Logistics process re-design
In developing more effective and efficient approaches to logistics, it is important not to limit the focus to the physical elements of movement and storage of products.
To look at logistics from the narrow perspective of physical movement (“lift & shift”) is to ignore the benefits that may be derived from examining the processes that underpin physical movement.
It is also beneficial to address all processes that are part of, or impact upon, the total supply chain. This would normally include marketing, purchasing, production planning, movement in and out, storage, sales and delivery to the customer.
The first step in re-designing processes begins with the documentation or “mapping” of current processes, costing component parts and assessing whether individual processes are:
- effective; do they deliver what they are supposed to deliver?
- meeting customer service requirements; are delivery times and fill rates met?
- efficient; can cost be removed?
Dawson Consulting employs a rigorous methodology to map and measure logistics processes using these tests.
Once current processes have been mapped and assessed, gap analysis can take place to highlight the areas that can be improved.
The resultant re-design of processes can take the form of:
- complete redevelopment from the ground up,
- incremental improvement, or,
- a combination of both of the above
- In all cases change must be driven by customer (internal or external) imperatives.
- It should be noted that process re-design can be independent of, and/or driven by, technology.
The re-design of processes often has a human resource impact in terms of job descriptions, skills or even organisational structure. Most successful implementations occur when internal resources are teamed with external facilitators to provide a blend of skills that will enhance the commitment to internal change.
In re-designing processes it is frequently beneficial to review the entire supply chain; that is, view the supplier/customer process as though it belonged to one organisation. Often suppliers and customers introduce duplication, cost and complexity to each others operations.
Asking the questions, “Is this how we would do things if we were a single entity?” can provide some interesting insights into process fail points.