The Importance of Logistics and Warehousing for Retail Business Success
In retail logistics, the prime criteria is the availability of top-quality products in stores, on time. This means timely product supply and delivery in the best condition. Foods should be fresh; clothes need to be in good shape; fragile items such as glassware and electronics need to reach undamaged. As e-commerce grows in popularity, accurate home delivery is a crucial factor.
To ensure success and consumer satisfaction, packing, storing, transportation, and distribution play critical roles in retail business. The slightest freight damage during transportation or storage, delayed or wrong delivery can cost retailers their reputation and lead to business loss. This is why logistics management is crucial.
5 Key Components of Logistics Management
Logistics management today is a complex task that involves five inter-linked components to reduce functional barriers.
Storage Facilities: proper freight storage in warehouses and distribution centres with customized care ensures freshness and quality control.
Accurate Inventory: retailers must stock enough supplies to meet product demands. As consumer demand changes, stocks need to be upgraded to align with the needs as soon as possible.
Transportation: from manufacturing to delivery, products need to be transported in containers of different sizes and vehicles. The choice of transportation determines costs, delivery time, and impact on the environment.
Packaging: packaging plays a big part in attracting consumer interest. Retailers must ensure that products are well packaged, cost-effective, and easily to handle.
Communication: inter-communication helps in timely delivery. Retailers need to keep track of the vehicle, stay updated about weather changes, keep an eye on the volumes, prices, and movement for operational efficiency.
Many retail outlets have hundreds of stores in several locations, within a country or globally. There could be thousands of product lines and millions of sales in a single day.
In retail logistics, outsourcing some of the functions such as shipping and warehousing to third-party logistics service providers is common. What’s important is for retailers to ensure that the 3PL services effectively coordinate all parts of the process to minimize costs, errors, and delays.
IT and Reverse Logistics
In this age, successful retail logistics is not just about keeping a close eye on boxes and vehicles. Retailers today look for active control in monitoring several aspects of logistics such as tracking merchandise and distribution for which information data management (IT) is critical.
Retailers rely on a single, efficient network system that offers more transparency and control in their services. The ultimate aim is to offer value in quality and cost, and quick response to consumer requests at the store level.
To managing this pipeline in modern times, reverse logistics (a process for companies to take a more holistic view and become more environmentally efficient) is a crucial factor as impact on the environment becomes an increasing concern. Vehicle design, fuel efficiency, proper disposal, recycling, reusing and reducing materials are key to reverse logistics. Conscientious logistic companies make it a policy to ensure proper cleaning of materials and high hygiene to reduce packaging waste, while complying to legal requirements.
As a result, it is important for retailers to rely on strong logistics partnerships with companies with a holistic outlook, locally and globally.
WTG – Retail Logistics Experts in North America
WTG offers vehicle fleets that are enhanced with advanced GPS and communication systems to ease real-time monitoring and enhance vehicle performance. Our integrated supply chain services with leading industry professionals help retailers simplify the logistics process, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and meet customer expectations. Check out our website to know more.