Imagine if your customer did not receive the product he ordered in time for Christmas. Or, what if it got damaged? No business owner wants to carry that burden of having failed a customer at a crucial time. Logistics has been a buzz word, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic when movement became an even greater challenge. When we think of logistics, cargo shipments and containers come to mind. According to Statista, in 2019 ports in Jamaica handled close to 1.6 million containers of cargo. A big part of the success of these movements involves logistics management. Entrepreneur Weekly has been probing the deal with logistics management these days. What is it and what are you up against as you navigate these sometimes-treacherous waters?
Investopedia describes logistics as referring to “the overall process of managing how resources is acquired, stored, and transported to their final destination.” Logistics management is more narrowly described as identifying prospective distributors and suppliers and determining their effectiveness and accessibility. An important consideration for logistics management is to have the right amount of a resource or input at the right time, getting it to the appropriate location in proper condition, and delivering it to the correct internal or external customer.
Logistics Management Basics
The Entrepreneur Weekly appreciates that it isn’t feasible to know all the ins and outs of all things involved in your business, particularly outside your scope of expertise. However, this blog’s mission is to spark your interest in the journey of discovery and provide signposts along the way that will lead you into a state of empowerment that leads your business to success. So, with that in mind, here are some useful things to note as a small business owner about logistics management and how it affects the movement of your goods, especially as we approach the Christmas season.
There are several aspects involved in logistics management but here are key ideas that to a fair extent cover some of the major elements. These are storage, warehousing and materials handling, packaging, inventory, transport, information and control. These are all major parts of how logistics management works and each aspect comes with its own elements that need its own supervision and systems to be successful.
Things That Affect Logistics Management
There are a number of things that can impact the flow of goods globally, these will also impact your business. This list is in no way exhaustive but as an entrepreneur you may be able to see how these factors can affect your business. Take a look at these factors, Environmental Uncertainty, Information Technology, Supply Chain Relationships, Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Business Management and Customer Satisfaction.
Global Village and Logistics Woes
Two things that we can quickly think of that are affecting the movement of goods is the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic along with the Russian-Ukraine war. As listed above, there are always ongoing factors that influence the success of the movement of goods but at different points historically there will be peak things that affect the world. The Russia-Ukraine war is also a prime example. It has been observed that the war has led to an increase in prices of several commodities including fertilisers, food products, oil and gas. The supply chain disruptions have increased freight charges, created container shortages, and lowered the availability of warehousing space.
Forbes Magazine’s contributor Harry Broadman, who is a global business operations and finance executive spoke on the state of logistics management and practical steps that need to be considered globally. He mentioned various perspectives in his article titled Don’t Mistake Today’s “Whack-A-Mole” Logistics Regime for A New Era of Global Supply Chain Management. He said, “The way out? Logistics providers, businesses who utilise them, and the end-users and consumers who buy products and services from those businesses, must adjust to the new regime of market dynamics that characterises the fundamentals of today’s global economy.” Continuing, Mr. Broadman said, “We all have little choice but to become more economically agile and to adopt new pricing and delivery schemes that match “willingness to pay” on the demand side with “ability to deliver” on the supply side.”
JBDC Helping MSMEs with Logistics
Jamaica has its own realities contending with for the movement of goods especially in this fast-approaching peak season along with the global logistics issues. It is against this background that the JBDC will present its next Virtual Biz Zone webinar series focused on Logistics Management. The webinar on October 11, 2022 at 10:00am on Zoom, will explore the sub-theme ‘Moving Goods in the Christmas Rush’. This session will be facilitated by the Jamaica Customs Agency and will explore the policies associated with clearing shipments as well as tips on how to avoid delays. The presentation will also highlight the required documents to present at Customs as well as any special considerations which may be extended to small business owners during the holiday period.