If you simply Google the term “Distribution Logistics” you will most likely be greeted by a great number of courses offered by colleges, high schools, and other educational institutions. If you continue to search, you will find yourself looking at a list of distribution logistics management jobs.
But what is distribution logistics and why is it so important that there are entire classes dedicated to it, as well as jobs? And does distribution logistics affect your business operations?
Distribution Logistics, Defined
Distribution logistics is a market-linked logistics system. It links a company’s production logistics with the customer’s procurement logistics. In distribution logistics, customer orientation plays a special role because of the close link to the customer.
Okay, so now you might be thinking: what does this definition actually mean for your business?
It means that this process is what brings your product to your customers, either directly to their front door, or to the point-of-sale.
Depending on the size of your business, this may not seem very difficult. But as your company grows and expands, reaching more markets and more customers with more products, this can quickly become a much larger beast than what you first started with.
The Main Components of Distribution Logistics
There are several components that come together to create your business logistics. Having an understanding and a solid grasp on each one will allow you to grow your business successfully.
Without product, you have nothing to distribute. Knowing where the products are coming from is key to crafting an effective distribution system. And having reliable production will be beneficial to building credibility as a business.
Will your product be produced and held in the same location after production? Or will the product be warehoused somewhere else? Depending on the type of product it may end up being in a warehouse for extended periods of time. But you may also find you have to move product from wherever it is being produced to a warehouse for temporary storage.
This is essential to your business. Without a solid plan for keeping track of your inventory, you have no way to know what should be produced, what needs to be warehoused, and you have no product to fulfill your customers orders.
Whether your customers are ordering products directly, or you’re distributing your product at a point-of-sale, fulfilling orders is top priority. This means you’re keeping track of your orders, and delighting your customers with timely deliveries.
But the most important key to your distribution logistics?
Without quality customer service, your distribution logistics mean nothing. If you focus on this one component of your business, then you are doing the right thing for the customer and ultimately that will be what builds your business.
If you’re truly focusing on your customers, then you have built a solid plan for distribution of your products providing them with ready access to your products. Happy customers ultimately mean a thriving business.