Bending over backwards: How flexibility is more important than ever in logistics

Are your logistics processes flexible enough?

To be successful in logistics, a number of criteria must be met. First, a flexibility in logisticsstrong sense of trust must exist between broker and client. Second, it’s an absolute must that all those involved in the process are both professional and readily contactable. And perhaps more important than any other, the entire process must be flexible in its approach in order to succeed.

There are, of course, others, but flexibility is perhaps the most important point to focus on for now. This is due to an ever-changing logistical landscape in which consumers and customers alike expect quicker dispatch and faster delivery. To achieve this, flexibility is key and, in today’s post, we take a look at what this means.

The importance of being flexible in logistics

Across the supply chain, there are a number of places where circumstances can change unexpectedly. Without going into too much detail, when considering a network as vast and intricate as that of a supply chain, it’s easy to see how and why certain aspects of that network may change suddenly. Because of this, it’s important to be able to adapt your approach.

It’s easy, too, to forget just how many different requirements a logistics team can have when completing a client’s order. Every consumer is different, and we don’t treat any two the same. In logistics, we have to recognise that the needs of customers differs form one to the next: varying modes of transport to deliver within varying timescales to all kinds of different consumers are all part and parcel of the industry, and in order to meet this range of needs, flexibility is key.

How it’s done

Attempting to adopt flexibility in logistics can have disastrous effects if experience and knowledge aren’t on your side. Fortunately, for a logistics broker, both of these are.

A logistics broker is an expert in their field. Over time, a broker has built up a great deal of contacts within the industry. The nature of the role requires delivering a huge range of logistical requirements through not only liaising with a suitable shipping company, but negotiating the finer details such as price and payment, too. As such, a logistics broker is well qualified for the task of providing flexibility and solutions to any problems that may present themselves, and as a result, are often seen as indispensable by those who choose to hire one.

Although a huge range of changes in circumstance may arise (many of which we wouldn’t even be able to think of, given how specialist logistics can be), an example of one could be a faulty delivery vehicle. If goods are in transit and are suddenly stopped due to a serious vehicle malfunction, this may jeopardise delivery time. However, a flexible approach may consider a few solutions: calling the company to send another vehicle to continue with the stock; calling a local company to send a vehicle and continue with the stock, or a third, more situation-specific answer. Without flexibility, those goods may be sat there for a while. Having the correct experience and knowledge, though, means that this would not be the case.

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