What is integrated logistics? This blog will tell you everything you need to know about how this transformative supply chain model can be the secret to streamlining your organization for maximum efficiency in the modern era.
Running a successful and competitive business today is fueled by intelligent, accurate and lightning-fast decision making. According to McKinsey Global Institute, companies that utilize data-driven decision making are 19 times more likely to be profitable.
We’ve all got a lot to keep up with these days. Growing sustainability expectations, higher customer expectations and volatile, ever-changing markets to name a few. Manufacturers are challenged to accurately plan, deliver and recover parts with no waste or unnecessary costs, and at a rapid pace. However, old, outdated and siloed workflows are stifling companies’ dreams of success.
Manufacturers need unified, real-time and smart data to accomplish these goals.
Enter integrated logistics.
What is integrated logistics?
Put simply, integrated logistics offer an end-to-end way of managing your service supply chain, from procurement to fulfillment and returns—rinse and repeat. Instead of treating these elements of your supply chain as different processes, integrated logistics align every step in perfect sync to enable seamless operations and optimized performance.
Why you should seriously consider it
All too often, businesses separate how they handle each stage of the supply chain. They manage planning, delivery and recovery in separate teams or with separate partners. This can result in mismatched data, lack of coordination and communication, and ultimately a damaged customer experience.
Done right, integrated logistics can help you create one clear, transparent view of your operation and make sure everyone is speaking the same language. When everyone managing the supply chain has complete data visibility, they can coordinate decisions better. It speeds up the process and results in fewer duplicate orders.
Right now, MarketWatch predicts the global integrated logistics market will reach $13 billion by 2027. This is no longer a trend, it’s the future of supply chain management.
Integrated logistics: A better way to plan, deliver and recover
Here’s exactly how it can affect your business for the better:
1. Increased communication and speed
As companies grow, it’s very easy for supply chains to get built around internal silos. Teams expand and spread globally, communication between them becomes less transparent, new software is purchased and implemented in some departments and not others, and out-of-date software is held onto.
Integrated logistics can convert all the data from your end-to-end supply chain into one common language, so each element can communicate seamlessly with one another.
The result? You avoid getting bogged down in discontinuity, reconciliation and lack of trust between teams. Output will increase as the timely delivery of orders can be reliably informed by agile forecasting, inventory planning, and route planning. A full visibility over every product’s data also means you can more accurately recover and reuse parts as soon as they need it.
2. Increased sustainability
Resource wastage—from costs to staff to raw materials—is one of the most damaging operational inefficiencies an enterprise has.
For example, if planning doesn’t communicate efficiently and clearly with delivery, the delivery team may overestimate the amount of drivers needed, wasting manpower and increasing potential truck loads. Or if they underestimate, companies incur an unnecessary cost of storage for parts not delivered. An integrated system leaves little room for errors in communication or mismatches in data.
3. Reduced risk
Integrated logistics allow you to be proactive rather than reactive to any supply-chain disruptions, compliance errors and quality control issues.
When all your supply-chain data is in sync and visible, it will enable you to conduct in-depth analysis of big picture and granular supply information—such as warehouse stock and locations, parts performance and recovery status.
This can help with things like SLA compliance (by informing you of the time to carry out repairs or replace parts, what the response time will be, etc.), and identify areas at risk to unexpected circumstances.
You have an opportunity to understand where your risk comes from and plan a proactive response before it happens, which will result in a more efficient and streamlined operation.
4. Improved customer service
Customers expect high quality service from pre-sales, to sale and delivery, to after-sales—which depends on:
- Fast and clear communication
- 100% correct and high quality orders
- Quick delivery to the right location at the right time
- Efficient servicing.
Integrating logistics will open up a constant and consistently reliable communication channel between management, suppliers and customers. This means any customer questions can be quickly answered and ensure that deliveries are timely and accurate.
Being informed by real-time, clear product data also means that manufacturers can predict when a part will need recovering or servicing before anything actually goes wrong. Your customers won’t catch your team blindsided with functionality complaints, and you can prepare to respond to a recovery much faster.
The way forward for your supply chain
When your supply chain forecasting is informed by incorrect data, planning departments end up ordering parts they don’t need and eating into finite resources. This lands your supply chain into unavoidable habits of waste, unnecessary spending and acute frustration.
Being able to order inventory to near 100% accuracy through AI forecasting reduces:
- Unnecessary truck rolls
- Surplus in inventory
- Unnecessary spending on extra storage space and FSLs
This, in turn, helps you reduce your carbon footprint, streamline your supply chain and keep profit margins balanced.
The way forward for supply chain management
Getting all of your teams, data and processes in sync is the next step on your road to a more streamlined operation. Applying this to your supply chain through integrated logistics can help you achieve this.
So, where should you start with integrated logistics?
That’s where we come in. Using our proprietary technology, OnProcess Agora, gives you a controlled, integrated and organized data sheet that’s continually enriched with new information from across the service supply chain.
It gives you a single view of your contractual obligations to every customer, together with the parts they have, that’s accurate, up-to-date and constantly adapting.
With AI-powered systems capable of pulling valuable insight in real-time, we help you refine your end-to-end service supply chain processes, so you can plan better, deliver faster and recover more effectively.
Want to learn more? Get in touch with us today for a free consultation and demo.