Over 50 million people are employed by the Logistics industry in India. It is believed that a lot of businesses can perk up their earnings simply by cutting costs and reducing their turnaround time (by having in place a well oiled logistics network). While logistics in India has a huge scope for growth, there are challenges associated with running it — one arising on account of the scale of business management required, and the other, because India predominantly is a cash economy. So it is key to have a strategy in place, which also provides a window for improvisation and need-based adjustments.

Here are a few tips that can help your logistics business be more effective:

Figure out an efficient logistics strategy
Good coordination and management is key to running a successful logistics business. Here are a few techniques to adapt if you haven't already done so, to increase the productivity and reduce the risks in your business:

  • Demand-driven supply chain - More and more industries are following the demand-driven supply chain as it reduces the risks and increases the sales volume. The way it works is, unlike the built-to-forecast strategy, the customer demands from the retailer, who in turn demands from the wholesaler, who demands from the manufacturer, who reorders the raw material. This way, the waste is minimal and there is a guaranteed sale.

  • Leverage - Predictive or real - The concept of leveraging your predictive volumes to reduce price seems to be contradictory with the above, but if you look closely, they are actually very much in sync, especially in logistics industry. If you cater to demand, then you minimize waste: but if you restrict yourself to just delivering basis demand and take orders in small amounts, then your cost shoots up. So, in order to reduce the cost, take a leverage (which may be predictive in nature) from your suppliers and vendors. Once you have purchase orders, you can easily manage your inventory according to the demand. Many of the industry's successful players have been using this technique.

  • Hire the right people - Your people will generate business for you at the ground level. And in logistics business, since building relationships is more critical than the technical aspects, your communication skills could actually earn you greater business. So hire the right people, who will along with building a reputation for your brand, earn you good faith and more business.

Sales and Operations Planning
This is perhaps the most basic of things, but overlooked the most, when it comes to logistics. Sales and Operations planning or S&OP basically means a setting where all primary functions of a team come together to discuss, review and plan their business activities. These primary functions include sales, marketing, product management, manufacturing, warehousing, finance and transport. It is imperative for the team to collaborate and have a communication channel — either physical or through digital platforms—because, in logistics, the whole game is around communication.

Like in any business, in logistics too, there are chances of loss occurring. It could be in terms of money or wastage of products. It is important to manage these negative outcomes, adjust to the market when required, and keep patience. Because sustainable businesses are not built overnight.

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