Tips

5 Tips for Selecting a Logistics Consulting Firm

5 Tips for Selecting a Logistics Consulting Firm

As you may be aware, a large part of what we do at Logistics Bureau Group is helping supply chain and logistics companies improve their business through our consulting services. That means that since The Logistics Bureau was launched back in 1997, we’ve had plenty of practice in understanding the customers who call on us for assistance.     As one who has made a career from matching consulting specialists to customers, I ought to be able to offer some guidance to you, the prospective customer; whether you are looking for a logistics consultant right now, or will be seeking one in the future. So here are five quick tips which, in my experience, will help you select a logistics consulting firm that fits well with your business and its project needs.   1. Practice due diligence and ask for a list of references, gather proof of technical qualifications and check that the prospect has worked on similar problems to the one you are trying to solve. 2. Look for a lead consultant who listens more than she talks. During your initial discussions, observe how well the consultant pays attention to what you and your colleagues have to say. It might be wise to think twice about engaging a consultant who wants to hear her own voice rather than yours. 3. Vet the consultant’s business plan thoroughly. Expect the plan to follow a clear methodology and to include milestones and quality control measures. 4. Assess the likelihood that the consulting team will accommodate your firm’s business culture. Some consulting organizations prefer to apply rigid industry standards, but in our experience, this only interferes with the customer relationship and hampers project progress. 5. Investigate the consultant’s approach to teamwork. When selecting a logistics consulting firm, you really can’t ask enough questions about teamwork and flexibility. The best partners will be those prepared to mentor and build rapport with your team, especially if you are engaging them for a major project that will require careful change management.   Consultants with the right qualities and the credentials to prove their worth might not come with a bargain basement price tag. But selecting a logistics consulting firm should be a process driven by the search for excellence, rather than one that laser-targets the lowest cost. If you keep these five tips in mind and consequently engage the right consulting company, you should find...

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Make Sure You Know Your Place in the Chain of Responsibility

Make Sure You Know Your Place in the Chain of Responsibility

Australia is a country famous for uniqueness … Kangaroos, wallabies, Duck-Billed whatchamacallits—the list goes on. In road transport legislation too, we have a set of regulations which while not totally unique, are not yet adopted on a widespread basis around the rest of the world. I say not yet … but I believe the time will come when the “chain of responsibility” concept becomes adopted in many western nations. In fact, COR legislation was recommended to the United States Congress in 2014 and is currently under consideration.     Back at home, knowing your place in the chain of responsibility is critical if your business is to steer clear of liability for something that happens literally a way down the Australian highway.   What is the Chain of Responsibility? In a nutshell, chain of responsibility legislation applies to pretty much any entity involved in a supply chain; at least if that supply chain involves goods transportation by road. Essentially, if a truck driver commits an offence under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) and you exerted even a small degree of influence over the event, you can be held liable in part for the offence.   Here’s an example … As a simple example of how you might be liable for a driver’s HVNL breach, imagine you are responsible for unloading inbound deliveries from a supplier. Your team is under pressure when a truck comes in and consequently, the truck is held for some time before the goods on board finally get unloaded. As a result, the truck driver fails to take a scheduled break in his efforts to get back to base and is subsequently involved in an accident for which he is blameworthy. Now here’s the bad news … under COR law, you are potentially blameworthy too.   It Pays to Know Your Place This is of course, a simplified example, but hopefully the message is clear. If you and your company are in a position to influence the course of events in the transport of goods by road (and you are in Australia), you should know your responsibilities under COR legislation. So do yourself a favor; if you aren’t already aware, get yourself up to speed post-haste and know your place in the chain of responsibility.   See also related articles: Chain of Responsibility Part 1 – an Easy Guide Chain of Responsibility Part 2 –...

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Distribution Centre Performance: How Do You Measure Yours?

Distribution Centre Performance: How Do You Measure Yours?

As you may be aware, one of the businesses in the Logistics Bureau Group is Benchmarking Success, a company dedicated to helping supply chain enterprises to benchmark and measure performance. We founded the company because the complexity of increasingly global supply chains can make it challenging to keep a pulse on performance. Quite simply, we wanted to make that task simpler for our clients.     Just to illustrate how even a single supply chain component needs a set of relevant and meaningful key performance indicators to provide visibility for managers, I thought I’d share a brief insight into some of the most popular metrics for monitoring distribution centre performance.   Six Popular Distribution Centre Performance KPIs So here are six of the most popular distribution centre performance metrics being used around the world’s supply chains: On Time Shipment: Percentage of total order lines shipped on or before requested shipping date. Internal Order Cycle Time: Average time between receipt of customer order and the order being loaded onto vehicle for delivery. Dock to Stock Cycle Time: Average number of hours taken to put goods away in the warehouse. The time from the inbound unloading dock to the SKU storage location. Total Order Cycle Time: Average time duration between customer placing order and customer receiving the ordered goods. Order Picking Accuracy: Percentage of total orders that were correctly picked (correct quantity and quality of items on an order) Average Warehouse Capacity Utilised: Percentage of warehouse capacity used over a specific time period (could be month, quarter or year). Does your company use any of these popular KPIs? We’d love to hear about the ones you like and the ones you don’t and the reasons for your preferred choice of metrics.   Best Regards Rob O’Byrne Email or +61 417 417...

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What Matters Most to Retail Delivery? Speed or Traceability

What Matters Most to Retail Delivery? Speed or Traceability

As more and more consumers turn to ecommerce and retailers scramble to compete for the attention of online shoppers, home delivery services are becoming a service differentiator across most retail sectors. If your company offers home delivery for the “last mile” in your supply chain, you probably provide a standard shipping option and a premium-priced, “express” service, which may include parcel tracking for your customers to keep an eye on their orders. Certainly that’s the typical home distribution model—giving consumers two options: low speed or traceability packaged with high-speed delivery. But what matters most to retail consumers who buy online: speed or traceability? Do they care more about getting their products fast or about knowing where their parcels are at any given point in time?   Trending Toward Transparency The answer, it seems, is the latter. Retailers offering tracked delivery without express delivery premiums are cashing in among consumers who don’t actually care if delivery takes a few days, but who do care about being able to see the status of their orders. If ordering statistics are anything to go by, some retailers are finding that the uptake of premium services was historically as much for the tracking ability as for expeditious delivery. When a mid-range service (including track-and-trace) is introduced, parcel volumes increase, while volumes through both premium and standard services reduce correspondingly.   How Will You Make Home Delivery Different? Decoupling express lead times and track-and-trace facilities could add flexibility into your home delivery service tariff and help differentiate your enterprise from its competitors. Of course ultimately, your customers know what they want, so it may at least be worth soliciting some feedback. You might find your customers don’t need their orders sent via the fast lane, but prefer the confidence of knowing the goods are on their way.   Best Regards Rob O’Byrne Email or +61 417 417...

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Supply Chain Secrets Seminars

Supply Chain Secrets Seminars

Thank you to all our guests over the last 2 weeks, who came along to our Free Supply Chain Seminars. As always we really enjoyed meeting old friends and new as well as sharing some tips that will help you improve your Supply Chain Performance. Here’s a brief summary of what we were sharing:     And here are some handy links: To receive future event invitations, you can register here: Free Supply Chain and Logistics Seminars To read about the ‘probability of a perfect order’, go here: Supply Chain Levers For a free Supply Chain Strategy Guide, check this link: Supply Chain Strategy Guide   Best Regards Rob O’Byrne Email or +61 417 417...

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Hiring a Supply Chain Consultant – Tips

Hiring a Supply Chain Consultant – Tips

Our CEO Rob O’Byrne was recently interviewed for Global Logistics Media, on the topic of ‘hiring Supply Chain consultants’. This short video highlights some handy tips to ensure you get value from your Supply Chain consultants.     You can contact Rob through email or +61 417 417...

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