5 Tips to Man­age Logis­tics Efficiently

Logis­tics deals with the ques­tions of what, where, how and when mate­ri­als must be sup­plied from where to where, how should it be trans­ported, and when must it arrive for the entire oper­a­tion to progress smoothly with min­i­mal inter­rup­tions. The logis­tics chain in any oper­a­tion is dif­fi­cult to man­age, and unless you’re extremely effi­cient, pre­pared to antic­i­pate prob­lems and exe­cute con­tin­gency plans, you’re going to find it stress­ful. So it’s impor­tant that you keep your­self sharp and con­tinue to hone your skills. Effi­cient logis­tics man­agers gen­er­ally adopt the fol­low­ing prac­tices in order to excel at their jobs:

  • Plan ahead: The hall­mark of an effi­cient logis­tics man­ager lies in the plan­ning process. When the plan is fool­proof, there is min­i­mal chance of fail­ure or a break­down in the chain, unless there are exten­u­at­ing cir­cum­stances. So a good logis­tics man­ager will know how to plan well head to elim­i­nate the pos­si­bil­ity of any delays in the sup­ply chain.
  • Don’t be over­con­fi­dent: Even though the plan may be fool­proof, logis­tics man­agers worth their salt know that they can never be over­con­fi­dent that noth­ing can go wrong. They always keep in mind Murphy’s Law: if some­thing can go wrong, it will. So, have con­tin­gency plans lined up. They know that it’s fool­ish to depend on only one sup­plier or ven­dor and gen­er­ally have a broad net­work of sources for the prod­ucts and ser­vices they need.
  • Never panic: Keep­ing a cool head in the face of a dis­as­ter is essen­tial if you want to improve your logis­tics man­age­ment skills. If you panic or worse, show that you’re los­ing con­trol, the sit­u­a­tion could go hay­wire and your entire oper­a­tion could end up in sham­bles. To become a bet­ter logis­tics man­ager, you must be able to think on the fly and come up with tem­po­rary solu­tions instead of going into a tizzy and los­ing your cool. When you know how to make the best of a bad sit­u­a­tion, you don’t tend to panic and upset every­one else work­ing with you too.
  • Cul­ti­vate strong rela­tion­ships along the sup­ply chain: Logis­tics man­agers know that their entire oper­a­tion is only as strong as the weak­est link in the sup­ply chain. So they take great pains to forge strong and hon­est rela­tion­ships with their sup­pli­ers and ven­dors so that the good­will they earn keeps their oper­a­tions mov­ing flaw­lessly. They know that even one bad rela­tion­ship can sour the entire sup­ply chain and cause failure.
  • Learn from mis­takes: And finally, the best logis­tics man­agers know and accept that they are bound to make mis­takes. They don’t make excuses for them, rather, they use them as step­ping stones to suc­cess, learn from their mis­takes and chalk it up to experience.