Question: What one tip do you have for improving a company's business logistics?
Question by: Jocelyn G.
Use Project Management Software
"The old pen and pencil is great for many things, but not for the constantly changing dynamics of a company in the new age. Explore the various project/task/time management tools available to you such as Asana, Flow, Producteev, RescueTime, Tungle.me, etc. to keep team members informed and in the loop without calling meetings and referring to stacks of paper lists and binders."
Get Organized for Real
"One of the best things our company ever did was hire an organizational consultant to help bring tried and proven business logistics to the company versus trying to "figure it out" on our own. Lots of these professionals exist—tap into your local network or LinkedIn to find someone who can help you. It's worth the money."
Adopt Multiple Communication Tools
"Interdepartmental communication is the most vital (and overlooked) tool for improving logistics. If a team member needs to relay important information to anyone, anywhere in the company, use any of an array of channels (calls, text messaging, email, Yammer, Google Chat, video chat, etc.) to facilitate the messaging."
Don't Be Afraid to Outsource
"Logistics is an incredibly complex world with laws, rules and regulations, and compliance issues. To make life easier and minimize huge headaches so you can focus on the things you actually know and care about, outsource what you can, even if the cost seems extreme. It shows real smarts when you know which battles to fight and which you shouldn't."
Delegate the Responsibility In-House
"The simple truth is that you're probably going to wind up outsourcing a lot of your logistics—it's the direction more and more businesses are headed in. Yet just the same, someone internal to the organization needs to know where all the moving parts are. Depending on the size of your business, it may be a secondary responsibility for someone but it is absolutely crucial."
Build Lasting Partnerships
"Manufacturing, importing, warehousing and redirecting products to customers are four very complex steps. Find logistics folks who have been there before—treat these individuals as partners, not simply outsourced entities. You need to be integrated in logistics so you can stay on top of customer issues (and opportunities!)."
Control Your Costs
"Over time, the costs for materials, labor, and energy and other necessary supplies may rise, which can have a negative impact on your profitability. One sure-fire way to improve your business logistics is to control your costs. For example, look for ways to upgrade your technology in order to increase efficiency/output."
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