COMPETITIVE by chenmeixiu

VIEWS: 22 PAGES: 8

									GAINING A
COMPETITIVE
ADVANTAGE
A perspective on Using logistics to get AheAd
As compAnies plAn for
growth AgAin, there’s
no better time thAn todAy
to leverAge the power
of the new logistics.
The practice of logistics has changed, making it easier
for any size business to expand globally or seize new
market opportunities quickly.




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                                                                                     What is the neW Logistics
                         Logistics is                                                and Why shouLd you care?

                         much more than
                                                                                     M
                                                                                                ercedes electric supply got its start in 1979 with
                                                                                                just two people, but today is a leading distributor of

                         the movement                                                           electrical equipment, with 45 employees and annual
                                                                                     sales of more than $20 million. Success, however, has not come
                         of goods and                                                easy for the Miami, Florida-based company. As the company
                                                                                     began to gain customers all over the country and the world,
                         services from                                               it struggled to keep up with the demand cost-effectively.
                                                                                     Mercedes Electric had three employees focused on handling
                         a to b.                                                     tedious paper-based processes for shipping and managing
                                                                                     several carriers. Employees couldn’t easily get tracking
                         It can transform your supply chain, large or                information to its customers wondering about the status of
                         small, into a competitive advantage, allowing a             orders. This decentralized, manual system was threatening
                         business to not only serve customers better but             to keep the business from growing and thriving.
                         delight them. It can help a business source from
                                                                                     The economic downturn of the past few years has been a rough
                         any corner of the world and deliver products and            ride for companies all over the globe: many face the same type
                         services to people anywhere, with incredible                of constraints to growth as Mercedes Electric. Surveys show that
                         efficiencies. Logistics can help propel a business          lackluster sales and cash flow issues keep business owners up at
                         into new markets by helping it be more nimble               night. Companies with small staffs may spend too much time pushing
                                                                                     paper around, and not enough on customers and developing lines
                         and creative. Logistics streamlines operations,
                                                                                     of business. They want to expand faster, but tight resources and
                         eliminates manual processes and reduces errors.             budgets seem to get in the way. It can be tough to look at the
                         It can help a business run smarter, faster, and be          bigger picture when a business is focusing on day-to-day survival.
                         more sustainable. It can make “Davids” strong
                                                                                     Yet there’s no time like the present to start thinking about
                         and “Goliaths” agile.
                                                                                     opportunities that lie ahead. Already, certain sectors of the global
                                                                                     economy have begun to show signs of improvement. Companies are
                                                                                     still launching and thriving today despite the economy. There’s no
                                                                                     magic bullet for success, of course, but in the last decade a powerful
                                                                                     weapon has emerged: the new logistics. It’s all about optimizing
                                                                                     the supply chain and processes for sending and receiving goods
     CUSTOMER SERVICE              HEALTHCARE          EFFICIENCY / OPERATIONS
LOGISTICS DELIVERS JOY
                                        logisticsLOGISTICS KEEPSthings humming
                           LOGISTICS IS A LIFESAVER
                                                   keeps THINGS HUMMING              anywhere, anytime. The new logistics applies to any size
                                                                                     business, even one that operates in a basement or garage.

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Consider these real-life examples: A two-person wine reselling
business gets featured in The Wall Street Journal and becomes a                         WhiLe process efficiencies can heLp
leading wine brand in Costco wholesale grocery and consumer                             a company groW, so can customer
goods stores around the country. A one-person business is able to                       service that goes the extra miLe.
globally source, develop, market and then ship worldwide a toy
                                                                                        How a company handles its relationships with its
that kids covet, but the large toy companies won’t bother making.
                                                                                        customers can be a key differentiator from competitors
Innovation starts with ideas, and ambition. But what makes a
                                                                                        in this tough business climate.
business an overnight success?
                                                                                        Take Zappos.com, an online retailer of shoes. Shoes
 two-personwineresellingbusiness
A                                                                                       are a commodity, and there is no shortage of shops
becomesaleadingbrand.                                                                or websites that offer a wide selection and affordable
                                                                                        prices. Knowing this, Zappos came up with an idea to get
Technology, naturally, is a key ingredient. Yet technology can be
                                                                                        more customers coming back to its site: free returns.
overwhelming for many companies, because it can be expensive
and it keeps evolving. For a growing business, the complexity                           With UPS as its partner, Zappos established a returns
may seem not worth the effort.                                                          process that was fast, cost-effective and hassle-free for
                                                                                        customers. While many companies view returns as a
The tools and processes behind a good idea, however, can deliver
                                                                                        money-losing proposition, Zappos turned this potential
speed to market and sometimes, even the ability to disrupt an
                                                                                        loss into a major score. Zappos’ annual gross sales
entire industry sector. This relates to not only the development of
                                                                                        figures grew 625% from 2000-2009, now averaging
products and services, but how to get those offerings out the door
                                                                                        over $2 million per day.
quickly, reliably, and in ways that keep customers coming back.
Improving supply chain processes also saves companies money
and time, savings which can be applied toward developing
new ideas, whether for a new product or a related service that
provides unique marketplace differentiation.

The new logistics is applied thinking that goes far beyond
the shipping room to maximize the value of supply chains
and deliver superior customer service. It can help any business
compete on a global scale. Without the right tools a business may
move slower due to heavy paperwork, error-producing processes,
and a disproportionate amount of time resolving customer service
issues. In this economy, no one can afford to mishandle a basic
process, such as delivering a product on time to a customer.
No one should overlook the power of logistics as a means               SUSTAINABILITY
                                                                LOGISTICS IS SUSTAINABLE
                                                                                                       GLOBAL                 CUSTOMER SERVICE


                                                                                                                                    brings
                                                                                                                     logistics DELIVERS JOY joy
                                                                                            LOGISTICS SHRINKS THE WORLD   LOGISTICS
                                                                                                                                                          HEALTHCARE
                                                                                                                                                  LOGISTICS IS A LIFESAVER
                                                                                                                                                                                     EFFICIENCY / OPERATIONS
                                                                                                                                                                             LOGISTICS KEEPS THINGS HUMMING


of achieving competitive advantage.

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                                                                                               and going, a company can better meet customer expectations
                                                                                               and effectively manage inventory. And if a new customer from a
                                                                                               far-flung region materializes, a business can give them the same
                                                                                               dependable service as it gives customers around the block.

                                                                                               Finally, bottom lines often suffer because companies are spending
                                                                                               too much effort resolving customer service issues and questions,
                                                                                               whereas through technology, automated shipping notifications can
                                                                                               enable customers to self-service and eliminate those “where’s my
                                                                                               order” calls. Freeing up staff means less time spent troubleshooting
                                                                                               and more time for cross-selling and up-selling to customers.


                                                                                               Logistics: LeveLing the pLaying fieLd


                                                                                               F
                                                                                                     ortunately, businesses of all sizes and in all sectors can
                                                                                                     now take advantage of the new logistics. In fact, 80% of
                                                                                                     businesses say that logistics is critical to their companies,
                                                                                               according to Lightspeed Research (2009). Imagine being able to
                                                                                               grow or contract as business conditions change, without incurring
                                                                                               extra costs. A seasonal business, for instance, can more easily
                                                                                               expand during those busy times of the year without needing to
                                                                                               add staff to meet demand, with the right kind of automation in
                                                                                               place and an outsourcing partner. Even a niche retailer with a
moving beyond manuaL processes                                                                 small staff can become a logistics expert and subsequently



M
           ost companies have some level of automation,                                        expand its global reach.
           for accounting, collaboration, and to facilitate
           order management. Yet when it comes to shipping,
paper-based processes are still common. A company may not                                         Let’s say you have a Luxury product
have systems for electronically processing and tracking inbound                                   With speciaL shipping needs...
and outbound shipments, to start. This means that employees                                       al nassma, based in Dubai, is a provider of high-end
are re-creating shipping documents over and over again, each                                      chocolate products made from expensive ingredients
time opening the door for costly errors. They may not be able to                                  including camel’s milk and bourbon vanilla. Al Nassma
allocate shipping costs to each customer, which can complicate                                    needs its chocolates to be perfect upon arrival.
the billing process and potentially eat into profits. Due to a lack of
                                                                                                  Using reliable UPS express services and real-time
integration with order-entry systems, companies may not be able
                                                                                                  tracking tools, company managers can make sure that
to easily include invoices in outbound shipments. This can impact
                                                                                                  chocolate gets to customers within the acceptable time
customer service and delay payment. Beyond the basics, though,
                                                                                                  frame and condition for maintaining the best quality.
there are many more pieces to the puzzle. By adding automation
                                                                                                  That capability gives Al Nassma a chance to compete
to these areas, which is often free, a company can realize
                                                                                                  alongside established brands such as Godiva.
transformative bottom-line savings.
                                                                            SUSTAINABILITY                        GLOBAL                     CUSTOMER SERVICE            HEALTHCARE                 EFFICIENCY / OPERATIONS
                                                                    LOGISTICS IS SUSTAINABLE           LOGISTICS SHRINKS THE WORLD      LOGISTICS DELIVERS JOY   LOGISTICS IS A LIFESAVER   LOGISTICS KEEPS THINGS HUMMING
Many business owners don’t think their companies are big enough
to worry about optimizing their supply chain — frequently not even
realizing they have a supply chain to optimize. But a customer may
still need a product the next day, and if a manager realizes too late
that the product is out of stock, that’s a problem. No matter the
volume of a company’s shipments, it can grow faster with better            INTERNATIONAL AIR                     SAVES TIME                    TECHNOLOGY                SAVES MONEY
                                                                  LOGISTICS TRAVELS EVERYWHERE            LOGISTICS SAVES TIME           LOGISTICS IS SMART
insight into the flow of goods and parts between the company, and                                                                    logistics is smart          LOGISTICS SAVES MONEY



its customers and suppliers. With visibility into what is coming

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                                                                  UPS CORE HEARTS
                                                                                                                  maKe ordering easier for customers.

   Key Logistics                                                                                                  Companies can easily integrate shipping into e-commerce sites
                                                                                                                  and processes, so that customers can select a specific service

   tooLs that WorK.                                                                                               from the ordering page and receive e-mail status updates later.
                                                                                                                  Employees and customers can even check on shipments from
   While many companies may focus on the                                                                          a mobile phone application. Many companies are taking orders
   process of shipping a package from point                                                                       from customers in all corners of the globe, and these customers
                                                                                                                  expect the same kind of first-class service they get from large
   A to point Z, there’s much more to this equation.
                                                                                                                  enterprises. It’s possible to deliver this level of service without
   Using low-cost tools and partners, companies                                                                   investing in an infrastructure and a logistics department
   can grow faster, save money and time, and                                                                      to make it happen.
   deliver superior customer service to boot.
              SUSTAINABILITY                    GLOBAL                  CUSTOMER SERVICE            HEALTHCARE                 EFFICIENCY / OPERATIONS
      LOGISTICS IS SUSTAINABLE       LOGISTICS SHRINKS THE WORLD   LOGISTICS DELIVERS JOY   LOGISTICS IS A LIFESAVER   LOGISTICS KEEPS THINGS HUMMING
                                                                                                               expedite shipments to other countries.
                                                                                                               In today’s world, size should be immaterial to the ability to
                                                                                                               satisfy a customer in any country. If a company distributes
                                                                                                               medicine, could it get the vaccine to another continent in time
                                                                                                               to save lives? Online customs tools can help businesses navigate
             INTERNATIONAL AIR                 SAVES TIME                 TECHNOLOGY                SAVES MONEY
                                                                                                               quickly through import or export documentation and submit
    LOGISTICS TRAVELS EVERYWHERE
                                 logistics saves time
                                      LOGISTICS SAVES TIME          LOGISTICS IS SMART      LOGISTICS SAVES MONEY
                                                                                                               customs forms electronically so that a shipment will arrive on
                                                                                                               time. Logistics gets exciting when it helps a business enter new
                                                                                                               markets more quickly, as opportunities arise.
  UPS these
hoW CORE HEARTS tooLs WorK:
                                                                                                                  improve cash fLoW.
create and tracK your shipments With the cLicK
                                                                                                                  Slow accounts receivables is a top reason why companies suffer
of a mouse.
                                                                                                                  from cash flow problems. By simply adding electronic billing,
Instead of filling out paper forms, simple online tools can create
                                                                                                                  however, business can improve invoice accuracy and turnaround
labels and integrate with customer databases. These tools allow
                                                                                                                  times. And for repeat customers, using shipment automation
for the tracking of shipments every step of the way, and eliminate
                                                                                                                  means that the order and invoice go out even faster, accelerating
the rekeying of data for repeat customers. By linking order entry
                                                                                                                  payment. With more cash on hand, the company can invest more
data capture to shipping software, a business can streamline
                                                                                                                  capital in its services, products and customer relationships. In
that process even further. And returns can be made painless for
                                                                                                                  addition, visibility into inbound and outbound shipments enables
customers too — through software that automatically prints or
                                                                                                                  better planning of staff resources for product stocking and shift
e-mails return labels with every order. All of these tools enable
                                                                                                                  planning. That helps a business be more nimble to meet demand
faster processing, higher service levels and fewer errors. This
                                                                                                                  as it arises, and thereby increase revenues.
can make a small business look much larger in the marketplace.


                                                                                                            6
                                                                                                                                          mercedes Laporta, president, mercedes electric supply




                                                                                                   T
                                                                                                          o complete the story of mercedes electric supply, which

Logistics:
                                                                                                          was struggling with inefficiencies related to managing its
                                                                                                          global supply chain, the new logistics helped the company

the secret sauce
                                                                                                          restructure and improve profitability by 20%. Beyond
                                                                                                   streamlining its transportation network through UPS, the company

for driving                                                                                        now has one integrated system to automate all of its shipping
                                                                                                   processes, including tracking and reporting. Logistics enabled

profits, customer                                                                                  the company to get beyond its growing pains and refocus on
                                                                                                   customers and the business, rather than the processes.

LoyaLty and                                                                                         For services-based industries, such as insurance, logistics is also

gLobaL expansion.                                                                                  an effective way to save time and ultimately, grow accounts.
                                                                                                   acuity, a property and casualty insurance company with 900
A logistics challenge can have transformative                                                      independent agencies in 19 states, must be able to quickly
                                                                                                   deliver documents to its customers to win their business. Using
benefits if you think more broadly about
                                                                                                   UPS services and free tools, Acuity was able to respond to 15%
its impact across the organization. Many                                                           more quote requests in 2009 than in the previous year. As well,
business leaders today need to squeeze                                                             because client information is stored in the shipping software,
efficiencies from every process, as a strategy                                                     there is no need to rekey information, which reduces the
for increasing profits. Logistics is at the heart                                                  chance of error and delays. All of those efficiencies add up
                                                                                                   to more satisfied customers and more business.
of this effort, because when deployed well, it
can not only create bottom-line impact, but                                                        Finally, there’s the case of smartphone experts, an online
also enhanced customer experience, customer                                                        retailer of smartphone accessories, which grew so quickly that
loyalty and business growth. And with the                                                          in 2007, Inc. ranked it as America’s fastest-growing retailer.
                                                                                                   Critical to maintaining that momentum was partnering with UPS
ability to offset the carbon impact of your
                                                                                                   to streamline imports of products from China and navigating
shipments, it can help you be greener too.
                                                                                                   the customs process in order to reliably deliver those products
                                                                                                   to a customer base that had expanded from the United States
                                                                                                   to Europe and Canada. Managing its international supply chain
                                                                                                   with confidence and also achieving a high on-time delivery rate
                                                                                                   has helped the company maintain a three-year growth rate of
                                                                                                   2600%. Certainly, offering a large selection of products that
                                                                                                   customers in all industries covet is key, yet equally important is
         SUSTAINABILITY                  GLOBAL           CUSTOMER SERVICE           HEALTHCARE                 EFFICIENCY / OPERATIONS
  LOGISTICS IS SUSTAINABLE
                                                       the
                          logistics shrinks WORLD world DELIVERS JOY
                                 LOGISTICS SHRINKS THE     LOGISTICS
                                                                                                   the logistics that supports the timely management and
                                                                             LOGISTICS IS A LIFESAVER   LOGISTICS KEEPS THINGS HUMMING



                                                                                                   movement of those goods.

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ups: We Love Logistics.
UPS knows and loves logistics. We’ve been doing it for companies of all sizes, in
all industries, for over 100 years and run the most globally integrated logistics system
on the planet. UPS has a seamless network that brings together air, sea, rail and ground
resources along with over 400,000 employees to help you reach new markets, delight
customers, lower costs and green your supply chain - large or tiny- while keeping your
costs in line. Each and every year, UPS invests millions of dollars in logistics technology:
new software and systems that give you ever more accurate information and control.
We have entered the exciting era of logistics for all. This is a time when virtually any
company of any size should understand the power and opportunity of logistics and
how to put it to work for them. Put the passion, pride and experience of UPS to
work for you, and you will love logistics as much as we do.




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