While many in the logistics industry may hear the term "efficiency" and think primarily about the process of getting the supply chain to run more smoothly, there are other aspects to efficiency that can likewise pay off in the long run if they're fine-tuned. These include whether warehouses make the most efficient use of the space they have available, and the kinds of resources they need on a daily basis.
Certainly the supply chain is a big part of operational efficiency in the logistics field, and companies can't afford to ignore it, according to Auto Remarketing. However, while taking steps to increase efficiency through employee or equipment tracking, inventory management software that keeps tabs on the status of various orders in real time, and so on is all a good idea, it's also smart for companies to look beyond the warehouse. That might include working with a shipping company to start tracking vehicles as a means of making sure orders – either incoming or outgoing – are likely to arrive on time and provide real-time information about them.
Generally speaking, the more logistics firms can do to get a bird's eye view of the entire shipping process both internally and externally, the more actionable data they will have at their fingertips on an ongoing basis.
Get smarter about storage
Meanwhile, efficient warehouses also tend to be those that are laid out well, making supreme utilization of every inch they can, according to Multi Channel Merchant. Experts note that warehouses are often "full" as far as peak efficiency goes when they are between 80 percent and 85 percent full, but this often happens because companies tend to think in terms of square footage, rather than cubic feet. Obviously most warehouses have tall shelves that require special equipment to reach, but it's important for companies to consider whether they can get even more out of storage by going higher or finding unique ways to put items they need in space that previously sat empty.
Of course, it's important to implement any changes here with safety in mind, as well as efficiency, but looking at things like aisle widths and the depth of storage on a given shelf might help companies wring just a little more efficiency out of their own buildings.
Consumption is key
In addition, logistics firms have to be aware of the costs they face for operating on a daily basis, and think about the ways in which they might be able to create efficiency here as well, according to SHD Logistics. The simple act of installing LED-based lighting technology throughout a warehouse can cut power bills by more than 80 percent. While lighting is certainly a "cost of doing business," many companies spend more on it than they need to, and clearly the upgrade is likely to pay for itself in short order.
The more logistics decision-makers can do to look at every aspect of their operations and try to wring a little more efficiency from them, the better off their bottom lines are likely to be.