Definition of competing through logistics

It is impossible to be outstanding at everything, and supply chain partners need to give priority to capabilities that give each product group its edge in the marketplace.

These capabilities define the areas where supply chain partners place priorities on in investment and training, and by focusing innovation and marketing efforts.  The three traditional areas where logistics supports competitive advantage are:

  • Quality: ensuring that all processes are carried out along the supply chain so that products do what they are supposed to do
  • Speed: survival of the fastest.  Cutting down on the time taken to conduct each process across the supply chain
  • Cost: supporting low prices by efficient manufacture, distribution and servicing

Today, logistics supports competitiveness in other ways too.  Cutting down on the variability of delivery times reduces the need for buffer stocks.  Dealing with uncertainties like a dock strike or the disruptions to supply caused by earthquakes create logistics challenges.  Thus Toyota UK has developed counter measures for the impact of French dock strikes, whereby shipments from continental suppliers can be rapidly re-routed. [1]

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