Logistics plays a major part in the success or failure of any retail business. Even tiny businesses have to plan the logistics of getting their products delivered on time. This might mean simply having them packed and ready to go, making sure there is enough petrol in the car, and timing the visit before the post office closes – all these considerations are logistics in action, just in miniature.
Big business logistics
Larger retail operations have to think in terms of delivering thousands of products every day, particularly around Christmas, and this is why many retail companies these days use the services of a professional logistics company. By outsourcing this function to a reliable and efficient logistics firm, retailers can save money and concentrate on the activities that bring in sales.
It is often a strategic decision to outsource the logistics function of a business involving their accountant, an in-depth calculation of the figures and comparison of the expenses involved in both scenarios. Depending on the volume of sales expected, it may well be a cost-saving move to outsource your logistics to a professional firm.
So what can a professional logistics company offer?
Choosing the right logistics company for your retail business is vital. Logistics is such an important part of your overall customer service that you do not want to leave its success to chance.
A good logistics company can offer a wide variety of services to retailers, including:
- A range of vehicle sizes that will solve any transportation issues, from small white vans to articulated lorries
- Warehousing and storage facilities located near ports, airports and major road networks, to enable quick and easy pick-up and delivery of products
- Temperature-controlled vehicles and storage for chilled and frozen goods
- Order fulfilment services
You will find that some logistics companies specialise or have vast experience in certain industries, and one of the main benefits of outsourcing this function to a firm like that is the flexibility they provide in terms of dealing with varying order sizes.
If they can deal with the inevitable fluctuation of orders at different times of the year, it gives great flexibility to your business, and allows you freedom to plan ahead without worrying about the cost of storage and delivery.
If your expansion plans involve outsourcing some of the functions of your business, using the services of a professional logistics firm should be given serious consideration.
David Hamer is an online author and expert on the subject of logistics for retail businesses.