Logistics encompasses moving goods from their origin points to their final destinations. It also involves warehouse management, since knowing when you need more goods is a crucial part of ensuring customers receive them on time. Here are several compelling reasons why ramping up your logistics investments is a smart move.
E-Commerce Activity Is Rising
Your company may not solely operate online, but it may be a good time to consider letting customers buy some products over the internet. Many consumers love the convenience of shopping at any time of the day and getting what they need with just a few clicks.
According to the May 2020 edition of the PowerReviews Market Trends Snapshot, order volumes for digitally sold products saw a 210% increase between February 2020 and April 2020. There was also a 63% increase in e-commerce traffic over that same period. That finding suggests that even if people didn't buy things, they arrived at websites to browse.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic prompted people to shop online more often, many will keep doing so even when opportunities exist to shop in a store. Investing more in logistics increases the chances of shoppers feeling satisfied that they chose to buy from your store online.
People Want Consistent Experiences
When they do business with companies of any type or size, people expect consistently high-quality experiences. Putting appropriate amounts of money into logistics can help that happen.
For example, you might ship from a location closer to your customers by first sending the goods in bulk to a warehouse before the parcels start moving towards the people who purchased them. Moving your fulfillment location can keep customers happy while saving your business money. That's because many shipping companies charge more as your merchandise moves through a larger number of geographic zones.
When parcels start their journeys closer to customers, people get them faster. However, that's just one example of how logistics investments can increase consistency. They can also ensure the goods arrive in excellent condition. People often get excited when they see their packages have arrived. Opening them up to find broken items inside can negatively affect their experiences and make them think twice about ordering from you again.
Logistics Companies Can Overcome Challenges
Logistics companies handle the needs of companies of all sizes and types. Logistics professionals understand the best ways to secure shipments during transit and ensure they arrive in excellent condition.
Take the example of a fashion retailer that used an industrial strapping machine during packaging. The business regularly dealt with issues related to loose, misplaced straps and wanted a solution.
After a global logistics company examined the machinery used for strapping, it found that outdated equipment and improper positioning of the goods combined to cause poor outcomes. The fashion retailer responded by updating its equipment and investing in a new conveyor that improved the alignment of the packaged goods approaching the strapping machine.
These changes solved the initial issues, resulting in products that stayed secure during transit and reached consumers in the expected condition. This case study shows how budgeting more for logistics needs can help your company address obstacles that keep it from achieving high-performance results.
Businesses Can Save Time With User-Friendly Logistics Tools
With more business owners relying on logistics solutions to help their operations run smoothly, a growing number of companies offer easy-to-use, mobile-friendly apps and similar tools that give enterprises better visibility.
Many of the top products on the market follow a significant number of user experience laws that contribute to positive outcomes. For example, the interfaces save people time, and they apply design in predictable ways. Many products also look great and function correctly on portable devices, and they feature all the most desirable features for today's modern enterprises.
If the logistics segment of your business has some shortcomings to tackle, making progress could happen once you set aside enough money to invest in at least one specialized platform designed for companies with some of the same needs you have. Spend time researching all your options and engaging with sales representatives to ensure the products on your shortlist offer the capabilities you expect.
Logistics Professionals Understand Diverse Shipping Needs
As a small business owner, you may not know the best ways to ship products to customers, especially if you're doing so for the first time. For example, maybe you primarily shipped non-breakable products such as apparel. If your business expands to sell items that could break during transit — like candles, picture frames and other home accessories — now could be an excellent time to put more money into logistics.
Experienced logistics companies understand the complexity of transporting perishable, time-sensitive or fragile goods. Many provide tracking systems where you can see a parcel's position in real-time. That resource could be particularly advantageous if you receive many queries involving order timelines.
Working with seasoned logistics providers is also a smart move if you need regular shipments to restock your warehouse. You may have a supplier that's ready to send the goods your way as soon as you ask. Still, such an arrangement only works in your favor if logistics companies get them to your facility in the anticipated timeframe. Regardless of the exact nature of your requirements, logistics companies can use their expertise to meet them.
Investments in Logistics Can Reduce Wasted Time
A 2018 survey from Freightos found that more than 42% of business owners spend longer than two hours managing each freight shipment. Even if you don't require quite as long, it's easy to see how the wasted hours and minutes can add up and cut into the time available for other parts of your business. If you're eager to add more flexibility to your day-to-day schedule, expanding your logistics budget could be a wise decision.
Determine which logistics activities prove most time-consuming, then research how outside providers or in-house tools could give the results you want. Understand that you probably won't see immediate improvements, but it's worthwhile to give people at your company ample time to adjust to whatever you changed.
If you're not sure what alterations to make to save the most time, get feedback from your team. Ask them what's going well in daily operations, and where room for improvement exists. Their input could help you decide which specific areas to invest in first.
Logistics Improvements Cater to Customers' Needs
People today expect fast shipping. If your company can't provide it, customers will look for businesses that can. Statistics from LaserShip's 2019 E-Commerce Shipping Needs Survey found that 63% of consumers expect to get their goods from online stores within three days. Additionally, one-third of those polled said that fast shipping was their most important consideration when shopping online.
You can improve customer service interactions on your e-commerce site by asking for feedback about shipping. Provide them with realistic timeframes for when to expect their goods, then follow up to learn when the shipments arrived.
You can also gather metrics on:
- Customers' overall satisfaction with shipping
- Percentage of items that arrive on time
- Percentage of late or delayed shipments
- Number of items returned due to damage
Keeping track of these things makes it easier to see the return on investment. Suppose you ship through a service that guarantees two-day shipments. In that case, you may see an increase in the number of customers reporting that they appreciated the prompt service around the same time you started doing business with that provider.
Enhancing Logistics Could Strengthen Your Business
Many modern businesses struggle without the advantages of a reliable and swift movement of goods. No matter what you sell, logistics almost certainly factors into your operations. This overview highlights why it's highly advisable to devote adequate portions of your budget to logistics. Doing so will help your company overcome obstacles while meeting or surpassing customer expectations.