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Because most companies outsource transportation, and many outsource warehousing and other logistics services as well, logistics is subject to intense market forces. Logistics managers are continually negotiating contracts and evaluating what they do in order to determine what can be effectively performed in-house, and what others can do better. Such evaluations require a thorough understanding of partner capabilities in addition to market rates. Benchmarking allows logistics managers to find out how competitive they and their partners actually are.
Because logistics is subject to so many market factors, benchmarking must be done at regular intervals. These factors include weather, fuel costs, regulatory changes, political developments and continually changing rates for truck, intermodal and water-borne transportation. Faced with such variables, logistics benchmarking can provide an overall view of current performance, and a valuable indicator of market trends and opportunities. APQC, an internationally recognized nonprofit research organization, is offering you the opportunity to benchmark your logistics processes at no cost.
Logistics Realities: As outlined by the APQC Process Classification Framework, logistics managers are responsible for defining logistics strategy, planning inbound material flow, overseeing warehousing, managing outbound transportation, and managing returns and reverse logistics. Their challenge is to provide superior logistics and transportation services while holding the line on costs. That's a tall order in the face of continually rising freight rates triggered by fuel price spikes, strong national and global demand, driver shortages and a variety of other factors.
Top performing logistics organizations, which balance in-house and outsourced activities, have implemented practices, processes, and systems that enable the organization to fulfill orders faster and more completely with lower investments in inventory.
Objectives of APQC Logistics Benchmarks: The following metrics for world-class logistics management, aided by benchmarking, would offer a competitive edge.
Reduce physical inventory and related carrying costs
Reduce transportation and freight costs as a percentage of revenue
Improve inventory visibility and accuracy
Improve customer on-time delivery rates
Improve order and line-item fill rates
Reduce the amount of labor required to fulfill customer orders
Maximize trailer/container utilization to take advantage of full-load cost savings
Improve labor productivity and speed up dock-to-stock and pick-to-ship cycle times
Reduce or eliminate expediting costs
As APQC has repeatedly confirmed through a broad variety of research projects, efforts to improve productivity, cycle time, and quality do not require mutually exclusive trade-offs. For example, when the root causes of quality problems are identified and corrected, it often leads to improved productivity and reduced cycle times.
Again, there is no cost to participate in this logistics research, and in return for submitting your data, you will receive a customized report that includes an overview of the metrics and practices at top-performing organizations. Start your benchmarking today by going to the following URL:
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