Promoting efficiency in logistics
Dave Swan, Tharsus CTO, discusses network efficiency in logistics
My hypothesis is: when reengineering a network there’s always a way that everybody can win.
There is currently a network opportunity in the logistics supply chain. Put simply, no one owns the whole process so there’s no real incentive for network efficiency. The result is that there is wasted activity being done by lots of individuals that they don’t see because they don’t have a view of the entire network.
For too many businesses, network efficiency is not the priority it should be. Let’s face it, it’s not the reason they get out of bed in the morning. And when there are deadlines to meet and targets to hit, prioritising efficiency can often get pushed down the to-do list.
The net consequence is that there is a whole lot of stuff that no one’s making any money out of but that everyone has to do just to make the network work. This could be paperwork standards, automation approaches or simply how products are palletised.
The point is if everyone got together and took a collaborative approach, they could reduce the labour cost and eliminate the network waste. Just as we see in the UK robotics sector, the best results happen when people and companies work together.
Because this is not just related to logistics. It’s anywhere where you have a network of people collaborating. If everyone is fighting for their margin, the net consequence is that everyone loses. But if people just lift their eyes up and collaborate, everyone benefits.
That collaboration and oversight might come in the form of a trade body, a government agency, Innovate UK or Knowledge Transfer Network. But ultimately, it’s about being open to different ways of doing things, and different ways of collaborating, sharing your challenges, listening to other people’s challenges and looking at other ways to reengineer the way that we currently do things so that everyone benefits.
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