The logistics footprint is the size of logistical support that businesses require in order to move a product to the customer. The footprint includes all the activities that are undertaken to maintain these logistic operations. For instance: people, transportation, fuel, and equipment. But it is warehouses that play a particularly important role for a company’s logistics footprint.
Logistics, simply put, is the management of materials and their distribution. Within the supply chain, logistics is the link between the suppliers and the customers.
Therefore, the logistics footprint accounts for all the activities that are required for the finished product to be ready and delivered to the customer. This can include the warehousing of raw material, work in progress and finished goods inventory. Furthermore, it can include the geographical location of production and storage of goods.
The logistic footprint is thereby part of the supply chain ecosystem. Therefore, reducing the logistics footprint can be crucial for increasing a company’s competitiveness.
It has been long known that a optimizing a company’s logistics footprint can give them a tactical competitive advantage. Businesses need to reassess and compose an efficient logistics plan that enhances customer service, reduces risks and costs, and eliminates unnecessary steps.
Therefore, for a business to remain competitive, a warehouse strategy must be developed that is just as ambitious as those of sales and marketing departments. But how do you develop such a strategy?
Reducing or optimizing your logistics footprint by means of an ambitious warehouse strategy includes, first of all, a concrete understanding of all measurable elements within the warehouse. These are elements such as inventory movements, support equipment, personnel, facilities, and transportation.
The first step in doing so is collecting data on the supply chain context. Which products sell the fastest? Where do problems occur? How long does it take to fulfill an order? How much leadtime is acceptable for the market? What is the volatility of demand? What are the risks of holding inventories? This data then provides the basis for understanding what can be improved and what is already working well.
Optimizing the warehouse strategy in order to reduce the logistics footprint, then, can take a variety of shapes.
Lastly, it is important to know that warehouses – and logistics in general – operate in a dynamic environment. What’s right for today may not be right for tomorrow. Planning needs to be adaptive in nature and openness for change is necessary.
The size of a company’s logistics footprint can have a lot of influence on its success. Particularly if warehouse strategies are not optimized, time, effort, and money could be wasted because inventory is stored inefficiency. A good warehouse strategy is therefore essential in reducing your logistics footprint.
Do you want to know more about the logistics footprint in the supply chain? Experience it in one of our business games. Furthermore, on our website you can read more about related topics. Have a look at pages such as supply chain risk management, lean, data analytics, volatility, omnichannel and trade-offs in end-to-end supply chain management.