There are a lot of hassles relating to managing a company, all of which can take a monumental amount of effort to keep organised. Even at the best of times, the balancing act of administration can seem near impossible, but then most companies also have to throw company logistics into the matter too.
Logistics are a nightmare at the best of times, as there are hundreds if not dozens of ways in which they can go wrong.
What’s more, delays with logistics can be crippling to the overall running of your business at large. For some the hassle of organising supply chains can be a bit too much, so some business owners look to employing logistics consultants to help them out.
Logistics consultants are basically third party companies businesses can go to seek advice on constructing a working supply chain strategy.
For some this may be nothing more than reviewing a pre-existing scheme and evaluating how well it may work, but others may elect to have the consultants construct an entire strategy themselves by scratch.
In general it’s a highly cost effective and efficient way to sort of company logistics quickly and cheaply.
Choosing a good consultant can be a challenge however. After all, all of them claim to be the best available on the market. So how do businesses separate the effective agencies from the poor ones? Simply put, it’s merely a case of examining each consultant on offer, examining what they’re proposing they can do, and then comparing them with each other. Ideally, your chosen logistics consultancy should have the following traits.
Things can change rapidly and unexpectedly in logistics, so one thing your consultant needs to be able to do is respond quickly to sudden occurrences quickly and effectively. They should also provide you with strategies that do not depend too much on any single factor, and includes within it alternative routes and options in the event an intended point should fail.
Be wary of logistics consultants who seem too devoted to their pet strategies. When push comes to shove, they need to be willing to adapt and adjust when they fail, and you cannot tie yourself down to fixed schedules.
Another thing to look out for is how the consultant talks with you. Ideally, they should ask you plenty of questions and work with you to come up with a plan that best suits your company, its capabilities and its needs. This may involve lots of backs and forths, phone calls and brainstorming, but the end result is the consultancy having a solid understanding of what the company would best be served by, and a strategy that works.
If, however, they barely listen to you at all, and instead seem fixated on advertising their programmes or schemes, then chances are they’re not the company for you.
Not only should your consultancy be quick to start setting up a logistics strategy, they should also be able to make one that’s both cheap and time efficient. At the very least, the strategy should cost less than the total budget you assign to logistics, and all products should arrive on the day they’re needed, barring unforeseen circumstances. Ideally it should always perform above expectation.
Which Should I Choose?
Shop around before deciding which agency you wish to sign up with. There are a large number of logistic consultants available, so you should have plenty of choice.
One good way to ascertain whether or not they’ll suit your needs is to check with their past customers. Most logistics consultants are happy to give contact details for their past customers – if not then it suggests they parted company on bad terms, which is not encouraging. You can then ask those past clients how they found working with the consultancy.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of consultants either. Listen carefully to how they answer too. Too quick, or too slow, and there’s a good chance that they’re reading a script or saying whatever they think will please you most. Likewise, if they avoid questions or answer them without really saying anything, take that as a warning sign.