Saturday, 21 January 2017

Chit Chat: General Office Etiquette – Part 4 – Trouble Free Meetings

Meetings are very effective for businesses as they can be used as a tool to get things done and build rapport with the company. However, poorly managed meetings can simply be a waste of everyone’s time. Here are a few tips on how to create trouble-free, effective meetings in the workplace.
  • Invitations – send out invitations to the meeting to all employees using a computerized system
  • Sensible scheduling – take into consideration the time of day and how inconvenient these times may be for the employees
  • Give employees plenty of notice so they’re able to plan ahead and get organised
  • Send out the meeting agenda or give an idea of the topics that will be covered in the meeting in advance
  • Allow for segmentation of the meeting – allow people to leave once their area of concern has been covered
  • Let employees know if attendance is compulsory and check the replies

Seating Politics

It is tradition for the leader of the meeting to take the head of the table. However, if you have important guests the senior representative of that company is given the center seat at the table, facing the door with the staff sat alongside. The host company sits opposite.

Meeting Manners
  1. Be punctual
  2. Inform the leader if you’re running late
  3. Enter quietly if you arrive late and don’t interrupt
  4. Don’t whisper to your neighbours
  5. Be quiet and courteous
  6. Turn off mobile phones or inform the leader that you’re awaiting an important call if applicable
  7. Eat before the meeting to avoid embarrassing rumblings
  8. Discuss don’t argue
  9. Stick to the agenda
  10. Only ask necessary questions
  11. Don’t point fingers

Video Conferences

Video conferences are more common these days but it’s still important to follow etiquette rules:
  1. Dress formally for the meeting
  2. Make eye contact but don’t sit too close to the screen
  3. Only exit the room if absolutely necessary
  4. Use nameplates for all attendees
  5. Have a contingency plan in case of technical issues
  6. Speak loud and clear but don’t shout
  7. Use names when directing questions
  8. Don’t speak over people
  9. Avoid rustling papers and keep background noise to a minimum
  10. Turn off your phone
  11. Organizers should still provide an agenda, inform attendees of who will be present and introduce all attendees
  12. Start and end on time

Friday, 20 January 2017

Rebounding with New Strategic Moves in Logistics

Today we’re looking at examples of rebounding with new strategic moves in logistics.

  • A firm wants to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Using their experience they focus on taking over distribution of materials that compliment or are different from their own range and these products also have different manufacturers. This act of diversification can transform the company, creating an opportunity to expand geographically and deliver to new regions.
  • A third firm is in the logistics industry. They used innovation and alliances combined with their own skills to provide just in time deliveries. From there, they’re able to rebound on diversification by informing their customers that they can offer assembly operations in their warehouses for the parts that they previously managed. They then assemble the parts and deliver them quickly, as when needed to the production lines. Through this new service, they become part suppliers as well as logistic providers.
  • Rebounding is when the firms act on opportunities that come from taking the first steps in their chosen strategy. They capitalize on the new opportunities, revisit and reformulate their strategy and make use of the new information that has been gathered.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Combination of articulated strategic moves in logistics

  • Having in-house or outsourced logistics relates to the company working to reduce their logistics costs and the overall costs of supply.  The company may want to differentiate or make alliances or perhaps even diversify or expand, or a combination of any of those goals. 
  • Integrators may use their knowledge of alliances and complementarities to integrate their operations. For example, they may be offering to dispatch parts on a just in time basis, diversifying from their original focus. Other companies may be using differentiation and combining it with a cost reduction objective. They focus on being efficient and use the channel assembly business model so part of the assembly is transferred to resellers. From there, multi-channel differentiation needs to be integrated with alliances.
  • Another example of articulated strategic moves is the express customization service that is combined with innovation. The innovation comes in the form of offers and the process, offering differentiation through the service provided and they’re able to expand because of this mission.
  • Combination itinerary is a deliberate move that uses lots of strategies that are first conceived as being independent from one another. The integration of these strategies might be synchnronised but they can also be spread out, but the itinerary is always created before the initial strategic move is started.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Possible spin-offs from a strategic move in logistics

Tracking and Tracing Services

Tracking and tracing services are the result of logistics innovation created by multiple express delivery services. It is a differentiation approach that was working to help create a modern image without large costs. Technology enables tracking, making the services more reliable while being able to control risks and reduce inventory size and the costs involved as well as reducing production cycles.


Diversifying logistics as a new profession allows for cost reduction possibilities to benefit the products. Spin-offs aren’t foreseen, they are always looking to decrease the complexity of the organization and they are less intensive than more deliberate strategies. Firms need to be reactive in order to spot any spin-offs that come as a consequence of strategic moves.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

What are Three Strategic Action Itineraries in Logistics?

Logistics isn’t the only strategic factor. For example, logistic strategies often involve marketing and informatics. The strategies are not concerned with one result or goal either, they are more combined. There are three strategic action itineraries that can be shown in logistics, which are as follows:
  1. Aiming a main strategy but gaining advantages that come as a result of spin offs from the primary strategy.  The company is able to identify other possible strategies that become apparent because of the main strategy that is in place. These new strategies were not apparent before the introduction of the primary strategy.
  2. The company begins by concentrating on multiple strategies right from the start. They create a new logistics system and the new strategies can be spread out as a result of the new system. They may not begin working on all of the other strategies at once, but they are aware of them and know they will become a focus in the future.
  3. The company creates one or more strategies and has a new logistics system and they notice they’re able to rebound from where they currently are. New strategies can then be built from that point, ones with different goals.

Monday, 16 January 2017

What are typologies of possible logistics strategies?

Here are some generic strategies that are used in logistics. The strategies are focused on expansion and diversification. Others logistic strategies below are more concerned with maintaining the current level of activity.
  1. Cost leadership which is focused on reducing the costs of the logistics
  2. Differentiation, focusing on the quality of the logistics services provided
  3. Innovation, which is a strategy for logistics support for innovation
  4. Alliance, to use logistics as a source for alliance
  5. Professional expansion, focusing on using logistics to support the new profession integration
  6. Mission expansion, to use logistics as a support for expansion
  7. Diversification, diversifying using logistics

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Chit Chat: General Office Etiquette – Part 4 – Lodging Complaint

Complaints in the workplace vary in importance. Some complaints are considered to be minor and can be settled without much difficulty. Other complaints may require more sensitivity. Excessive complaining can become a problem.

Should I take my complaint to the boss? Think about how serious the complaint is and if it really needs the attention of the boss. You can also consider how urgent the complaint is and if it can wait for a later time when the boss isn’t as busy.

Should I be the one to raise the complaint? The person who complains should the person who is in the best positon to make a case for the complaint.

Is it better to make the complaint in person? Should you write a memo detailing your complaint or would it be better to talk about it face to face? Think about the type of boss you have, are they a listener or a reader.

Do I have documented support for my complaint? Documented problems are necessary for serious complaints such as sexual harassment or theft. Make a record of incidents to support your claims detailing dates, times and the events that took place.

Have I got a solution to the problem? It’s always a sensible idea to have solutions for the problems that you’re complaining about. However, it’s also important to let the boss take control in solving the problem.

Working conditions are often a cause of complaints in the workplace. Think about the best place to complain if you’re unhappy with the work conditions. It could be the boss, or co-workers. Present the problem in a better way (a m emo for non-serious complaints, for example) or call a meeting for more serious problems. Serious problems with conditions that pose a risk should be brought to attention immediately.

Complaining about your co-workers is a sensitive area and many issues can be dealt with between the two of you. However, more serious problems such as sexual harassment or racism will require taking it to the boss.  Always ensure that the complaint is not a personal issue and that it is valid. Hold a meeting with the boss stay calm and inform them of the problem, using your documentation if applicable.

There may be occasions when you’ll need to go around the boss. He may be abusive or is not considering your cause. Go to human resources and they will give you the information you need about how to go about raising the complaint strategically.

Friday, 13 January 2017

How conceptual approaches formulate logistics strategies? – Part 4

Cost leadership, logistics strategy
This is a strategy works to reduce logistic related costs. Some of the approaches that are used include:

  • Reducing the size of inventories along with the cost of invested capital
  • Using cross docking facilities that are provided by logistics suppliers and stopping the direct supply of outlets internally
  • Decreasing outlet inventory and Increasing daily deliveries using the cross docking facilities

Strategic Logistics
Using logistics and reducing overall costs

  • Using a network of continental, local and multi-regional warehouses
  • Using cross docking sites
  • Reducing purchasing costs by using the above and increasing the ability to stock large quantities of imports and buying for less from suppliers
  • Daily processing of fresh products, delivery following day after orders are placed and consolidated
  • Reducing suppliers and therefore reducing supplier costs
  • Using just in time deliveries
  • Eliminating qualitative and quantity checks

Differentiation logistics strategy
This approach is used to improve the quality of the logistics service being provided

  • Rationalising logistics to guarantee delivery times
  • Customising products, improving quality and complete deliveries
  • Automated central warehouses for daily deliveries

Innovation logistics strategy
Supporting innovation with logistics

  • Offering two day delivery service that depend on physical and information flows
  • Automation of sorting centres
  • Exchange of information with suppliers using EDI networks
  • Using the just in time model for production planning
  • Monitoring the supply chain with EDI
  • Offering customisation to customers

Thursday, 12 January 2017

How conceptual approaches formulate logistics strategies? – Part 3 Logistics Strategy Formulation

There are three classic concepts of strategy that are used to express the strategic formulation of logistics:

  • The profession
  • The mission
  • The objectives

In order to formulate a logistics strategy the managers need to outline the varieties of movement that they produce, how it’s produced and where they’re directed along with the needs that they satisfy. Additionally, they must consider the performance objective and the target level. This formulation is able to identify several logistics business units. Some of them support the overall strategy of the firm, and others are drivers of strategic logistics.  The formulation is then developed to the choice of logistics business units and the solutions are adapted to reach the objectives. Logistics only runs efficiently if it’s internally linked with the other functions and if it’s integrated externally with the entire supply chain. Therefore, it’s important for logistics strategy to be integrated with other strategies while strategic logistics makes use of the levers presented by the other functions.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

How conceptual approaches formulate logistics strategies? – Part 2 Logistics Competence

What are the three interrelated dimensions of logistics competence?

There are three interrelated dimensions of competence that logistics relies upon: action, expertise and knowledge. Action deals with the way to perform logistics processes. Expertise is the resources that are related to the action, which includes:

  • Methods
  • Procedures
  • Technologies
  • Engineering
  • Organisational routines

All of the above are extremely influential for the quality, efficiency and reliability of the logistics process, they are also important for competitive advantage.

Knowledge relates to the information that must be collected, analysed and integrated during the formulation of strategy.  Knowledge includes the senior management experience along with the general management culture of the firm. Knowledge helps businesses to survive, grow and adapt. It’s also a driver behind companies investing in skills and research and development. The skills and development can then be converted into the logistics network. There’s also a need for competent information management. Information is vital for the development of logistics. It must be collected, communicated and processed. The information gathered is used to develop new strategic directions.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

How conceptual approaches formulate logistics strategies? – Part 1

Logistics strategy starts with the company’s main strategy, then moves on to the definition of the logistics strategy that will be used to reach the overall objectives. Therefore, we think of logistics as a support system that is used to achieve global strategy. The logistics strategy is a subset of the company’s overall strategy. It requires a top down approach, so the control of the flow of materials and the goods along the supply chain is the keys of success.

Logistics opens up new strategic lines of action too. In order to come up with these new logistics lines, it’s necessary to reverse the approach and use strategic logistics instead of logistics strategy. Strategic logistics are the visualisation and the development of strategic actions that are only possible thanks to competent logistics. Logistics is now playing a strong role in competitive advantage and this has called for a change in the strategic games being played by the industries, or the need to adapt to new strategies. Therefore, it’s now necessary for logistics to be thought about right at the point of coming up with the firm’s overall strategy being created, instead of after.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Why we need to formulate logistics strategies?

Commercial and industrial businesses work by using systems of operation processes that become strategic. In modern times, these businesses have to deal with environmental pressures and ensure they have rapid responses in a busy world. Therefore, the processes have to be carefully coordinated and fully integrated as part of a defined strategy. They need to gather information through operations, integrate the data and come up with plans of action and ensure the guidelines to deal with uncertainty and environmental instability.

Strategies allow businesses to meet their objectives and take the most of any opportunities that open up. Logistics and supply chain management is a priority for businesses today. Logistics is the flow of goods and materials thanks to virtual information flows. It’s down to logistics that companies begin thinking about complete supply chains. They work to improve their own performances while improving the entire chain and benefiting the broader process. By working collaboratively, companies within the supply chain are linking flows and securing the final delivery, with fewer errors, providing better value and saving money along the way. They are considering environmental factors and finding solutions to uncertainty to serve their end customers.  Strategy formulation is one way to en sure the smooth flow of information and materials to benefit the entire supply chain.