Logistics describe the process of how a company manages, stores and delivers their goods.
It's an umbrella term that refers to how a company stores, manages and delivers goods. Basically, it’s a way of ensuring products get from A ➡️ B.
There are several moving parts that make up the logistics process. From inventory management and warehousing to customer service and returns, each part ensures products get from the warehouse to the end consumer.
Let’s get into more detail. ✨
What is logistics management?
Say you’re an online company selling beauty products. Ecommerce logistics management is the process of getting those products made, delivered to your warehouse and shipped to your customers.
The bigger your organisation, the more complicated your logistics. In this case, you may need a team dedicated to managing it.
This team will organise the delivery of products from the factory to the warehouse. They’ll ensure orders from your customer service team are packaged by the warehouse. And they’ll organise vehicles to deliver products to your customers. 🚚
What is supply chain management?
When looking at logistics for ecommerce, it’s important to understand how it fits within your overall supply chain management. This is the overarching process of sourcing raw materials, getting them turned into products and delivering them to your consumer. Here are the key stages of supply chain management:
1. Plan what raw materials are needed to meet consumer demand
This is often done by looking at previous years’ trends and understanding what’s going on with consumers. For example, a supermarket might increase its stock of BBQs during the summer months because they know they’re most popular when the longer, warmer evenings draw in.
2. Sourcing the raw materials
Supply chain management will ensure there are enough raw materials available to produce the BBQs. They’ll source them from suppliers and get them delivered to the factory.
3. Creating the products
Next up is getting the BBQ manufactured. This will probably be done in a factory using assembly lines and machinery. Effective supply chain management will make sure there’s little waste of raw materials and there are enough employees to create the products.
4. Delivering the products
The next step is getting the finished BBQs to the consumers. They will involve delivering to the supermarket and fulfilling the customers' orders.
Additionally, companies will need to set up return processes in case their products don’t meet customer expectations. This will all form part of a feedback loop, which will, in turn, improve supply chain management and your ecommerce logistics.
How to manage logistics for my ecommerce business?
Logistics management can seem daunting - especially if you’re a small team managing a huge product catalogue. Luckily, there are some handy apps that’ll do the job for you. 🙌 Here are some to get you started:
- Sendcloud - connect with couriers from around the world including DPD, UPS and FedEx. Sendcloud integrates with ecommerce platforms including Shopify, Wix and WooCommerce, along with popular marketplaces like Amazon, Ebay and Etsy. You’ll be able to track deliveries, print shipping notes and offer tracking information to your customers.
- Tookan - monitor your deliveries from warehouse to customer. Tookan offers barcode generation, inventory management for drivers and lets you send SMS notifications to your customers. It also connects up with WordPress, Magento and Shopify.
- Shippo - a highly-rated apps that promises to save you money on shipping labels. You can brand up your delivery labels, connect up with couriers like DHL and UPS and notify customers with shipping updates. 🚚 Shippo integrates with Squarespace, Shopify and US Postal service.