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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


supply chains.


Rushton, A. & Walker, S (c2007). International logistics supply chain outsourcing: From local to




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