This presentation is designed to take an astute quick look at international logistics and warehouse management, both in terms of today's global supply chain and in the demand flow management process, so you can know how to make the most of this strategically. You've probably heard something about these topics. You may even be somewhat familiar with them. But how much do you really know about their strategic importance?
In an international logistics and warehouse management system, cost-to-cost "trade-offs" available through systems analysis are easy to identify. One example is using premium transportation for small, time-phased purchased lots to reduce inventory investment and lower safety stock. Another might be using a distribution center for freight consolidation or Crossdocking to improve customer service levels and avoid material handling inefficiencies. Yet another might be the use of a blanket agreement (with a rolling forecast) with your supplier. By aligning supplier capacity to your customer schedules and your inventory goals, you gain pipeline visibility through automated order tracking and alerts in addition to lowering costs and raising customer service levels. The overall goal, to achieve a fully integrated logistics approach, is to realize maximum trade-offs among basic functional activities such as warehousing.
Traditional Logistics and Warehousing channels are indeed changing. As organizations move from mass production and mass distribution to lean manufacturing, postponement, and mass customization, creative approaches are needed in the management of logistics and warehousing. The challenge is always present, because different customers may demand different levels of service. Demand often cannot be forecasted, especially if one must deliver customized products or services exactly where the customer needs them on a global scale at multiple locations.
Businesses today must understand that they are competing on the basis of time more than on any other factor. The rigors of international logistics require that you take action to meet your customers’ demand for faster, more frequent, and more reliable deliveries. Your suppliers need to meet increasingly precise inbound schedules. Tomorrow’s customers are more likely to be in another country or continent than they are likely to be from across town, in another state, or in another province. In addition, diverse countries use different formats for weights and other units of measures, as well as many countries and localities have different licensing requirements and charge different duties, value-added taxes (VAT), and fees, which altogether amount to a major content-management challenge for your Global Trade and Logistics IT systems.