If you didn’t already know, integration makes everything more efficient, including your supply chain, but the concept of integrated logistics can be a bit complex, especially if you currently rely on a mosaic of disjointed processes and departments.
That, therefore, begs the question, “What is integrated logistics?” and displays a need to understand the functions and processes that are included in an integrated logistics workflow. The following introductory guide will provide a crash course on all things integrated logistics so you can begin to effectively modernize your processes.
What Is Integrated Logistics?
Integrated logistics is a business management strategy designed to align resources and processes so that they function as a single cohesive unit.
Under the traditional logistical model, each process is distinct from every other process, which can cause friction and bottlenecks. The integrated logistics model, in contrast, tears down these barriers and ensures that all of your operations are seamless. The end results are happier customers and an accelerated flow of goods through the supply chain.
Key Functions of Integrated Logistics
Fully integrated logistics merge a broad array of inbound and outbound logistics processes, including the following:
Production involves all material handling, purchasing, inventory transportation, and supplier communication processes. Integrated logistics strategies direct these processes, much like a conductor directs the activities of an orchestra, and by bringing them all under one umbrella, under and over-ordering are both prevented while businesses are able to maintain stable, consistent cash flow.
2. Fulfillment and Dispatch
Integrating your logistics procedures gives you unprecedented visibility into your fulfillment and dispatch operations. You can obtain granular insights into processing, picking, and packing to precisely determine where any inefficiencies in your supply chain lie. This helps you succeed in future fulfillment tremendously.
More importantly, integrated logistics promotes better communication between you and your stakeholders, and when everyone is communicating, you can create an accelerated shipping and fulfillment process that aligns with the lofty expectations of today’s consumers.
Integrated logistics workflows move beyond your warehouse and follow packages to their point of delivery. As such, with the right solutions and processes in place, you can effortlessly coordinate the transport of goods and ensure perfect handoffs to your customers.
Furthermore, integrated logistics empowers you to align your shipping and delivery processes with your unique business model. Whether you have embraced a just-in-time manufacturing approach or maintain a complex inventory, you will be able to deliver for your customers.
Integrated logistics even weaves marketing into your workflow. From a practical perspective, the marketing team gets involved in designing and implementing branded packaging, thus enhancing the user experience.
Marketers will also collaborate with members of your logistics team to learn more about how you go above and beyond for your customers, which can then be highlighted in your marketing campaigns to give you a definitive edge over the competition.
5. Technology Procurement & Deployment
No logistics integration journey would be complete without adding robust new technologies to the mix. Adopting an integrated transportation management system (TMS) and warehouse management system (WMS) shatters data silos and provides an end-to-end view of your operations, processes, and performance.
Streamline Your Shipping Processes With R2
Now that we have explored the question, “What is integrated logistics?” the only thing left to do is tear down the barriers in your logistics processes to streamline the flow of data and optimize your operational efficiency.
In order to do that, though, you’ll need a third-party logistics provider that understands your company’s challenges and how to overcome them, and that’s where R2 Logistics steps in. Interested in learning more about how our logistics operation can improve your shipping process? Contact R2 today.