Running a small business can be tricky, especially when you have to handle logistics on your own. So, today, we’re covering the best practices for small business logistics!
Join us as we dive into how you can optimize the logistics of your small business.
Logistics is the process of sourcing, transporting, storing, and delivering the supplies and products for your business.
For large businesses, it is stressful to balance good logistics with profit.
This is exaggerated even more for small business logistics, since small businesses don’t have the bulk purchases or the influence to get cheaper services.
Small businesses also often don’t have the staff to manage every part of the process, which can lead to overworking when everything is done in-house.
To cope, small businesses have to be more careful with planning and executing their logistics.
Some small businesses also outsource to third-party logistics companies (3PLs), or partner with companies that specialize in certain parts of the logistics process, like shipping.
There are 7 ways to optimize small business logistics: know your company, plan every single aspect, make manufacturing more efficient, manage long-term finances, understand your customers, partner and outsource to other businesses, and utilize data analytics.
The first way to optimize small business logistics is to know your company so that you can plan accordingly. This is the foundation of all other strategies, so be thorough and take your time.
Knowing your company consists of the following:
By doing the prepwork, you’ll be able to address your needs more accurately, and you’ll save time and money in the long run.
The second way to optimize small business logistics is to plan every single aspect so that your operations go as smoothly as possible.
Here are some factors that you’ll need to plan for:
By planning ahead and setting up systems, software, and infrastructure, you can avoid disaster - especially during the holiday season.
If your company manufactures its own line of products, you can save yourself money and time by making manufacturing more efficient, which is the third way to optimize small business logistics.
This can be done in 2 main ways, depending on if you do in-house manufacturing or if you outsource manufacturing.
If you do in-house manufacturing, you can make it more efficient by:
If you outsource manufacturing, you can make it more efficient by:
The fourth way to optimize small business logistics is to manage long-term finances. This is key because, by investing in the correct areas and saving on others, you will be able to sustain and grow your business for years to come.
Here are a few ways to manage your long-term finances:
The fifth way to optimize small business logistics is to understand your customers.
You may not have as much influence as a large corporation, but you do have a closer relationship with your customers. You can use this knowledge to develop an edge over larger businesses.
Understanding your customers can take the form of:
The sixth way to optimize small business logistics is to partner with or outsource to other businesses.
By doing so, you avoid having to hire more staff, and you benefit from the expertise and resources of businesses that specialize in logistics.
Most companies prefer to outsource to other businesses, which:
Other companies prefer to partner with other businesses, which has the same benefits as hiring a 3PL, but it also ensures that you’ll always have a trusted logistics provider who is invested in the success of your business.
However, partnerships can take much longer to finalize, and you may struggle with logistics in the meantime.
The seventh way to optimize small business logistics is to utilize data analytics. Data analytics can provide insight into how you are currently using your resources, and how you can improve your setup.
The best way to harness your company's data is to use automated software or artificial intelligence. You could buy this software, or you could hire a company that specializes in data analytics.
With enough data, artificial intelligence should be able to produce forecasts so that you can improve your business before any disasters happen.
If you are looking for good logistics providers to transport your supplies and products, the easiest way to find them is by using a freight shipping marketplace like GoShip!
By allowing you to compare multiple freight carriers’ services, prices, and details all on one site, you’ll be able to find the carrier that is right for you in no time.
Click here to go to GoShip and get your free quotes!