What would prompt customers to do business with your company? Why would they want to consider you special and distinguished from the rest of your competitors? There are many ways to approach that subject and we will do our best to cover it here, by introducing the need for a good business plan ahead of time when it comes to the central focus of how you both receive materials to make your product and when you send your product to the end customer: your logistics practice.
How does my Business & Customer Needs Factor into my Logistics Practice?
You will realize a huge competitive advantage through your business strategy with the proper development of a strategically strong and sound logistics practice, but only if you handle things right in the execution. You will need to make sure you create the most efficient logistics process (meaning lower hard costs, but also soft costs such as labor, error avoidance, and on time shipping), as this will really set you apart from the competitors. When you are able to lower your price (or fatten your profit margin) because you’re cost of goods sold is lower than your competitors, yes, a solid logistics practice makes you competitive. This is more about competency on a core level, so you will need to understand that proper logistics will make you a preferred supplier. Promotions, products and price have always been at the forefront of recognition for companies, but there is more to business than that. A proper and prompt logistics practice shows you can deliver on your promises in a way rarely seen, especially if you are accurate in your work and your product arrives to your on time. This will show a desire for growth and you will have a chance to reach some parts of the market you may not have reached before (and not to mention increase your overall reputation in the marketplace). A poor logistics practice has the potential to seriously hurt your growth and profits, long term, so you will need to ensure you never let that happen as a manufacturer.
If you want to develop a good logistics practice, you will need to make some assessments before you move on. If you happen to have different markets for all your products, you will need to assess each market separately. Do I need a new warehouse? Do I have strategic warehousing partners? Have I negotiated the best rates for my new lanes of shipping? These are all questions and factors you must define. There may be differences you will need to focus on understanding and recognizing before you move on. So how do you compare things on the market? With a good assessment or if you employ a 3PL to create a custom strategy for your logistics practice, you will know how to analyze the market so you can use that knowledge and data to your advantage. Make sure you are fully aware of what your potential clients will want from your services and strive to ensure you will have it in the future or now, as this will greatly help push your business forward on the market.
Putting all the Pieces Together & Finalizing the Details
A good marketing strategy that has logistics as part of the approach should have two parts in general. The first one is making sure you have a good logistics practice capable of handling a new influx of orders from new customers you’ve marketed and sold to in order to get the product to that customer in a timely fashion. The second one is to make sure you can tailor your services to the needs of your individual customers (such as a new demand of reverse logistics or “just in time” logistics), as this will set you apart from the rest of the vanilla services offered on the market by competitors. In today’s business world it’s simply not enough to be able to do logistics well, it will have to be something special and strategized before hand if you want to stand out from the crowd and make a name for yourself. Meeting the needs of your customers will help you improve the way you go about executing your strategy for your logistics practice. This is a great position for a supplier as you move from supplier number 1234 to “supplier of choice” know by your name, so you will need to become very good at what you do to achieve this much needed position on the market.
Always remember that you need to do your best to maneuver yourself to the position of a preferred supplier. The logistics practice of your company will work as the major cornerstone of your growth on the market. Don’t have the expertise in house currently to develop a strong program to back the rest of your business? There are now several logistics providers you can choose from, however, knowing your own needs first is the first step before you create any new strategy to enhance your logistics practice. What makes or breaks any growing business on the market of today are not the profits you make, but the inherent flexibility your business possesses against the storms of the commercial ocean in front of you. Flexibility, persistence, success and a bit of luck are all factors you need to account for at all times.