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Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness Logistic Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness
American Military University
Tamiko Terry 1 Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 2 Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness
The global business community is growing at a high rate demanding proper measures to
ensure that every organization provides high-quality goods and services on time. Firms of
different sizes and operations face particular challenges in their daily activities. It requires
adequate planning, controlling, proper management practices and storage mechanisms to remain
relevant in the market and deal with any logistical issues that may arise.
Logistical challenges originate from the initial stage of raw materials suppliers to the
final stage where the customers receive the product or service. If a business overlooks any issue
in the whole process, it could be disastrous. The management ought to put measures in place that
deal with the logistical problems arising. Global logistics is also becoming common among large
firms which extend their operations to other nations and states.
A company desiring to spread its operations beyond the current location should consider
issues such as delivery time, quality of product, adaptation of global logistic plans among other
matters. Coordination and collaboration among all the firm's departments are necessary to curb
the issues which may arise during the operations. In developing nations, enterprises face a crucial
decision to deal with the lack of infrastructure, economies instability, shifting politics, limited
technological growth and lack of proper management skills.
Managers have to come up with strategic measures which deal with all these challenges.
The transition from local to global operations also has a considerable impact on the entire
functioning of the organization. No business can operate smoothly without logistical difficulties
and therefore strategies to streamline the operations must fall into place. Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 3 Several logistical issues affect organizations, and they include;
Changing customer needs
In current business transactions, each client requires specific logistics solutions tailored to
them. One strategy is no longer efficient for the entire customer base. Every department in a
company must work to provide the best services and meet the customers' expectations at all
times. Considering the occasional changes in choice and preference of the customers, putting up
with their needs at all times can be challenging at times. This problem has resulted in companies
adopting measures such as full transparency and reverse logistics (Poirier, 2010).
On time delivery
For enterprises that have gone global, delivery on time is a significant issue. The shipping
containers are unpredictable and may occasionally have breakdowns. This inconvenience results
to a delay in the provision of commodities, hence, lowering the trust that customers have in the
company. The numerous interconnections among different states will cause the shipping problem
to increase due to traffic and increased goods on board (Morton, 2005).
In the shipping companies, infrastructure is a major logistical problem. There are
thousands of vessels operating around the globe and serving major trade routes. Most of the
terminals cannot accept and service vessels of large sizes which cause congestion problems at
some of the existing terminals. There are plans to increase the number of terminals and ease the
congestion. Although it is a move to solve the problem, it will take time before completion and
the infrastructure problem remains a menace. Infrastructural problems significantly affect
enterprises in the less developed countries. Their change of route to use facilities in developed
countries creates the congestion which contributes to infrastructural problems (Blanchard, 2010). Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 4 Capacity
Excess capacity in the ocean shipping and increased pressure in domestic shipping in
countries such as the US is affecting the entire world in a sophisticated manner. The freight rates
are also on the rise due to the increased numbers of large vessel deliveries. It is ironical that lack
of demand was the problem a few years ago, but now excess supply is causing problems in the
delivery sector. The US is suffering a shortage in delivery trucks. The increased regulatory
policies cost pressure, and aging workforce are limiting the smooth flow of cargo in the local
Security is an issue of primary concern in several logistic operations. During shipping,
commodities shift from one individual to another. The shippers mark the goods with domestic
truckers then deliver the goods to a local warehouse. From the warehouse, the carriers transfer
cargo into trucks and transport the containers to the destination. By the time the load gets to its
last location, it has been through several sets of hands. Unless all persons involved in this process
are diligent, security can be an enormous issue. If any party fails to follow the code of conduct in
the delivery of the goods, then there is a possibility of something negative happening hence
causing problems in the entire shipment.
Uncertain supply chain risks and volatility
Companies suffer uncertainty and risk since they do not know what awaits them the next
minute. Disasters may occur, and it requires the company to put in place actions that will deal
with much of the risk. To manage a firm's risk and uncertainty, companies should access
potential issues, come up with viable options to take and get transparency on the supplier's
operations. Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 5 Less supply chain visibility
In domestic shipments, the shipment is usually handled by an individual carrier, hence,
facilitate tracking and visibility. Moreover, transit times in domestic shipments are relatively fast
which limits extended visibility. Visibility allows monitoring of the product on board and
continuous tracking until it gets to the final destination. In global operations, visibility is a
significant problem since specialized control equipment is required to monitor the multiple
carriers in contact with the product.
Greater supply chain variability
The difference between the expected and what is delivered is a key issue in any business
operations. Customers expect an exact copy of what is advertised to be delivered. Occasionally,
this does not happen. It is hindered by several factors including mechanical or infrastructural
failure. Companies should monitor their supply chain capabilities and determine how they
translate to the global market.
Managing supply chain vulnerability
Supply chain vulnerability exists where a product can be damaged or infected by nuclear
agents or the composition of the products changed. Extended global logistics flows which are
less controlled, increase the rate of destruction of the products being shipped. At times where air
transport is shut down and inventories rapidly deleted, firms and suppliers suffer the damage.
Maintaining supply chain velocity
While companies work to grow the product movement in the supply process, thus reduce
costs by decreasing the product storage time and destruction, the transit times and border points
hinder the commodity speed. Increased movement times and exposure during transport enhances
the danger of harm and also reduce speed and flexibility. Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 6 A company's management can adopt several measures to deal with the critical issues that
affect logistics. These actions include;
Proper governance- The necessary step is to have good leaders and employ excellent
management skills at the workplace. Good management entails leading, planning, controlling,
coordinating and organizing. Good leadership brings all these functions together which enhances
the flow of goods and products. The firms can also rely on the local decision-making authority to
conduct sophisticated operations (Ballou, 2007).
Reliance on local skills- Where a company is entering a new territory, it should rely on
local hiring and local leadership for successful operations. Due to the uncertainty and risks in
place, the firm can take advantage of the available skills for successful operations in the new
Partnerships- Partners who have critical knowledge in a company's field of action can be
of essential help in the expansion set up. When spreading to other locations, local partnerships
prove to be relevant to the business and the stakeholders in place. The conditions for operation in
each nation determine whether partnerships increase or decrease over time.
Multiple infrastructures- Communication, transportation and distribution systems vary
from one country to another. The demand and operating environment in individual countries can
be highly unpredictable. Where there are different forms of infrastructure in place, there is high
capability which allows responsiveness and flexibility in the operations. Efficient warehousing
operations, proper distribution network and multiple mode transportations create an enabling
environment for activities (Atwater, 2010).
Reliance on manual processes and frequent touch points- Before maturity, any firm
looking to enter the global market can employ the manual processes until it reaches maturity Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 7 stage. Manual processes are prevalent in new markets. The emphasis should be on the integration
of individuals rather than systems. This way, a proper relationship is built among people to put
up fruitful and operational systems in place.
Decentralization- Global markets are growing and expanding daily with companies
working to provide high-value commodities. Organizations require new and useful roadmaps that
portray the changing market operations and technological advancements. By adopting strategies
that enable differentiation, firms can increase their chances of success in the crowded markets
(Rushton, 2007). Running Head: Logistics Execution and Supply Chain Planning & Responsiveness 8 References
Atwater, C., Gopalan, R., Lancioni, R., & Hunt, J. (2010). To change or not to change: How
motor carriers responded following 9/11. Journal of Business Logistics, 31(2), 129--155
Ballou, R. (2007). The evolution and future of logistics. European Business Review, 19(4), 332-348
Blanchard, D. (2004). Labor pains. Logistics Today, 45 (2), 26-¬?30.
Blanchard, D. (c2010). Supply chain management best practices, 2nd ed.
Morton, R. (2005). How to balance "on time" with "reduced costs. Logistics Today, 46(6), 27--28
Poirier, C., Quinn, Francis J.,& Swink, M.(c 2010). Diagnosing greatness: Ten traits of the best
Rushton, A. & Walker, S (c2007). International logistics supply chain outsourcing: From local to
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