Whatever kind of business you run, no matter its size or what it sells, logistics are going to be at least a small part of it, and possibly a much larger part. To help make your business as successful as possible, you need to ensure your logistics are running smoothly; they need to be cost-effective and efficient. To do this, you need to understand precisely what you are doing, and here are some tips to help you reach that stage of business ownership.
Know The Objective
Before you can put any kind of logistics plan in place, you need to know what the overall objective is meant to be. Are you shipping in the cheapest way possible to save your business (and your customers) money? Are you spending more to give your customers a better service? Do you promise free shipping or fast delivery times? All of this needs to be taken into account so that you can choose the right shipping company and work out how best to send your items.
There will be many options open to you, but once you have found something that works and is what your customers want, you can stop looking. This is why it is crucial to take time in the beginning to get things right.
You can’t offer any kind of shipping service to your customers and clients if you don’t know how much it’s going to cost you. Having a rough idea of the cost isn’t enough; you need to have exact figures so you can calculate the costs you are going to pass on to your end-user.
It’s best to get quotes from at least three different shipping operators if you can and get a breakdown of exactly what they will be charging you. Make sure you get this in writing so that you can refer to it easily and so that, should any discrepancies arise, you have proof of what was originally said. Most companies don’t make a profit on shipping costs, but that doesn’t mean you should make a loss either.
Logistics can be complicated, and if you run a business that doesn’t revolve around logistics, you might find it takes up a lot of your time despite not being a huge part of the business. In this case, it is often best to outsource the logistics side of your operation to a third party. They will already have contracts in place with couriers, shipping companies, and a freight broker so they may even be able to find lower prices to help maximize your business’s profits.
Outsourcing will cost you money as a business owner, but the time and effort it can save you is priceless. Add to this the fact that you will have handed an often complicated process over to experts, so there is much less chance of a mistake happening, and you know your customers are going to be happy. This means more return visitors, more sales, and ultimately more profits overall.