A supply chain is an indispensable part of any business. To ensure that the business operations are being carried out properly, it is important to ensure that every part of the cycle, from raw material procuring to production, storage, and retail marketing, is working in synch seamlessly. This is where supply chain planning comes into the scene. It enables business planners to analyze each factor that impacts the smooth working of the entire nodes and plan the operations accordingly. Logistics is one of the most basic aspects of any business planning cycle that profoundly impacts its efficiency. In every part of a business, logistics play an important role in ensuring the right movement of materials and products. Hence, end-to-end (E2E) logistics planning is required for effective and efficient planning.
What is end-to-end logistics?
End-to-end (E2E) logistics covers the complete business cycle and hence is intertwined with end-to-end supply chain planning. It starts with procurement and distribution, transportation of finished goods, and delivery to the customer, and ends with reverse logistics. It is a strategic function for modern-day businesses and is a key differentiator. Companies are using advanced end-to-end logistics solutions that help them efficiently plan their transportation flow so that the movement of goods and products is hassle-free, without any blockages, and that also while maintaining environmental and economic sustainability. The end-to-end solutions cover packaging, transportation, order fulfillment, and warehousing, improving transport operations and enhancing end-to-end visibility and efficiency.
What Are the Components of an End-to-End Supply Chain?
An end-to-end supply chain involves the entire process where every part of the network works in harmony and synchronously with each other, unlike the traditional modes of planning, where every part of the network works autonomously. The main components of an end-to-end supply chain include:
- Demand Planning The first step towards efficient planning is demand planning. To produce and sell any product, first, the planners need to understand the demand pattern for that product. Demand planning is done by obtaining an accurate forecast for the future by analyzing historical data and other factors such as weather, market conditions, and customer behavior.
- Procurement Once the demand patterns are available, the planners can estimate how much raw materials and other resources they need to procure to ensure that there are no stockouts. Also, no surplus inventory blocks capital.
- Production After procuring raw materials and other resources, they are allocated to different departments for production. The production planning is done so that the products are ready on time to be available for the customers when they want them.
- Warehousing Warehousing is the next step of planning after production, where the finished goods are stored before there are distributed to customers. As warehousing incurs a considerable cost, it is important to avoid any surplus inventory of products that may block the storage space and incurs costs of storage.
- Distribution Distribution involves the movement of products from the warehouse to retail stores or directly to customers. This is where efficient logistic planning is essential. Seamless logistics are required to send products to the customers on time.
- Reverse Logistics Once the products reach customers, there might be some products that may be returned because of different reasons. To ensure that customers have a good buying experience, it is important for businesses to plan their reverse logistics as efficiently as the other components of their supply chain.
As we can see, in every component of an end-to-end supply chain, transportation plays an important role; hence end-to-end logistics is necessary to ensure that every network component works efficiently.
What are the advantages of end-to-end logistics?
End-to-end (E2E) logistics offer numerous advantages, which are as follows.
- Easily Meet Customer Needs: As the customers’ expectations from companies are rising, this means planners need to seek new and more efficient ways to optimize the planning cycle to meet those expectations. End-to-end logistics process can help streamline the supply chain and meet customer needs.
- Competitive Advantage: In modern times, a business can have a competitive edge only when they have an optimized supply chain that protects its brand. Optimizing the logistics network can play a crucial role in optimizing the entire business operations.
- Agile Supply Chain: Modern-day end-to-end logistics software solutions have a high degree of agility and hence are effective and practical for handling rapidly changing market conditions and customer behavior.
- Cost Effective: End-to-end logistics solutions effectively save costs by optimizing routes and the warehouse space used. This cost-saving gives businesses the freedom to invest in other key business areas.
- Faster Product Deliveries: As e-commerce is becoming more popular, customers also expect faster services such as same-day delivery. Optimizing logistics and end-to-end planning allows for faster deliveries leading to satisfied customers.
- Sustainable Supply Chain: Different components of the supply chain have an enormous social and environmental impact; hence, streamlined logistics is essential for businesses to enhance sustainability and reduce their overall carbon footprint.
How 3SC helps you with End-to-end Supply Chain Software Solutions?
3SC is a leading planning solution provider, offering a plethora of intelligent AI-based solutions that help optimize logistics, enhance accuracy, and increase sustainability. Our products, such as PlanX, Visilog, Demand curve, and CarbonX, help enhance the end-to-end visibility of the entire supply chain networks and aid businesses in planning their operations seamlessly.