inform shipping goods to stores where they are doing much better.
6. Supply Chain Management
Logistics is a crucial element in the supply chain. Therefore, successful supply chain management requires teamwork and coordination among various entities and companies. Logistics teams of the various entities must coordinate logistics throughout the entire supply chain and do it well before handing off the materials or goods to the next team in the chain.
Digital Signage as an Aid for Logistics Operation
Digital signage is transforming the logistics management function, offering the following among other benefits for logistics teams.
1. Better Performance Tracking
Real-time data visualizations help to track and improve the performance of logistics teams. You can display live metrics and key performance indicators on the digital screens and do away with whiteboards and manual updates. For example, with easy-to-understand charts and graphs, all team members can stay up to date on their performance, status of their work progress, and the milestones you have achieved as a team
2. Powerful Internal Communication Tool
Logistics teams spend a lot of time on the move. From forklift operations to stocking the shelves and packing goods for customer distribution, not much of your team’s time will be spent on their desks. For this reason, they may be able to miss that urgent memo sent by email.
However, with breakroom signs and digital screens throughout your warehouse, you can easily communicate with all employees. As a result, there’s a guarantee that the message or update will be visible to the intended audience. You can improve your internal communication process, be it a shift change, reminders for upcoming events, or any emergency notification.
3. Easier Wayfinding
It’s not uncommon to lose your way around the warehouse. This is especially true for new employees and if you are talking about an expansive warehouse facility. So, digital signage makes wayfinding much easier, and employees and visitors will have an easier time navigating through the facility. Indeed, the warehouse is one of the top locations for digital signage in manufacturing facilities.
4. A Safer and Healthier Work Environment
Display health and safety messages across the digital screens at all times. You can create and display engaging safety awareness content, such as visuals on how to avoid common warehouse accidents. This may include instructional videos on preventing slip and trip accidents, forklift accidents, and the dos and don’ts to avoid the collapse of pallet racks.
How long has it been since you last had an accident at the warehouse? Display it on the digital screens and celebrate whatever number of accident-free days with the team. In itself, this will be a motivator for the employees to follow safety rules and grow the accident-free days.
5. Motivate Staff
The work logistics teams can get repetitive, not to mention quite exhaustive. Lack of motivation can lead to a decline in employee performance. On the other hand, employees who are highly motivated work 20% better.
Therefore, progressively motivate the team with staff spotlights to recognize the hard work and dedication team members put into their job. For instance, you can celebrate birthdays and milestones to keep staff highly motivated.
Improved Logistics Operations
Continuous improvement of your processes and the skill sets of your logistics team is crucial to creating and maintaining smooth logistics operations. This also includes the use of specialist logistics management software and other tools. As outlined, digital signage can, in various ways, help to optimize logistics management.