What Factors Would Affect Distribution Network Design?

Posted on December 4, 2017 @ 2:02 pm

Supply chains have greatly evolved over the past few decades. The modern logistics manager is now faced with competitive pressures, extensive product lines and greater expectations from customers. The manner in which these changes are handled by businesses could mean the difference between survival, burnout and even extinction. So whether you\’re seeking to tweak your business strategy or control costs, you need to keenly adhere to the various elements that affect distribution network design.

Because the modern business climate is largely unpredictable, a flexible approach is required when developing a logistics network. Planning for likely (and unlikely) shifts in the supply chain profile should drive the formulation of policies and equipment specifications as well. This way, firms are able to create an integrated yet simple network that makes it easy to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

A demand-driven supply network requires having products at the most suitable location all the time. And with global clients knocking at your door, preparedness is highly critical. Operations should be tailored to support a streamlined network from end to end. Key areas to optimize include the inbound flow of raw materials and the outbound flow of finished products. You may also be required to adjust your client support systems to function round the clock.

Just as government policy has an effect on business, logistics managers have an obligation to be involved and aware of laws that involve their niches. Rules on taxation, infrastructure and labor are constantly changed on all levels of government. Without the right input, uninformed decisions could dramatically affect supply chain operations. So it\’s important to not only familiarize yourself in the regulations, but also take up an active role in the formulation of these policies.

The days of keypunching in logistics activities and arduous paperwork are fast becoming a distant memory. In today\’s digital world, information needs to be delivered precisely and promptly. Modern distribution execution systems come packed with standardized features and real-time interfaces. To keep up, you need to invest in industry-tailored programs that will facilitate smoother processes.

Businesses that aren\’t able to speedily fulfill orders can\’t be competitive for long. An efficient, quick supply chain is highly critical, especially in this digital era. From vendor compliance to execution systems, your entire logistics network needs to keep pace with current e-commerce speeds. Streamlining your distribution nodes would greatly help in matching your clients\’ expectations. Besides, you\’ll be better placed to account for the increased inventory turnover, short product lives and other elements that characterize modern commerce.

Accountability is absolutely crucial in distribution departments. And it\’s the responsibility of managers to make the difficult calls needed to enforce accountability. When outlining related protocols, care must always be taken that each policy works for the good of the entire organization.

No matter how well-designed, a distribution network will start to show signs of age as time goes by. Regular optimization is thus needed to create streamlined delivery processes. And to pull this off, you need to gather some data and develop models suitable for your own entity, since no two supply networks can be identical. To ensure you get the right results, it would help to engage an experienced consultant throughout your project.

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