5 essential logistics tips for SMEs

Smooth and efficient logistics prevents disruptions in the supply chain, while protecting the reputation of SMEs, and ensuring a level of service towards consumers when it comes to deliveries through logistics management.

Logistics management and supply chain streamlining go hand in hand if executed correctly, with many key elements to consider so that all parts and areas work in harmony and in an agile and flexible manner.

Just as efficient logistics ensures a smooth supply chain, having inconsistent and poorly organized logistics creates the opposite, which can prove fatal for a small and medium-sized company.

Below we've compiled a list of five logistics management tips to help small and medium-sized business owners, or SMEs, navigate these waters.

Coordinate with suppliers

Coordinating with suppliers is also a vital ingredient in maintaining an uninterrupted supply chain. Suppliers are crucial to ensuring a steady flow of supplies, whether raw materials or finished goods.

Communication is key, and can help the company and suppliers align with each other in pursuit of a common goal.

One of the most effective ways to achieve a good relationship and communication with suppliers is to use the same logistics partner; once you partner with a logistics management company with whom you work well and have rapport, it is beneficial to encourage suppliers to use the same service.

This will help everything run more smoothly and make planning and organization much easier. Many logistics providers can help organize deliveries for the companies they partner with, simplifying the logistics process.

Plan transportation requirements

Planning transportation needs in advance is a crucial starting point for good and efficient logistics management.

Once the origin and destination of shipments are known, it is possible to start planning transportation needs.

In the case of B2B companies, many of the origin and destination points are fixed, such as shipping goods from a production field to a particular store, or sending samples from suppliers to an office.

On the other side of the coin, B2C companies face changing destination points as they ship directly from a warehouse or depot to a customer or end consumer.

With the use of transport management systems, it is possible to have a quick and agile planning, which in a matter of minutes can be implemented and shared to carriers in real time. This simplifies the transportation of goods in the future, ensuring smooth and optimized delivery.

Minimize inventory

When partnering with an experienced logistics provider, it is highly likely that the company's inventory storage habits will change.

Successful logistics management has the ability to completely revolutionize the way in which stock and surplus inventory is stored; with high levels of inventory, it is necessary to have the physical storage location until it is needed. In the event that the company works seasonally, or during high seasons, more space will be needed, which translates into higher costs.

Efficient logistics means having a reliable delivery service, which allows to obtain the required products at the right time, keeping a reserve inventory only in case of emergencies, which allows to significantly reduce costs.

For many large companies, it is possible to handle the fluctuation of expenses and the management of these costs, but for SMEs, it is a different story, making a big difference when it comes to achieving success and optimizing resources.

Professionalism > Price

The larger the company size, naturally, the greater the number of employees.

For this reason, larger companies have more resources to hire specialized personnel for specific tasks, such as those responsible for logistics; on the other hand, SMEs generally do not have this luxury, and must, on many occasions, satisfy their logistics needs with the first logistics provider they find or that their budget allows them to pay.

However, it is important to consider basic questions when partnering with a logistics provider, such as:

  • Can they offer the services my company needs?
  • Can they offer a tailor-made service that suits me?
  • Do they have account managers who offer personalized attention and constant communication?

The answers to these questions should be the main aspects to consider when choosing a company. Although price is a key factor, cheap service can often mean sacrificing reliability and quality.

Use of technology

A vital factor in providing a quality service, the use of technology is vital for high-level delivery management.

The use of the internet allows real-time tracking of multiple deliveries and their progress, as well as being able to provide the end customer with a tracking code, which allows real-time viewing of the status of their order.

Top-tier transportation management companies, such as Drivin, make it possible to provide continuous updates throughout each stage of the delivery.

A smooth supply chain and successful logistics are essential for any business, regardless of size, you must have a well-considered and optimized logistics operation to benefit the business.