From sourcing the raw materials to delivering the finished product to its recipient, the international logistics procedure can cross several seas and even several continents. Complex to manage on time so that the final recipient and customer is totally satisfied with their product and the service rendered, the logistics procedure must therefore be perfectly planned and coordinated between the various players in the chain.
What is the logistics procedure?
The goal of the logistics procedure is to ensure the management of all the physical flows in an organization as well as between several companies that have the same final mission. It’s a transversal process that concerns all the services internal to a company and that also encompasses the external partners that are involved in the circulation of the goods to be transported.
Planning the international logistics procedure
As a vast network of various organizations, the supply chain must be planned in a holistic manner – that is, the different organizations that have the same end goal must be connected to each other. That way, and especially with the help of technology, it’s easier to fight the “bullwhip” effect. The bullwhip effect is a phenomenon of significant fluctuations on the order level that results in stock shortages, a poor level of service, and therefore a decrease in the profitability of several links in the chain. While the common reasons for this phenomenon are a lack of communication between the different players and not sharing information, it’s possible to forestall with joint efforts such as:
- Implementing sales forecasts agreed upon by the different links in the supply chain.
- Communicating and sharing uniform information on the management of the supply chain, thanks to new real-time communication and sharing tools and technologies.
- Reducing and controlling the price changes that cause large fluctuations in demand as much as possible.
- Implementing strategic partnerships between all or several links in the supply chain.
- Establishing a fixed “lead time” (time of the logistics process).
- Ordering in batches.
In short, modern supply chains require new ways of doing business, including exercising tighter control over the activities in real time. This change may involve a control centre that’s available at all times and responsible for ensuring the smooth operation and progress of the logistics procedure.
Planning on the part of the sending customer
In the logistics procedure, planning is also essential at the level of the sending customers. As the first link in the chain of the logistics procedure, the sending customer of a product must plan and implement controlled conditions so that the cycle continues in this way until the receiving customer receives it. Indeed, properly planning the orders in advance at their level of the chain makes it possible to prevent any waiting time at the collection point and at the place of delivery. It’s also at this level that one avoids – as much as possible – making the drivers wait. Given the shortage of drivers, the key to success in having a good relationship with the carriers so that they offer quality delivery service is to make yourself available and to inform them of any change in the situation in a timely manner.
The importance of planning in the international logistics procedure therefore no longer needs to be proven. It’s the collaborative approach that seems to offer the most advantages and success to all the links in the supply chain as well as to their shared project.