The Complete Guide for Startups Setting Up Logistics
Figuring out storage, shipping and processing can be complex since it involves so many moving parts. How do you know where to start if you’re new to the process? Logistics for startups involves a few basics you should know before you begin.
What are the Basics of Logistics?
The process of storing and distributing your products to your customers has a few key components you must remember. While there are many moving parts in a complete logistics process, the five most critical aspects are storage, order processing, packaging, transportation and order fulfillment.
Keep these basics of logistics in mind moving forward:
- Storage: You’ll need a place to store your products until consumers purchase them. Warehousing them takes communication and coordination because you’ll need to work with suppliers and distributors to manage your inventory.
- Order processing: Once customers make an order, a system delivers it to them. Correctly processing orders involves finding, packing and tracking your product and relies on proper inventory management.
- Packaging: Packaging products correctly and efficiently ensure they’ll make it to the customer intact. Selecting the right packaging for the size and shape of what you’re transporting is essential. The physical boxes can also impact the customer’s impression of your business.
- Transportation: Much of your overall cost will come from transportation since prices rise steeply with inflation. Domestic shipping rates in the U.S. increased by 23% in 2021 alone. It involves distributing your product by road, railway, ship or air travel.
- Order fulfillment: Customers are a critical part of the processeven though it’s technically over when the product gets to them. They must be content with the product, or else you’ll have to deal with transportation and processing againwhen they return it.
You must monitor and manage the basics carefully because each step affects the product’s safety and your relationship with your consumer. You’ll likely have the most oversight and personal involvement in these five processes.
What Should You Know Before Starting?
Since logistics for startups depend on various workers and industries, you should know a few things before you get started. Be mindful that higher gas prices increase costs and can impact the timing of product transportation. The cost of fulfilling orders may fluctuate with the transportation industry and economy, which means you may have to raise your prices or find alternative shipping methods to get the same profit.
You should also consider closely monitoring competing carriers’ costs. Obtain quotes from three companies at a minimum to secure the best possible price. It’s tempting to move forward quickly to start fulfilling orders, but being patient can potentially save you money in the long run. There are over 20,000 warehousing and storage businesses in the U.S. alone, so you should have no trouble finding a good fit.
How Should You Prioritize?
Your ultimate goal is to establish a reliable service with happy customers and high profit, but how do you do that? Your cost, customer and product are the top three factors to prioritize throughout the entire logistics process, so you must balance your budget and ensure the quality of your goods.
Keep in touch with your transport and warehouse to track how products are moving. You’ll want to remain open and communicative with them as much as possible.
What Should Your Process Look Like?
Your process depends entirely on your business type and demands. You could focus on cutting down shipping times, ensuring customer satisfaction or reducing your cost as much as possible. Your goals determine your priorities. That being said, logistics for startups contain six key components you should implement.
1. Determine Demographics
While a startup may not have the benefit of proper inventory management, starting with a clean slate is doable. You should determine where you’ll ship and who your customers will be to optimize your logistics process.
Who your customers are is crucial to business because their orders determine how much product goes out and where it’s distributed. Do they need items shipped in a specific timeframe? Will they expect incentives — like free shipping or coupons — to make an order? Consider the demographic you’re targeting since you’ll base some of your processes on who you can ship to.
2. Test and Audit Compliance
Compliance is a significant part of logistics for startups since it has potential legal and financial repercussions. You’ll want to regularly audit each part of your service to ensure you’re meeting your government’s minimum safety and work standards.
You should understand all regulations and laws your business is subject to because you may face millions of dollars in fines if you fail to comply. Beyond that, being responsible and aware of rules and expectations might let you expand in a stable and long-term way. Consumers are more willing to make purchases when they feel invested in the product and the business.
3. Monitor Inventory
Properly manage your product quantity to ensure you have the right amount. Track how much is shipped, mishandled and returned since you’ll want to know how much you have and how much you need. While it’s fine to simply know how much is stored at a given time, it can help to know if you’re paying for too much space or if you can cut down on the amount you’re storing. Demand fluctuates, and products may sit on shelves for a while if it’s low.
4. Track All Costs
Of course, you’ll want to prepare for the costs of your logistics process to ensure you’re staying within your budget and meeting your financial goals. Once you recognize where your budget is going, you can make an effort to reduce costs and optimize savings.
Hidden costs are also included in a comprehensive plan because anything can happen before your product reaches its destination. For example, improper storage or mishandling can cost up to $3.20 per pallet annually. You don’t typically plan on things breaking or going wrong before they do, but it helps to give you some more flexibility with your spending.
Other hidden budget hits — like distributors accidentally damaging goods — may impact your bottom line if you don’t account for them. It can also help you determine if your vendors are meeting your needs.
5. Pay Attention to Fulfillment
Although you deal little with your customer, they’re arguably the most critical part of your business. Their impression of you and their happiness with their product reflects on your budget and your brand. For example, customers return up to 36% of products purchased online on average. The reasons for returns vary, but they can all affect your business.
Make an effort to ensure your customers are pleased and pay attention to how they’re reacting. This involves pricing your product at the right price, ensuring it’s in perfect condition on arrival and accurately estimating shipping times. Also, consider factoring free shipping into the cost of your product since 84% of people will make a purchase because of it.
6. Anticipate Changes
Changes will happen even if you carefully plan, so you must anticipate them and make contingency plans. For example, an extreme weather event could delay shipping and frustrate your customers. Do you offer them a coupon or send an apology? It’s important to have your initial schedule well organized and thought out, but how you prepare for and react to alterations determines how smoothly things will go.
You should account for misplaced or damaged products and factor them into your budget so it doesn’t come as a surprise. In addition, decide what you’ll do in cases where shipping is slowed or fuel prices change to keep ahead — a backup plan may come in handy.
Proper Logistics for Startups
Startup logistics can be complex since there’s a lot to manage right away, but that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming. You’ll have an easier time getting everything set up once you know the basics, how to prioritize and what your process might look like.
Logistics Startup MOVIN expands its network to 28 cities, adds a new strategic hub in Mumbai
Plans to develop 10 more hubs by Q1 2023 to connect more regional centers
MOVIN, a logistics Startup launched in May this year through a joint venture between UPS and InterGlobe Enterprises has announced the expansion of its network to 28 cities across metros and Tier I & II markets. As part of its strategic expansion, MOVIN is also establishing its hubs across the country with the most recent one being added in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. MOVIN plans to develop 10 more Hubs as part of its strategy to connect more regional centers by Q1 2023. This will further strengthen its offerings and boost its capability to capture the ever-expanding opportunity in the B2B logistics space.
Through this expansion of operations, supported by tech-driven innovations, MOVIN’s Express End-of-day and Standard Premium delivery services will now be catering to B2B customers across more than 2000+ pin codes. MOVIN’s unique offering includes a fully predictable, day and time definite service across the country. Its rapidly growing network over both air and ground enables an uninterrupted flow of goods that is backed by consistent, predictable, and responsive operations. MOVIN’s expansion by establishing new hubs across India, increasing the number of pin codes for pickup and delivery, collaborating with multiple stakeholders and operating dedicated customer experience centers is setting a benchmark in service quality and providing value-based solutions to the customers.
The Express End-of-Day network covers 28 cities including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Baroda, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi-NCR, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Kanpur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mangalore, Mumbai, Patna, Pune, Raipur, Ranchi, Surat, Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam catering to 2000+ pin codes.
MOVIN’s Standard Premium network is present across 13 cities namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Cochin, Coimbatore, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kanpur, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune.
“MOVIN’s remarkable growth since its launch in May this year has been in line with our strategy of adopting a partner driven approach by enhancing capabilities for partners through customized technology driven training. We are expanding rapidly by connecting metros, Tier l & Tier ll cities with our strategic hubs through regional centers, offering greater coverage to our customers. Our strategic Hubs offer competitive time in transit for our Standard Premium services connecting cities in North, West and South India. Customer satisfaction is our top priority, which we strive to achieve through operational automation and reliability. MOVIN’s recent expansion is a result of the tremendous response from our B2B customers across segments of apparel, electronics, IT peripherals, automotive components, healthcare, and e-commerce,” said JB Singh, Director InterGlobe Enterprises and Board Member of MOVIN.
The expansion further showcases MOVIN’s ability to collaborate and adapt while providing enhanced predictability, better customer experience and greater competitiveness to help Indian businesses swiftly integrate into the global value chain. “We are committed to providing best-in-class customer experience by bringing in higher levels of efficiencies, stronger distribution channels, advanced innovative technology and global best practices,” Mr. Singh added.
MOVIN will continue to grow its reach across India and will soon expand its Express Early Morning (before 10:30 am) and Express Mid-day (before noon) service.
MOVIN Express Private Limited is a joint venture between UPS and InterGlobe Enterprises. The name MOVIN is the combination of Movement and India (MOVEMENT+INDIA). MOVIN’s logistics services are built for Indian businesses in the fast lane. Its pace and agility will match their ambitions, and its service levels will exceed their expectations. MOVIN offers a suite of B2B domestic services including a fully predictable, day-definite service, as well as express, time definite service across the country. With seamless integration across air and ground networks, these express corridors are enabling an uninterrupted flow of goods, backed by consistent, predictable and responsive operations.
This News has been Published in Partnership with PR Newswire
Here is how United Shipping Pro aims at revolutionizing the Shipping Industry
According to S&P Global Ratings 2018, demand in the three main segments of the global shipping industry (dry bulk, tankers, and containers) will outstrip supply for the first time in several years. Moreover, sustained global demand for commodities will be essential for further improvement of dry bulk shipping rates. By the end of September, the shipping sector has recorded earnings growth of 4%-5 %.
Tapping into this huge market potential with the aim of providing affordable and efficient logistics service is United Shipping Pro. United shipping pro Began in 2008 as a small group of friends organizing shipments, product inspection and warehousing for themselves and other smaller clients. Then they set up a small office in Shenzhen and began to work with larger shipping companies to consolidate shipments. The company is a subsidiary of UK registered company Rennaisance Global Group Manyane.
The Brainchild of Zambian born charismatic entrepreneur Joseph Kambani Banda, United Pro Shipping has the vision of providing logistics services that are pro customers and are efficient in every sense of the word. Though the company provides a range of Logistics services, their core competency lies in servicing customers who are sending products to Amazon FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon). Over a period of time, United shipping Pro has become one of the major players in the shipping industry, especially in the Shenzhen area. However, they also have their registered offices in the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa with partners all over the world.
The Company now employs directly more than 53 employees, both full and part-time, including freelancers and gradually they have become one of the most preferred amazon FBA freight forwarder. United Pro Shipping has clear-cut goals: To Revolutionize the shipping industry by providing great rates and speed along with top class customer service and to automate the shipping process and encourage greater transparency (They also provide real-time tracking for all the shipments, even for sea shipping!).
United Shipping Pro is now one of the companies that are slowly becoming a leading contender in the shipping industry. United Pro Shipping is offering their services to both small and large clients and has gradually become one of the best choices when shipping from China to USA, UK and other countries.
With the revival in the shipping industry, United Shipping Pro is planning to set up an official company Head Quarters in Honk Kong or Singapore in 2019. However, a lot of the decisions will be made in the coming few weeks. This obviously depends on the living requirements of the company’s core staff, ease of set up in the concerned countries and tax implications.
The company currently doesn’t have any plans yet to go public. Their main focus right now is to prove themselves in the shipping industry by providing quality services and to bring more experts on board. Also, right now, they want to focus more on completing their automation process.
Around a year back, the fear among the members of the Shipping Industry was that the increasing prices may lead to higher costs of operation coupled with higher prices of fuel and parts as well as poor market conditions. However, the market conditions have improved and companies like United Shipping Pro are all geared up to tap the opportunities this sector has to offer.
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