Five ways to drive efficiency in international logistics

If your International supply chain partners are not able to operate at optimal efficiency, they pass an increased pricing on to your company. When expectations aren’t met by your partners it is difficult to control the logistics flow, which reduces efficiency and also decreases their level of commitment to your goals and expectations. If you were to add the extra time that your personnel spend working through the chaos to the costs of the resulting inventory sub-optimization you would get the current state of international management at most companies. Without these five components of complex international logistics operations, inefficiency is amplified:

1. Strong partnerships: International supply chain partners share a general lack of trust and due to companies having been burned in the past so therefore they are unwilling to make a commitment to do anything out of the reactive norm. Building strong partnerships requires a serious effort to communicate and demonstrate your own level of commitment to achieving your goal.

2. Standardization: Having standards established for each supply chain partner is critical. Not only does this benefit your company but it also drives the same consistent, reliable flow for each partner.

3. Visibility: Full visibility for each partner in your supply chain enables efficiency. Workload imbalances are amplified in the international realm, but as your supply chain partners look upstream, each one of them is ale to plan and allocate resources to assist overall efficiency which will help to ensure high service levels to your organisation.

4. Communication: Inclement weather or heightened border security or any other factors that affect the standardized flow of a complex global supply chain will always be present. If communication is enabled that allows each supply chain partner to take immediate action as needed.

5. Controls: The need for controls in the international realm is amplified. More parties are involved which creates greater complexity. A lack of full alignment toward strategic goals results in higher direct costs and can be challenging to the day to day flow of logistics operations. You should consider implementing a centralized decision making process, a proper organizational structure and division of responsibilities, internal audits and a formal problem solving process.