EVERY PROJECT IS DIFFERENT
This statement is not only used often, it is true to 100%. Especially when we take a closer look at the logistics area as part of the supply chain consulting process, a project is primarily defined by the range of items. So the project will be completely different in diverse industries (and sometimes also within one industry). Washing machines and refrigerators, for example, require a completely different handling than drugs in the pharmaceutical sector. In the food industry, the handling and storage conditions are particularly challenging.
The industry and its range of articles are not the only decisive factors for smooth and efficient warehouse logistics. Also the service level that companies guarantee their customers is important - just think of the picking times. The time required to carry out a picking order should of course be as short as possible. In companies with large warehouses, both the organizational effort before and after the order picking and the transportation time of the order picker are usually longer. However, there is always a great hidden potential for increasing efficiency through process optimization or through the integration of digital solutions.
The distribution channels also define the basis of the project. Are we working with a wholesaler, retail business, e-commerce business, or even an omnichannel retailer? In the analysis, we dig deeper in certain areas as we know the typical weaknesses or unused potential depending on the type of business.
Location and structural conditions also influence the character of a project. When we have the opportunity to plan in a greenfield, we proceed differently than when working with an existing framework.
Last but not least, the social component also determines the success of the project. The project teams on both sides make the difference. We have to work hand in hand internally and at the same time create a good and familiar spirit for the external collaboration. In addition to the technical and professional competences, the social skills of all people involved in the project are vital.
THE TOP 5 FOR SUCCESS
Once the project is defined in its character taking into account the given conditions, it is time for our consultants to step into implementation. In view of the fact that every project is different, it is of course difficult to bring down the success on five factors. Nevertheless, our experience shows that we leave little room for negotiation on certain issues. This is the only way we can guarantee that we really act in accordance with our claim "efficiency redefined", that we deliver every logistics project in the highest quality and to maximize customer satisfaction.
- Master data: The quality of the master data is an important key in every logistics consulting project. Both the relevance and the correctness of information are crucial. At the end of the day, poor data quality is reflected not only in inefficient item handling, but also in a smaller operating profit.
- Goal definition: Success can only be measured if you can compare the results with clearly defined goals and expectations. That is why we invest time in the precise clarification of the goals. What is particularly important here: Clear goals are important not only when implementing new processes or solutions, but already in the consulting process.
- Team: As already mentioned, social factors also play an important role. The commitment of both parties is decisive. Both the consulting team as well as the customer bear a great portion of responsibility. If the project team on the customer side is not supported 100% by the entire company in the project, the project may fail. Openness and transparency must be given in all departments so that we get a holistic, authentic picture of the overall situation in the analysis.
- Communication: Not only a good communication culture, but also a binding communication plan have proven to be decisive for success. When, about what, with whom, how and in what form will communication take place?
- Time: We are paying a lot of attention on the time factor in many ways. On the one hand, the consulting project itself needs a realistic and binding time frame. The customer must also be aware that commissioning a logistics consulting project does not only require time resources on the contractor side. The relevant people on the customer side must also allocate time resources for workshops, warehouse visits and project update meetings.
In spring 2021, LNConsult was involved in a logistics audit. Due to travel restrictions, the entire audit was carried out virtually. On the one hand, it was a huge challenge for the customer who guided LNConsult through the warehouse for three full days with a camera in a live walkthrough. On the other hand, the project was also associated with enormous complexity on the part of LNConsult. Understanding and comprehensively retracing the processes and conditions on site, without visiting the site even once, made the development of optimization proposals a great challenge. In a later project phase, our team was able to visit the customer on site and saw that the first implementations of the optimization suggestions worked out already. This great success despite challenging project setup conditions makes us particularly proud.
Our consultants see the creation of a good spirit within the project team as part of their job and are particularly motivated when they feel as part of the customers company quickly. Most of the time they manage to get accepted in their role after just a few personal appointments. The greater the acceptance from the customer and the stronger the temporary identification of the consultants with the customer, the more successful the projects usually develop. The stronger the mutual trust, the more transparent the work on site can be.
Every logistics project brings new learnings with it. Every company has different requirements, sets different priorities and struggles with different challenges. Our consulting team particularly values the varied work, but also the opportunity for personal development with each new project.