Last modified: April 13, 2015
When considering partnering with a third-party logistics services provider (3PL), a critical factor that should impact your decision is whether the 3PL can determine the difference between critical logistics requirements and mission-critical demands. Mission-critical logistics demands have an impact on the end-user, which can mean a shrinking customer base resulting from late shipments or lost products. Thus, mission-critical logistics services call for precision, sound processes and a commitment by the 3PL to maintain laser-sharp focus on the entire supply chain.
This is the current reality of the global marketplace that service providers and suppliers face; however, it can be even more daunting for certain industries with extremely short times-to-obsolescence, such as electronics. This is now the era of exacting service level agreements which spell out minimal equipment and machine downtimes and prescribing high financial penalties. In fact, every industry now benefits from a 3PL that places mission-critical demands in a top position of priorities.
When an organization moves crucial shipments required for business process continuity, any disruption can increase costs and lost customers. Whether the item is replacement equipment for an assembly line or a network router for a financial institution, the immediacy of the demand necessitates a dynamic strategy for having access to inventory or materials from a variety of global regions for seamless execution of shipment delivery that supports end-user replenishment requirements.
This can be business-to-customer or business-to-business. Simply stated, mission critical logistics is a round-the-clock, round-the-globe commitment.
Flash Global has the infrastructure, resources and access to global suppliers to ensure mission-critical success. When we partner with suppliers to develop their infrastructure to support mission-critical logistics, we analyze four key elements.
The first step is the execution of an in-depth analysis of the installation base and determine where strategic stocking locations (SSLs) are and where parts or materials need to be. Concurrently, there needs to be an understanding of existing service level agreements in addition to contracted, predetermined performance metrics and delivery times. The 3PL or you yourself, in house, must analyze whether your business can meet growing demands for tight time-to-market expectations or whether your business needs alternative locations.
Further, and as important for your mission-critical logistics infrastructure requirements, is the strict analysis of consistency across multiple operational regions to identify local anomalies or limitations. In addition, conduct a needs analysis on the various regions to assess issues including transportation and delivery services, local stocking facilities, real-time inventory controls and inventory dispatch services. When you need to take your supply chain operations across the globe, the difference to success or failure in mission-critical logistics may literally depend on yours or your 3PLs ability to maintain a presence in local markets with high-quality connections.
Technology investments are on the rise in the suply chain. In order to pull off mission-critical logistics at a global scale effectively, companies who are looking to establish an infrastructure must utilize an IT backbone as we do at Flash Global for our partner clients with FlashTrac and FlashView. Technology such as FlashTrac and FlashView facilitate data sharing, which is a crucial element in efficient mission-critical logistics processes. These supply chain platforms provide seamless onboarding and access to new locations and growing SSL networks. With integrated technology, supply chains going global and needing effective mission-critical logistics realize high service levels and communication thus minimizing the potential for critical failures. In addition, such technology investments for the supply chain enable real-time visibility within the mission-critical logistics elements and provide comprehensive data that enhances inventory tracking, reduces capital expenditures and provides for accurate replenishment.
While the infrastructure requirements of mission-critical logistics places a high priority on immediate replenishment needs, you must also seek out opportunities for internal cost savings that come from recouping used parts. These represent added-value opportunities and cost savings from bringing defective materials, supplies or finished products back into the pipeline to be fixed, recycled or scrapped. There needs to be an establishment in the infrastructure to capture demand signals and force product out, while leveraging controls that pull valuable materials back into the network.
Your business may need 90 minute shipping, 2-hour, or next day business. Whatever your logistics needs, you need to have infrastructure in place properly around the world. Mission-critical logistics services should be a top priority across every function including reverse logistics, critical parts delivery, warehousing, transportation or IOR/EOR. At Flash Global, we have the expertise and experience to manage every point in your mission-critical supply chain.
Moreover, we offer real-world scenario planning, robust install analysis and predictive solutions that are repeatable, predictable, achievable and measurable, especially in countries with intricate logistics environments and complex trade laws. We offer:
Our cutting-edge technology, compliance expertise and vast array of global resources will optimize your operations, maximize cost savings and ensure compliance quickly and easily. Our comprehensive, holistic services include:
When you make the decision to put mission-critical demands at the top of the priority list, Flash Global will ensure the transition and onboarding are seamless, quick and easy. Contact Flash Global today.
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