They say any chain is as fragile as its weakest link, and that’s a principle that works in many aspects of business life. Logistics, however, is perhaps the most notable example we could use to prove this aphorism. Without good logistics, businesses can fall down, as business productivity, revenue and overall success are heavily tied to time and being able to respond to its limits dynamically.
As firms expand and begin to curate their logistics to match, it’s important to make sure every link in your chain is properly strengthened, and that failings are planned for. These contingencies can only be applied when you know what the possible and most common failings of logistical networks can be, however.
Of course, freak issues can occur from time to time. For instance, a truck may encounter an accident thanks to the failings of vehicles around them, leading to the justified use of top truck accident attorneys. Yet the most commonplace issues that even competent firms can fail to perfect include the following:
Bad Inventory Management
Bad inventory management can, unfortunately, cripple a business if it’s not careful. From inventory being damaged, to injuries caused in an improper warehouse arrangement, to incorrectly tagging stock to the point where you’re unsure of what your supplies are and where they’re supposed to be going, it’s essential to make sure your inventory is properly attended to, staffed, tracked, and given the right environment for storage.
This may be achieved through making sure the right inventory management solution is installed in the form of easily accessible software and terminals in your warehouse. Additionally, making sure an assigned professional attends to this instead of asking tracking, moving and transporting are all jobs given to your drivers is important. If you get your logistics working like a well-oiled machine, you’ll be in the best stead for improving the rest of your business.
Bad training leads to shortcuts being undertaken by your staff, safety protocols not being observed, and of course, an improper ‘doubling up’ of responsibilities given to staff when they’re not necessarily capable of providing that kind of effort.
Improper training or a lack of it isn’t down to the staff, it’s down the managers who should be guiding and developing their careers. Even training as simple as annual safety seminars and qualifications must always be invested in. Compliance must always be upheld. And, of course, if necessary, it can be healthy for companies to make sure that their staff are given the right onboarding, so that they are aware of the exact process a company would like them to use going forward. This can make a tremendous difference in all directions.
It’s not hard to see what the impact of an unsafe logistical facility might have, but it can be tough to see an otherwise new facility falling in its standards as time passes. From poorly installed and weakened shelving to bad stacking practice, and sometimes, bad fire safety or terrible lighting can all have an affect.
Of course, the real worry behind unsafe practices are not that they will damage your stock, although that can count, but this pails in comparison to one of your staff members being injured even though it’s clear that they never had to be. It’s impossible to accept that as simply an inevitability of working in even the busiest logistical environments, and so the causes and effects of a difficulty like this must be properly measured and considered going forward.
Regular safety inspections and seminars, making sure that the space is assessed for fire hazards, and ensuring that only a certain number of bodies are allowed on the floor at once is essential. Full transparent error reporting can also alert you to issues sooner rather than later, which is an essential practice for quite obvious reasons, too.
Your fleet is an essential part of your logistical network, and must be considered. Making sure that regular refuelling, even at third-party stations, is an essential fixture is essential for the convenience of your drivers. Hiring experienced HGV handlers, making sure that goods are loaded properly into the back of the vehicle, and giving enough room in your loading bays will be essential.
It’s also absolutely crucial that you focus on the employment law surrounding drivers to make sure they only drive for the legal cap of hours on the road at an absolute push. Hiring a fleet manager to track and maintain your fleet through and through will also work wonders.
With this advice, you’re certain to avoid improper business logistics going forward.