By definition, this refers to that leg of logistics from production/warehousing facility to the customer. This may have some overlaps with last-mile deliveries but it depends on the industry and the context where it is used.
What does outbound logistics mean to enterprises?
Outbound logistics is crucial for an enterprise to ensure timely delivery of goods to the customer or timely replenishment at the point of sale. This is especially significant in manufacturing and retail supply chains. Some key use cases include:
Plant to warehouse - This consists of that leg when the manufactured product is moved for storage from the production plant. In terms of logistics operations, yard management where the loading happens comes into play. Efficient yard management helps in not just timely execution of operations but also saves a lot of carrier costs by reducing wait times at plants.
Warehouse to store - This is significant as it affects availability of commodities at the retail outlets. Non-availability may result in a poor customer experience and affect brand loyalty. There are also other concerns such as shelving, placement and other in-store operations that this will affect. Hence, hassle-free orchestration of this leg is super critical in ensuring overall efficiencies are intact.
Transportation - This leg is common to both the scenarios mentioned above. Irrespective of where the shipment is going, it is prone to several risks while in-transit.
Last mile delivery - This could be either a B2B or B2C scenario and customer experience is paramount. On-time delivery and track-and-trace visibility are the key priorities to succeed in this leg.
Key differentiators in outbound logistics
Winning in the outbound logistics space needs some key strengths and here is where FarEye can help.
Carrier-level flexibility - One of the biggest challenges enterprises face in this leg is in handling multiple carriers. Often, the carrier selection is based on urgency and availability at that given point of time. However, with FarEye one can make this entirely data-driven. To meet efficiency goals, one has to ensure there is no overhead in terms of cost and the right selection can significantly impact cost savings. Not just that, it is the most important factor in achieving on-time deliveries.
Route performance - A finished good is a lot more valuable and hence prone to a lot more risk while in-transit. It is essential to monitor unauthorised stoppages and adhere to planned routes. Idling times and break times are critical as they impact the overall route performance and eventually on-time delivery. FarEye helps enterprises manage their route performance b y providing real-time and predictive visibility.
ETA & SLA monitoring - Carriers charge shippers by the hour with the commitment of certain service level agreements/SLAs. To adhere to these SLAs is not just essential from a cost standpoint but also to achieve on-time deliveries. Furthermore, when finished goods are being shipped to retailers or other vendors in the ecosystem, to offer them a stable, predictable and smooth delivery experience is essential. This means they need ETA visibility and any divergence from the committed ETAs need to be communicated on a proactive basis in order to deliver a transparent and trust-worthy experience.
Digital Control Tower - This is particularly important for manufacturers as they’d need real-time visibility into the end-to-end transportation cycle. This would also give them the ability to handle exceptions and alerts in real-time. It will give them a chance to achieve stakeholder collaboration and improve overall accountability.
Handling outbound logistics is quite a daunting task but not with the right set of tools and technologies in place. By leveraging technologies such as IoT, fleet telematics, machine-learning & artificial intelligence, not only can enterprises turn outbound logistics into efficient sections of the value chain but also make it a key competitive differentiation. Talk to our experts for more information and if you are facing any challenges in outbound logistics, we’d be really happy to get on a call and figure how we can help.