There is no doubt logistics is relevant in the U.S. and the Inland Empire. During a presentation by the visionary behind the World Logistics Center in the Inland Empire, I heard several amazing statistics. One that stands out in my mind is the fact that the GDP of the 11 Western States would be the 3rd largest economy in the world behind the U.S. and China, largely due to the impact of international trade. Going hand-in-hand with the sheer relevance of logistics is the fact that we’d be hard pressed to find any product solely made in any specific country. For example, Apple has 776 global suppliers. In partnering with several Southern California manufacturers and distributors, the picture below is not uncommon in terms of sourcing requirements to produce a product. The bottom line is that logistics can have a powerful impact on the world economy and on your customer experience and profitability.
What Should We Consider and/or What Impacts Could Arise?
Certainly, a good place to start is to not ignore logistics. It might seem like goods movement wouldn’t be that important yet it can have a profound impact, starting with the customer. Regardless of your supply chain network (whether you are a single manufacturing facility with local suppliers and local customers, a pure global network or anywhere in-between), you must think about your customers (both current and prospective). What type of service and experiences do you need to provide in order to gain customer loyalty? Once you know this answer, you can think further about your network and logistics implications.
Once you are evaluating logistics options, you’ll see the vast array of options and trade-offs. We are collaborating with a client currently to evaluate their supply chain network, and there are far more considerations than you’d think. Before jumping to a decision that you’ll be stuck with for the long-term, take stock of your current situation. Evaluate your forecast and future business. Consider innovative customer collaboration programs. There is a heightened interest in these lately! Understand your customer requirements, and align your supply chain network to these while optimizing sales growth /customer service, cash flow, and profitability.