September, 2016

Supply Chain and Logistics Process Mapping: Why and When to Do It

Supply Chain and Logistics Process Mapping: Why and When to Do It

If your company has ever hired a logistics consulting company (or any type of consulting firm for that matter), you may have noticed how keen their consultants are to carry out logistics process mapping at the start of a project. Rest assured, process mapping is not simply a way to earn some extra consulting revenue. There is a very good reason why supply chain or logistics process mapping is high on the list of consultants’ priorities— and why it should be high on yours too.   Why Consultants Love Logistics Process Mapping So why are consultants so enamoured with logistics process mapping? It’s simply because it’s a great way to learn about your business, as well as to gain knowledge crucial in solving the problem or issue at hand. During the time they spend mapping your processes, consultants come to understand how and why things currently work the way they do. It’s also an excellent opportunity to pinpoint possible bottlenecks and pain-points, which can then become the basis for improvement initiatives.   Why You Should Love Process Mapping Too Logistics process mapping is a very worthwhile exercise for your company to execute, regardless of whether you use consulting help or not. For one thing, creating and maintaining current process flow diagrams will save you some money if you should hire a consulting company in the future (since consultants can refer to your documentation instead of carrying out their own process mapping). For another … well, actually there are many other ways in which logistics process mapping can benefit your operation. For example: It makes process improvement projects a lot easier from the outset It can improve general process understanding across your organisation Process maps are invaluable for use in training activities, particularly when on-boarding new hires Process maps are also perfect for presenting key business processes to external stakeholders, suppliers, service providers, supply chain partners, and customers   When to Perform Logistics Process Mapping Given the advantages of a set of fully detailed process maps, there is really no bad time to map your “as-is” logistics processes. However, there are some situations in which it’s especially desirable for processes to be documented in a visual format. Here are some examples of just such a scenario: Internal Benchmarking: If you are benchmarking performance across a large logistics network, process mapping will make it easier to identify how and why some...

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