Logistics Management and Chess
We’re often asked about how to avoid mistakes in logistics activities. Logistics is like a chess game – you always have to be thinking ahead about what effect any action will have several steps down the road.
Companies often make the mistake of looking at logistics functions through a transactions prism instead of as a dynamic system. When you look at logistics as parts of a bigger system, you can affect the whole. There’s a domino effect where a positive action in one part may negatively affect the results in other parts of the system. We’ve seen people work hard to fix one area and end up “breaking” five others. This is inherent in a transactional environment, and is one of the major reasons companies continue to experience problems with their cost structures.
When you work closely with a company that provides a systematized logistics management service, they view the system as a whole and, from this wider viewpoint, understand the causes and effects that different tweaks will create. This helps them make the right decisions for the whole. There can be many pieces that all have to come together to create a smooth operation. To avoid these types of mistakes, it’s very important to keep looking at the broader picture rather than at each individual piece.