When it comes to starting a business, planning is essential. But while most companies set out their marketing and sales plans, comparatively few include logistics, despite its importance.
Logistics is, in many ways, the lifeblood of your business. It’s the process by which you convey resources through your company and deliver products to your customers, whether they’re final consumers or other businesses. As a result, there are a few matters that your needs to consider if you want a successful logistical operation.
Have A Backup
Nothing in life is certain, not even the supplier you’ve used for the last 30 years. As a result, it’s always worth having a backup plan. Things can go wrong in business, and they often do. A supplier might go out of business or accuse you of breaking your contract. A natural disaster might prevent a delivery, or you might fall foul of industrial action.
According to logistics professionals, it’s essential for logistics continuity to be treated in the same way as regular business continuity. Losing a supplier is equivalent to losing a “key man” from a business perspective, and so contingency plans should be put in place to prevent any disruption of cash flow.
Experts also recommend that companies be upfront with their carriers about their backup plans. It helps to smooth over the process if your suppliers know that you’re temporarily switching over to another brand.
Put Logistics At The Heart Of Your Business Plan
Fred Wilson is a venture capitalist who has overseen dozens of new start-ups, helping them to make it to the big time. He’s had a lot of success over the years, but one of the problems he sees consistently is a lack of integration of logistics into business plans. Companies are incredibly focused on marketing and competitor analysis, but they’re not planning for the basics.
It’s important when choosing logistics partners to get the decision right and look for signs that a company will be able to deliver consistently, month after month. Firms like the Tri State trucking company use protective tracking to ensure that deliveries remain safe. Technologies like this help to reduce t risk, preventing possible losses and delays. Wilson says that too many startups don’t pay enough attention to these aspects of their businesses, preferring instead to focus on engineering problems. This undermines their chances of long term success, especially when they finally break out at launch.
Be Picky About Shipping Partners
Shipping seems like it should be an easy part of running a business, especially compared to product development. But according to seasoned entrepreneur and reporter Andrea Poe, it’s anything but. In her experience, it’s one of the most difficult parts of setting up a business and a major reason why companies end up failing to deliver products to their target markets. It can even be something that affects larger enterprises.
Entrepreneurs, she says, need to work closely with their vendors. They need to make sure that they are able to deliver to their timetable and in the appropriate volumes. With a bit of research, she says, companies should be able to find the right partners.
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