What is Logistics Planning? A Detailed Guide for eCommerce Sellers on Significance, Benefits and Recommendations for Streamlining Logistics Planning Process in 2024

Any operating plan’s main objective is to achieve its objectives. A strategic plan is a structure made up of a number of benchmarks that maintains an operational program on course to guarantee the accomplishment of specified goals. This strategic plan outlines the fundamental characteristics of the company, including the brand’s essence, ultimate objectives, and method for accomplishing those objectives.

The strategic plan simultaneously addresses the expectations and concerns of the consumers.

According to the Harvard Business Review, 67% of business strategies are thought to fail due to poor implementation. Therefore, the organisation’s success depends heavily on excellent logistics planning and design and successful implementation.

When strategic logistics planning integrates the operational and tactical levels of logistics planning and addresses the four main supply chain pain points of facility locations, customer service levels, inventory management system, and transportation decision-making, it is considered comprehensive and practical.

What is Logistics Planning?

A business owner organises logistics to get the ideal product to the ideal customer at the ideal moment for the most affordable price. A form of logistics management is this. Logistics planning aims to create a lean, cost-effective logistics organisation that can maintain service levels despite supply chain disruptions.

Although each retailer’s logistics planning procedure may be slightly different, it typically entails taking into account the various logistical operations (such as making purchases, manufacturing, and transportation) and scheduling all the various logistical tasks related to each system, such as warehouse management, eCommerce fulfilment, returns management, raw material handling, and inventory management. The director of logistics is generally in charge of overseeing the planning process, even if other significant stakeholders might offer input.

Through logistical planning, these systems and functions are evaluated for cost, optimised for efficiency, and constructed to withstand unforeseen issues.

Goal Of Strategic Logistics Planning

Logistics planning guarantees that your business or clients receive adequate logistical services at the lowest possible cost. By extension, logistic planning service is a specific kind of logistics management frequently provided by consultants and third-party logistics organisations (3PLs). It entails assuring the viability of your business plan by bringing all of your logistical requirements together and developing a detailed plan that the logistics manager can implement.

To meet these logistical requirements, you must ensure that all of your resources are:

  • In the right quantities, neither too much nor too little, to avoid supply price fluctuations and unnecessary storage expenses, of acceptable quality to make the final items you intend,
  • Adequately sourced in terms of reliability, transparency, and public perception risk,
  • In the appropriate location where your company may use them,
  • To avoid delays and shortages and to enable a leaner, low-storage model,
  • And for the correct price, which is not necessarily the lowest price but the most effective and efficient one.

Logistics planning services are employed to ensure that your facilities and procedures are suitable and sufficient to fulfil the foreseen future needs of an organisation, management, coordination, supply, and control. It is an effort to future-proof your company’s logistics operation in uncertain and chaotic times.

Older logistical planning approaches distinguished between internal logistics, which deals with the supplies, labour, and other resources required to make our products, and external logistics, which is the actual distribution of produced items. Modern planning approaches typically combine these arbitrary distinctions into “whole supply chain” logistics. In the end, the supply chain that connects your suppliers (and all of their suppliers) to your customers goes via your company.

A strategic logistics planning service can only ensure a steady, predictable flow through for your logistics functions and produce a logistic plan that will ease you through supply, demand, and consumer opinion changes by understanding and mapping the entirety of this massively interconnected supply chain.

WareIQ – Amazon-prime Like Logistics for Modern Brands in India

WareIQ, an eCommerce fulfillment company, empowers online brands with a superior-tech platform to compete with Amazon like service levels by bringing their average delivery timelines from 5-10 days to 1-2 days.

"With WareIQ’s full stack digital enabled fulfillment solution, we got access to the pan India network of fulfillment centers & cold storage facilities enabling same/next day delivery, without any upfront investment in supply chain infrastructure from our end. During the IPL campaign in April 2022, WareIQ efficiently handled unpredictable 200x surges in daily order volumes of ~20k/day with a 99% fulfillment rate. With WareIQ as our preferred fulfillment partner, we witnessed 172% growth in online order volume in just 4 months, with a significant improvement in the overall customer experience in fulfillment."
- Damanbir Singh, Product & Operations Head, Lil’Goodness

Significance Of Logistics Planning Services For eCommerce Businesses

Every company performs some logistics activities. You must provide your clients with goods, services, and information in exchange for payment. You will be responsible for locating raw materials, components, or finished goods, moving personnel, units, and materials, and ensuring that everything runs well. You work hard daily to keep costs to a minimum, maintain and raise customer service standards, prevent or lessen interruptions of all types, and raise the calibre of your output to remain competitive. Unfortunately, your logistical performance is declining daily rather than increasing.

The problem is that your company’s core competencies aren’t in logistics, which includes supply, transportation, and delivery. It isn’t what makes your items unique, and it isn’t your competitive edge in the market. Your areas of strength and most significant potential for success in the business are innovation, design, and production. For this reason, you require a partner in logistics planning and management. Supply chain management and organisational professionals run a good logistic planning service. Specialists focusing on organising and planning logistical operations can support your logistical process just as much as you can with management and production.

Putting policies and procedures in place that will keep you productive and profitable no matter what can be done with the support of an expert, dedicated logistic planning agency will help you identify your logistical needs today and shortly. In addition, increased customer satisfaction, fewer disruptions, and the ability to lessen the effects of those that cannot be avoided are all benefits of a well-planned logistics function that lowers actual costs.

Even better, the price for this calibre of specialised logistic planning service is not what it seems. Despite having what it takes to surpass in-house logistics planning and management in nearly every measurable manner, a properly planned and managed logistics function, operated entirely or partially by a 3PL, is typically less expensive than a wholly on-site, in-house operation.

This is the driving force behind the transition of organisations of all stripes to the usage of logistics planning services or other 3PL services. Every market is experiencing a hardening of competition. As a result, performance, dependability, and efficiency are more crucial than ever. You may get the effectiveness, reliability, and increased profitability you need with the help of a professional third party logistics service provider.

What are the Advantages of Strategic Logistics Planning?

Strategic planning is essential to the security and longevity of your company.

Like any strategy or backup plan, it aids in safeguarding your company from unforeseen difficulties. But, beyond securing the future, logistics planning may enhance daily operations and put you in a position to succeed now and in the future.

The following are advantages of having an eCommerce logistics place for your business.

Effective Route Planning

The efficient and seamless delivery of goods is required, along with adherence to timelines and road safety regulations. Intelligent route planning makes it simple to choose the best routes, helps prevent traffic jams, makes it simple to keep track of the status of drivers and vehicles, cuts down on empty miles, and ensures that the items arrive to clients in good condition and on schedule. In addition, a strong fulfilment rate and client satisfaction are guaranteed by intelligent route planning.

Creates A Pathway For Achieving Long-Term Objectives

When you first launch an eCommerce business, you might not be considering the long term because building your brand is a full-time job in and of itself. But after your company is established, logistics planning can help to ensure that it can expand and survive.

Planning logistics forces you to consider your company’s short- and long-term objectives. It would be best if you first established goals for your future growth to make informed decisions about how to manage your logistics.

However, to accomplish those objectives and turn a profit, you must determine how to continue to meet client demand while reducing logistics costs. This is impossible without careful logistics planning procedures like storage, shipping, and fulfilment.

A solid logistics operating plan will keep you on schedule, within budget, and in line with customer expectations, allowing you to work efficiently towards your immediate objectives.

By completing those short-term objectives, you will be better prepared to achieve long-term goals later on. In addition, you may relax about chance mishaps or unforeseen difficulties later on by building a resilient supply chain through logistics planning now.

Lower Supply Chain Expenses

eCommerce companies frequently go over budget when it comes to logistics. However, planning your logistics can help reduce unnecessary costs that impact your revenues.

You won’t be tempted to panic and choose an expensive option out of convenience if you have a plan for carrying out your logistics. Instead, by planning, you may discover the most cost-effective supply chain solutions and consider any unanticipated hidden logistics expenses (such as labour, warehouse insurance, and equipment).

If you outsource logistics, the proper 3PL will also help your supply chain save money. These organisations are adept at handling logistics tasks more quickly, cheaply, and effectively than most eCommerce companies could on their own. As your partner, their methods will help you save time and money.

Increasing Client Satisfaction

Planning strategically for logistics aids in delivering prompt, high-quality service. Since delayed deliveries can displease customers, a management strategy can constantly work to enhance transportation procedures and eliminate disruptions. More value can be added to the customer experience by offering superior customer services and seamless freight handling. An improved customer experience can boost a brand’s or business’s reputation and encourage additional sales. Consequently, careful logistics planning enhances the entire consumer experience.

Increase Revenue

Companies can thoroughly understand their operations through logistics planning, which also enhances customer interactions and lessens the need to have excess goods on hand—this aids in raising the order fulfilment rate, which increases the company’s profitability. In addition, companies can reduce operational expenses and maintain coordinated supply chain management by using route optimization tools, the newest technical advancements, and enhancing fleet capacity utilisation.

8 Recommendations for Streamlining Your Logistics Planning Processes in 2024

Whatever aspect of your logistics you’re planning, eCommerce organisations may use a few easy tactics to boost overall logistical performance. Here are some suggestions for optimising your entire logistics operation and strengthening your supply chain in 2024.

Ensure Improved Management of Activities At Ground Level

Logistics management works to connect all resources and interact with multiple divisions to provide a clearer, more transparent view of operations. The transportation process can be streamlined, and better control can be ensured to reduce delivery disruptions with real-time access to information throughout the entire delivery process.

Bring Supplies Nearer to Consumers

To meet delivery deadlines, the location of inventory is crucial. The distance between the client and the goods must decrease because customers constantly anticipate speedier delivery services. Locating inventory can help shorten delivery times and keep prices down. Logistics management has to do this.

Automate Essential Logistics Processes

Automation eliminates manual intervention, which saves time and money, especially when it comes to repetitive chores. Automating key logistics processes, including scheduling, work distribution, roster management, and route planning, can save errors, enhance customer satisfaction, and foster high operational excellence. Regarding the execution of processes, automation ensures swiftness, accuracy, quality, and efficiency.

Adopt Sophisticated Routing Techniques

Planning delivery routes that are highly productive and efficient is made possible by advanced routing techniques. In addition, transportation costs and delays can be significantly decreased by considering various external elements, such as weather, one-ways, tonnage, empty miles, risk considerations, and more recent route planning platforms.

Develop Customer-Centric Last-Mile Deliveries

Modern clients, driven by a desire for quick gratification, demand to know where their orders are, when they are shipped when they will be delivered, and who will be delivering them. Customers should be given the option to choose and modify the delivery date, time, and location using self-service delivery models from brands. Making logistics operations, especially the final mile, customer-centric is therefore crucial.

Lower Carbon Emissions

One of the leading causes of rising carbon emissions worldwide is transportation. Large-scale resource use and carbon emissions are primarily the results of human activity. Businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by implementing modern technologies like route optimization, automation, machine learning, and digital documentation.

Forecast Demand to Fulfil Consumer Expectations

Demand forecasting is essential for logistics planning because having adequate inventory to fulfil demand is essential for delivering the right product to the right client at the right time.

When you can estimate demand levels accurately, you may avoid mistakenly overstocking or understocking any SKUs, which are bad for your company’s productivity and financial health.

Inventory forecasting impacts your budget, production schedule, storage expenses, and inventory turnover, in addition to helping you achieve customer expectations. However, the effectiveness of your overall operation won’t be affected by incorrect estimates or assumptions if you always include demand projections in your logistics planning.

Develop Effective Risk Management Techniques

Through strategic logistics planning supported by digital logistics solutions, businesses can strengthen the resilience of their supply networks and safeguard them against catastrophes. Lack of agility and strength in logistics is caused by rigid procedures and a lack of openness. To ensure consumer loyalty and higher margins, businesses must embrace digital tools that help reduce thefts, pilferage, and damage.

How WareIQ Optimizes Logistics Planning For Fastest Fulfilment?

Planning for logistics is a constant optimization process that demands regular time and focuses. However, many organisations pick WareIQ as their fulfilment and distribution partner to utilize the logistics planning services and capabilities they require because of their constrained bandwidth.

WareIQ is a strategic logistics partner that utilizes technology and has years of experience in logistics services such as shipping and fulfilment. To ensure that each of our customers can deliver the right order at the right time and at the right cost, through growth spurts and disasters alike, we have developed the tools and logistics infrastructure that B2B and B2C brands rely on to help them plan their logistics and meet both anticipated and unforeseen challenges.

Starting with the management and storage of your products, WareIQ offers solutions for eCommerce logistics. With the help of WareIQ, your company can ship anywhere quickly and economically by storing your products at one or many of our strategically located fulfilment centres using a dispersed inventory strategy.

Logistics Planning: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)