The role of management in logistics in current organizations puts into consideration the process of decision making that relates to the marketing functions, with a major goal making the maximum possible value and reducing the total costs incurred. There has been a wave of increased awareness among manufacturing executives. Therefore, there is need for such a process to take place due to the advantages that come in line with not only the process but also the firm’s products. Most companies are now adapting the integration strategy due to the realization that there is need to effectively respond to the needs of the customers in meeting the demand in the market. They are using several strategies to make this process a reality. From the traditional view, logistics has always served in better delivery of the customers’ services while marketing had played a key role in the identification of these needs to be met.
Logistics as a function on its own requires the use of much capital in the implementation process and the outcomes may also be very limited. The integration process is thus the key shift that is needed towards the process of supply chain management. There have been limited studies in this area over the years and thus the need to shift more attention towards finding out more of the unknown areas in this line. This paper seeks to examine the correlation between integrating marketing and the logistic function and the overall impact on the performance of the organization. A case study has been done on one battery manufacturing company in Bangladesh to compare its operations both before and after the adaption of the integration process. The research methodologies implemented mainly included interviews with manufacturing line managers and surveys to find out more on the possible outcomes.
The impact of marketing and logistics integration in manufacturing firms operation performance
Logistics had over the years existed and has been perceived differently by the key stakeholders. Nonetheless, for the purpose of this study, logistics will be regarded as the overall process of planning, controlling an effective storage and flowing raw materials, information sharing, inventory of the in-process, and completed manufactured goods from the points of manufacturing to the market, assumed to be the consumption point so as to meet the requirements of the consumers. The three major dimensions of logistics include the economic perspective of macro environment, the dimension of the firm identified as microenvironment and finally the components of logistics and its relationship at internal level.
Management in logistics includes all the functions of supply chain, involving activities such as the management of fleet, warehouses, handling materials, fulfilling orders, designing logistic networks, managing transport and inventory, the supply and demand control and planning, and the overall management of logistics for third parties involved and other services provided separately. To an extent, the functions under logistics also include providing customer services, conducting procurement and sourcing for services, the production, planning and scheduling of activities, assembling and packaging activities.
This implies that the logistics management is one of the major levels of executing and planning for a firm’s activities that should be regarded as both strategic and tactful in nature. Logistics cuts across as an integrated function that not only coordinates other activities but also contributes towards the integration of other initiatives and functions of the firm like marketing, information technology, finance and sales manufacturing (Rouse). Logistics comes into play as a managerial tactic involved by the two top management levels christened tactical managers and strategic managers. It is critical that the internal integration of a firm be done within its boundaries to avoid operating in silos but rather promotes improved coordination within the key functional areas.
Two other researchers, Kasada & Greis, offered the definition of the levels of integration as the interaction points at which the activities and functions of logistics are purposefully made to interact with the functions of other areas. They further explain that external integration involves integrating activities that are across the boundaries of the firm. In terms of the integration process, it has been established that firms begin from an internal level by coordinating the production, supply and distribution processes before extending to an external level. Different firms have achieved this integration process using various methods as others may have already extended the process to their members in supply chain while others are still integrating their internal processes.
It is important that organizations make and create lasting relationships with others in the environment of supply chain management because these form the foundation of reaching the targeted level of efficiency both from an internal perspective and across the boundaries. These strong relationships do add value in the process of supply chain by enhancing collaboration and logistics integration (LI). It also helps managers of these firms be able to conduct efficient operations, thus firms aiming to gain more and maintain the loyalty of their customers are opting for logistic integration. The external public audiences of a company reflect and greatly determine the core business activities and outcomes.
Aligning an enterprise’s activities to the public plays an important role in increasing the business base as well as the performance of the firm as a whole. By integration of all the activities related to logistics, management stands to minimize the costs incurred and thus provide the desired level of services to the consumers. This means that to attain cost saving capabilities, then range of activities like storage, stock management, processing of orders, production and purchasing plans, marketing and communication should be integrated. This does not only help in reducing the cost but also in the process of eradicating overlaps in utilizing the firm’s assets, inefficiencies and reducing the level of interfaces that exists between the firms involved. Integrated logistics has the capability of strengthening the services offered to customers by communication enhancement in various processes at the international level.
Communication comes in place as a consideration whatsoever the case. It is upon every firm to realize enhanced communication within the organization. Logistics firms have over the last years proved to be in the process of striving to strengthen the value of their products to meet the customers’ needs. Such firms provide business services for clients overseas, simply put in international markets. The services may be delicate ranging from examples like the handling of documents, packing, and clearance of customs, storage, consultation, inland transportation and consolidating in line with fellow service providers in logistics at the international perspective. The need to achieve competitive advantage over rivals is also an issue of concern .
This can be approached differently basing on the core abilities of the company in question. Note that competitive advantage is sewn in a firm foundation of value proposition. One option would be addressing the issue of enhanced internal efficiency. Efficiency in this case would relate to advancements in technology, price listings for customers among other ranges of strategies that will achieve eventual success. Advances in the technology realm may entail the absorption of Logistics Information Systems as well as artificial intelligence systems that render every business efficient.
The main issue is to ensure the firm can appear to exist over its main rivals. There are two viewpoints related to research on integration. The first one addresses integration from an internal perspective, otherwise known as the firm. The other side is based on the supply chain hence referring to the relationship between firms. All in all, research basing on logistics service providers is known to be performed. Recent studies have shown a clear gap in researches in logistics firms. This research aims to suggest the need for researches to be conducted in logistics firms.
Statement of the problem
Most firms are still struggling to improve their logistic services both at the internal and external levels. A key hindrance has been the division of so many activities that all have to be met and achieved in order to attain the desired level. Nonetheless, most are not aware of the existing marketing theories that if well integrated with the logistic functions could help in boosting and improving the level of performance in the organizations. On the same note, poor integration of the marketing and logistic functions could also cause serious challenges and poor performance in organizations thus managers must employ shrewd means of the decision making process of how to go about logistic integration processes.
Significance of the study
The importance of this study is that it will highlight the success stories of firms that have effectively achieved the desired levels of organizations performance through logistic and marketing functions integration by highlighting the best practices thus others may emulate. It will also highlight sample cases of firms that failed in the process so the others may see and avoid similar pitfalls that may lead to the same consequences when undertaking marketing and logistic functions’ integration. The study will also bring to light the benefit of value added by integrating logistic and marketing functions.
One of the ways firms can use to analyze their performance is through value evaluation. In most cases, value is viewed differently by all those involved but the most common way of value analysis is through financial analysis. This means that business evaluate their performance success by analyzing the amount of money or profits brought in. This means that in evaluating the potential benefits of integrating marketing and logistics, it is essential to bear in mind the financial value that comes with such a move. Logistics is an essential process in value addition using the principals of economic utility of form (production), place (logistics), time (logistic) and possession (marketing).
The key research question of this study will involve the following:
Main research question
What are the existing market theories, which support the claim that high integration leads to high performance?
Subset research questions
Which marketing and integrating activities exist in the manufacturing firms and which are integrated?
Which factors determine the marketing and logistics integration and how they promote or hinder the merging process?
Are there firms that have successfully achieved these high levels of performance through integration?
Which are the examples of firms that have similarly failed in this attempt?
Manufacturing firms that are all operating in competitive environments should aim at integrating their functional activities to achieve excellent customer services to gain a competitive advantage over others. In the past few years, integration was practiced at the inter-functional levels within a firm but the case has changed recently as firms today are getting integrated with others like suppliers and their customers especially in the environment of supply chain management. The advantages of integration are that it brings along improved relationships and competitive edges among competitors. Today more than ever, manufacturing firms desire to integrate their activities with partnering companies to include more activities thus LI is featured in cross-functional areas.
These firms are virtually shifting towards gaining cooperation with customers and suppliers to address the competition challenge. This means that the logistic functions can be grouped in three categories including the information integration, process and flexibility capabilities. The process part makes a firm desire to achieve the minimum cost of logistic functions by operating effectively and simplifying the workflow of the firm while establishing standards that are related with the key logistic activities to give services that are of high quality and at low prices. The other category of flexibility puts more emphasis on adapting to unexpected circumstances in the firm’s operations.
The third category of integrating information helps in the improvement of performance and facilitating the process of logistic integration towards a successful supply chain process. The process of integrating information helps in reducing the costs almost simultaneously thus contributes towards influencing the overall capabilities of logistics. Information integration leads to improved services in a firm. This translates to reduction of costs incurred along with the overall influence on the capabilities of logistics in the respective firms. The best firms are known to make huge investments in information and its integration as well as the sharing of information within the supply chain and the firm’s departments (Xuquin, and Xin).
The population selected in this study entails managers of manufacturing companies .This population are a reflection of the logistic related activities both in form of contracts. In this research, 10 manufacturing managers will be interviewed from the frame through the use of random sampling. Random Sampling is selected to achieve the need of a hundred percent probability of representation of every firm in the original population (Sung).
Limitation of the study
The limitation of this study is that it will only focus on logistics-marketing functions integration along manufacturing firms, thus will leave out other supply chain firms. This means that the data given will mostly represent the viewpoints of the manufacturing managers in these firms that will be used to generalize the situation for the whole industry. Again, very few studies have been done along this area thus; the desk review process may be a challenge in terms of trying to collect the already existing information. Companies may also be reluctant in giving their financial information especially when the rates are low or massive losses encountered.
The focus of this study is that it seeks to analyze the impact of integrating marketing and logistics function on the overall performance of the manufacturing firms. The type of research design to be used is thus naturally exploratory. A desk review will be done in form of analyzing the existing literature on work that is already published along these lines to get background information (Sung). The variables to be analyzed in this study will include the lack of proper channels of communications, the absence of the benefits perceived, the indifferences in the managerial functions, the lack of sufficient resources, conflicting personalities and the inadequacy of the design of the organization.
Strong measures will be implemented for purposes of quality assurance to maintain high objectivity to avoid cases of biasness due to the researcher’s personal interests. Any vested interest of the researcher that may lead to biasness will be openly declared. The qualities of data produced in research have over the years been issues of concern to most analysts. Most people are of the belief that unless certain research parameters are reached, then the entire research process is null and void. This thus calls for various measure controls such as both internal and external validities. Internal validity occurs when the results obtained can be directly associated with the treatment of the entire research process while external validity refers to the level at which the research findings can be generalized. In this study, reliability will be estimated for each of the scales that will be measured in the process for purposes of promoting consistency of the study findings.
After interviewing all the relevant and identified respondents, in this case the human resources managers of the selected manufacturing firms, a descriptive analysis will be done on primary data in order to gauge the perceptions of the managers on the effects that integration have brought about, asking them to share comparison information on how their firms performed both before and after the integration process, employees’ views on how best to cope with the integration process, and how best the two managerial functions can further be developed. There will also be survey for single items that will eventually be averaged and be represented using the scales. These will include the scales of variables such as those of; the factors that hinder companies from adapting the integration strategy like ignorance, difference in leadership styles, slow adaptation to change among others.
More variables like financial performance, increased number of customers who consume the products will be represented by particular instruments of survey that will be used. The estimates of the reliabilities will be presented in form of tables. Another analysis will be conducted using regression to establish any existing relationships between the integration of marketing and logistics and the overall performance of the organizations. This means that a regression analysis will be conducted simultaneously to examine the relationship of these two major functions. These will be divided in categories to make work easier in terms of; the logistic functions, marketing functions, the outputs among others.
Figure 1: Typical Organization Structure
Integrating the various functions or departments in an organization calls for high levels of understanding the overall organizational structure and discipline in order to make the process a success. In order to clearly understand the logistics and marketing integration functions, there is need to briefly explain organizational structure as portrayed in companies across the globe. To begin with, an organizational structure is a clear outline plan indicating the interrelation between the various departments existing in a company, the structure of governance, the rules that guide daily organizational operations and the work distribution among individuals in charge. The process of deciding and designing the organizational structure is influenced by the ultimate strategy the organization intends to adopt, the size of the organization bearing in mind future expansion possibilities to accommodate market demand, the type of technology that the company intends to use and finally the environmental factors that in most cases are unpredictable.
The organizational structures are of different types and vary depending on the type of business that an organization is dealing with and also the size of the company. A complete organizational structure should be able to help individual employees to understand; their job titles, specific roles and tasks required of them, immediate supervisors and the chain of hierarchy or command, their respective departments of operations and finally their required skills and experience to perform the expected tasks( Pathfinder) .
Organizational functions such as logistics, marketing, communication, human resources, research and capacity building have influence and determined the selection and designing of the organizational structure. This means that the organization has been structured in line with its key objectives and activities. Previous baseline surveys recommend the best possible structures organizations could adopt. The final findings recommended the use of functional structures of management. Such organizational functions facilitate division of work into units for efficient performance. Companies with excellent outputs as a result of employees’ specialization by these components have since improved quality and efficiency. At the apex of the most company organograms are always the Chief Executive Officers, who are in charge of overseeing the overall operations of the organization and works closely with the line managers to develop, implement and monitor the organizational objectives. Unlike the adoptive and divisional structures of an organization, functional structures encourage skill specialization of employees in the organization.
Every unit is headed by technical experts in the area of concentration e.g. logistics manager, research manager, communication manager, head of human resources among others, who are directly in charge of the sub units created in their departments, depending on emerging demand of services in the market. These managers are in direct contact with the chief executive officers for feedback and planning. This type of structure maximizes skills and hence resulting into efficient operations and increased outputs in the company. Units operate independently in this type of structure though every department has its set target to meet that contributes to the overall mission and vision of the company. Its strong component is that of authority decentralization that allows managers to make independent decisions.
The adoptive structure is used to address a specific market demand. These could be in form of projects. Its competitive advantage is that it is a flexible structure that can easily be fixed to fit the dynamic market demands. The channels of marketing are those means the company can use to get its manufactured products out in the market to get the right consumers in the market. Experts have since noted that these channels perform various functions of satisfying the current demand by enhancing the supply of products and services, and stirring the demand by carrying out promotional activities (Lammgard ). Consequently, the channel can be regarded as a coordinated network, which creates user value, by the generating form, time, place and possession utilities. The key focus is to deliver as it is only done through distribution.
Various organizational design components such as the geographical location, logistical function, customer-based, product, service, hybrid, matrix, marketing channels, and departmentalization help in determining the most efficient structures that will help organizations to achieve their missions. These design components define the daily activities and also serve as a pointer on the number of employees should have, the leadership structure, size of the company and the information flow hence they become the ultimate determinants of the structure to be adopted. The geographical structure for example makes an organization to adopt the geographical model.
A company may therefore specialize in developing its programs based on geographical regions like Africa, America or Europe. The geographic helps an organization know the types of resources required in a particular region, provides room for customization of goods and services to suit regional needs, helps in tracking results regionally and hence may promote healthy competition. Products vary depending on organizational target customers and market economy. This therefore helps a company in designing its structure depending on the required resources, skills and talents needed to promote the product in the market. Departmentalization includes the development of an organizational structure depending on the functions that are conducted daily.
The advantage of departmentalization is that organizational efficiency is enhanced from combining specialized skills and talents from people. It also promotes a more in depth specialization thus increased quality output. It is advisable that irrespective of the structure adopted by an organization, its ultimate goal should be to successfully embrace the culture of a learning organization. Peter Senge (2007) defines a learning organization a that where people constantly increase their ability to produce the results they truly need, where new thinking patterns are nurtured and employees have joint ambitions. The rule of the thumb in developing a suitable structure is to bear in mind that the organization structure ought to augment the development of the processes (John van).
Integrating marketing and logistic functions
There is an existing marketing philosophy of management concept which is of the view that in order for organizations to achieve their goals, they need to determine the various wants or needs of the targeted consumers in the market so as to produce products that will satisfy their needs more efficiently than other competitors in the market so they can gain competitive advantages. This strongly indicates that marketing is a consumer driven theory as all companies, manufacturing firms included exist to produce goods that effectively satisfy the customers. Experts have observed that there is a strong correlation among marketing elements of corporate profits, consumer satisfaction and approach of systems with the logistics functions.
This is because logistic functions greatly enhance in promoting the four Ps’ of the marketing mix including price, place, promotion and product because it facilitates the concept of firms having their right products at the most appropriate places backed with sufficient publicity to create their awareness and selling them at affordable prices (Jetef ). The table below indicates the various marketing activities as discussed by (Grundey).
Marketing Mix four Ps’Related marketing activitiesProductDoing research to determine the needs of consumers
Designing the best product ideas like the features, quality and brand names to be usedPlaceDetermining prices, objectives, discounts and market levels of prices across the board.PromotionOutlining the necessary objectives of the promotion goals
Strategies to be used in promotion like advertising, public relations and publicity eventsPriceDetermining the geographical coverage of product supply
Determining the channels to be used for distribution
Determining the outlets where the produced goods will be available
The role of management in logistics in current organizations puts into consideration the process of decision making that relates to the marketing functions, with a major goal making the maximum possible value and reducing the total costs incurred. There has been a wave of increased awareness among manufacturing executives that there is need for such a process to take place due to the advantages that come in line with not only the process but also the firm’s products. Most companies are now adapting the integration strategy due to the realization that there is need to effectively respond to the needs of the customers in meeting the demand in the market. They are using several strategies to make this process a reality. From the traditional view, logistics has always served in better delivery of the customers’ services while marketing had played a key role in the identification of these needs to be met. Logistics as a function on its own requires the use of much capital in the implementation process and the outcomes may also be very limited. The integration process is thus the key shift that is needed towards the process of supply chain management (Abdur).
In every organization, the logistics functions do relate with other departments in an organization in a much intertwined manner. These include areas such as the production functions, human resource management, the procurement process and the most common of these is the marketing function. There are various reasons that researchers have cited as the reasons behind the marketing and logistics integration of functions. To an extent, logistics in the first place is widely considered as another half component of marketing. Another reason is because of the nature of the functions involved in logistics that involve the delivery of the rights goods, to the right people and place at the required time. Most clients would for instance consider the level of dependability and reliability to their suppliers in order to select the most appropriate carrier choice.
Consumers will on the other hand rely on reliable services so that they can make constant orders of products. This clearly indicates the thin line that separates marketing and logistics. Nevertheless, the numbers of researches done in the past to try and evaluate further the connections and integration of logistics with other firms’ department have been very sparse. Other researchers have come up with the debate that certain functions in fact like purchasing, taking orders, processing and determining the level of safety in the stock, should neither be classified as logistic or market functions because they indicate management functions thus have been major sources of conflicts in most firms. Other groups of researchers have in fact recommended that there is even more need to determine these functions in a clear and concise manner so as to avoid any further cases of conflicts in organizations in this regard (Murphy, and Richard ).
With an initial pre-emption of possible conflicts that may arise following the marketing-logistics integration process, two other researchers, Poist and Lynagh developed the most appropriate mechanisms that can be implemented to curb cases of conflict. Another researcher, Ballou seems to be in agreement with these two and emphasizes that there is need for more cooperation between marketing and logistic functions to avoid conflicts. The various techniques suggested to enhance both corporation and coordination in this process include the following (Gimenez and Ventura);
Soliciting for the support of the top management in order to promote a strong cooperation among the marketing-logistics functions.
Developing and implementing mutual goals that will clearly outline the various measures of performance between these two functions.
Conducting projects that are joined to strengthen the capacity of integration between marketing and logistics.
Selecting the contact people in both marketing and logistics departments that will take up the role of the key contact people or specialists of distribution to facilitate actual communication process and messages to enable effective integration.
Developing systems of information and procedures to promote effective sharing of data.
Establishing committees to coordinate issues and matters that affect both the single units.
Providing the required education and training especially for the personnel in charge of distribution on the various functions of marketing and those of marketing, be trained on logistic functions.
Establishing a system that promotes giving incentives by sharing the risks and benefits of both marketing and logistics.
Creating one unified department would be the best of these mechanisms, as all functions will fall under one management unit thus avoiding conflicts.
Personnel from these two groups may also decide to conduct job switching to get the desired experience in the opponent department.
Opportunities to interact beyond the business environments like during outdoors sports events and picnics to make the marketing and logistics employees develop team building and corporation spirit.
A third party may always be willing to step in and help in the logistics-marketing conflict management.
Overall development and instilling the spirit of philosophy and cooperation geared towards the logistics and marketing personnel.
At times, the situations will call for bargaining between the roles to reach a mutual understanding.
Case study of companies that have integrated Marketing and logistic functions
Logistics has become an important part of manufacturing firms across the globe. These companies basically dwell on four major levels in their logistics systems including; the Supply Chain, the facility of actual production, the production unit, and the business enterprise. The enterprise aspect is inclusive of all the plant’s sections of engineering, design and marketing. Logistics in manufacturing is thus defined as all the initiatives that involve planning and coordinating the functions of service delivery that are needed to make possible the manufacturing activities. Traditional activities of manufacturing logistics involves planning, controlling and scheduling processes that enhance acquiring, processing and storing and inventory of company products (Majunatha et al ).
One of the modern companies that are enjoying the long-term benefits of having integrated its marketing and logistic functions is the global producer of manufacturing battery firm called the Rohimafrooz Ltd. It is counted among the fasted growing and largest business in the Bangladesh region today, since its establishment in 1954 by the founding owner, Rahim Abdur, then as only a trading company. The manufacturing firm, whose headquarters are based in Gulshan, the capital city of Bangladesh has since diversified its business operations to other sectors in the market to include production of power energy, retailing, and automotive business. The firm’s activities are always under the coordination of the Rahomafrooz Corporate Office, which oversees the eight different business ventures.
It is now a manufacturer of various products of batteries and an active member of the independent battery manufacturers association in the United States. Their target clients are consumers who are in need of energy solutions to meet their needs. It was recognized for best distributors of the locus battery and awarded in 1959, and in 1978 got the tender to distribute the Dunlop tyres. In 1985, it had begun the production of its own industrial battery, working closely with the BP Company from the United Kingdom, to advance to the production of even a more powerful solar energy. The period between 1992 and 1994 saw the firm make critical decisions to start the exportation business of batteries produced to Singapore thus launched its instant system of power in 1993.
It made a major acquisition of the Yuasa Batteries Company in 1994 that is also in Bangladesh and the company’s growth stalled after this move as the company failed in the utilization of its resources and capacity. At this time, all the logistics and marketing functions were being conducted separately in the various units of the business. It was implementing the use of various marketing strategies to increase the rate of sales without any success.
The company leadership then decided on the integration strategy upon the realization of the potential benefits that could be involved. The logistic functions were incorporated with marketing to enhance information sharing that promptly enabled the company to get the feedback on the customers’ tastes and preferences of their products during the supply process. All distributors acted as information gatherers and did marketing function by collecting feedback that was useful to the company. The manufacturing firm thus shifted its operations to producing products in line with the customers’ demands as a result of the information received.
This brought initial success and it started rising again in its outputs. It even won the certification of ISO 9002 to become the modern Rahimafrooz Batteries Ltd in 1997. This was nonetheless enough as the firm still had more chances of utilizing its resources to generate even higher quality products. The managers saw the need to focus more on the integration process as a managerial function that would facilitate even the gathering of more information that could not only inform the decision making process but also to enable the prediction of future product timing and demand.
The integrated strategy was developed with the major purpose of; offering the consumers in the market with high quality products that will be in line with the demand, to increase the use of employees’ opinion collected especially on the various regions of operation by the firm to improve performance and to enhance the production of services that are satisfactory to the clients by improving the logistic functions through quick deliveries and replacements of any products that had defaults. This also highly improved the level of communication across the various business units operated by the firm.
In 1997, the firm utilized two major systems of information to maintain and process its communication functions with the dealers at the local level and the customers too. The inside sources reveal that with the advent of technology, the integration process of the marketing and logistics functions became even more simplified and with much benefits. The firm used the web to promote communication with partners in Singapore, the United Kingdom among other nations of its potential operations in line with the functions of supply chain management. Channels such as the fax, emails, teleconferencing and social media have been very efficient in the integration process. It clearly set out the information process criteria that would guide its operations and ranked the activities in their order of importance. Rahimafrooz set several criteria for information ranked on the basis of their importance like the order status, information on planned orders, the design and engineering specifications, the schedule of delivery and the change frequency level, changes implemented and the accuracy and reliability of operations.
The intellectual knowledge of the human resources labour force of the company was critical in the process of obtaining quality data of the management of the logistics functions. This enabled the firm to succeed even more and opened another retain chain in 2001 whose intention was to maintain closer relationship with consumers to remain connected to its consumers. This became the first ever chain of retails in the Bangladesh region. The managers admitted that the task of the integration process was daunting but worthwhile as they look back. They adapted the mechanism of team building with the team leaders primarily endowed with the responsibilities of constantly listening and colleting employees’ feedback regarding the best ways to improve the integration even more and how the two functions could be enhanced. The outcomes of the marketing and logistics integration process were manifested within a short period of time from the onset of 2002.
To begin with was the overall performance improvement in all the departments involved. Clear evidence is also available indicating the logistics and marketing functions of Rahimafrooz was very unique in the market compared to those of the immediate competitors who have constantly posed a threat to the company, especially following the integration process. The company has received recognition nd accreditation as the best and most outstanding Castrol Lubricant distributors in 2009 during the regional conference in Kuala Lumpar. The distribution rates of the company increased by over 45% due to the integrated systems of operations. The company has since also enjoyed the benefits of lowered costs in production and the overall growth rate has been up to 20% on an annual basis and is even bound to increase in the coming years. It has successfully diversified through forming joint ventures with other companies like Flora Telecom. For the last five years, research indicates that Rahimafrooz has had a consistent 25% annual rate of growth as a result of the integration process (Rajib et al).
The case study above reveals certain aspects that are critically worth noting. First, it is evident that the adaption of integration mechanisms like winning the top management support, sharing information, establishing philosophical values of cooperation and team spirit are essential in transforming an organization’s performance. Most researches have indicated that managers are always reluctant to adapt integration due to lack of information, resources, and personality differences among others. Most also perceive that these are sophisticated approaches while in real sense, they are simple moves based on the implementation of common sense that are often assumed or overlooked in the daily business practices.
From the Rahimafrooz, study, it is evident that the process of implementing marketing-logistics functions majorly involves a shift in the change of attitudes and the organizational culture, some of which may be indulging in massive spending. It is also evident that the attainment of these goals can be achieved within very short periods of time like the company did and they can be implemented with very minimal levels of distractions and costs involved. Another lesson is that several strategies are used and put in place to achieve the integration marketing and logistics process. The techniques to be used must also aim to involve all the departments and management levels, meaning that maximum corporation is essential for success.
(Antonio, and Andre ) note that the current development in high level technology and stiff market competition have prompted firms to be very cautious and concerned of not only their reputation in the market but also of the quality of services they are producing to consumers. They are thus making efforts to upgrade the activities along product quality improvement, the timing of the information about their products in the market, the services, which are customized, the reduction of inventory activities and most importantly customer service. This has made the integration of marketing and logistics essential as most firms have done. Nonetheless, others have failed in the attempt and approach of integrating their internal logistic and marketing functions.
Saddler also notes that managers and firm directors have a critical role to play in such processes as integration because they provide guidance and directions to be followed by junior staff members in initiating activities. The difference between successful and failed integrations of logistics and marketing functions is brought about by the levels of training, motivation and dedication that staffs or employees receive from the managers that eventually translate to their activities. The process is nevertheless still under evolution as most companies are just starting to adapt these strategy hence firms still have opportunities to improve and borrow some best practices from those that have made it successfully. Internal committees may be formed to oversee the implementation of the integration process. The management must nonetheless support the transformation process.
Sadler further advices on key factors these managers must have in mind, borrowing from President Roosevelt of America as the following; having clear purposes and outlined policies, maintaining contact with the people, having persistence, motivating employees and being visionary through monitoring progress and predicting the future possibilities. Policies and purposes perfectly should be integrated that theory and practice are well blended.
Policies are meant to guide human operations and so managers must keep in constant communication with all employees to keep posted on the progress of the integration process and challenges to find the best ways forward. Persistence means the ability to hold on without losing hope and managers should have this as a key characteristic. The process is never easy as change takes time but all those involved in the firm must be persistent to achieve change like the team at battery manufacturing company in Bangladesh. Employees must also be motivated to exploit their best talents and abilities in the process to achieve better outcomes because the process is collaborative in nature (Saddler).
The critical factor that is constantly evaluated in relation to marketing and logistics integration is the level or outcome of the firm’s performance and ability to control its profit. Saddler (2007) notes that the mistake most firms do in evaluating their performance is to majorly focus on financial measures rather than including other physical evaluation measures in analyzing their performance levels following marketing-logistics integration. He motivates firms to develop score cards that are balanced way in advance so as to be able to evaluate all activities done physically and measure them up financially. Logistics and marketing especially regard this as critical because its important than evaluating the dollars received for profits as logistics greatly contributes to this achievement.
Marketing aims to satisfy the needs of the customers through the logistics of perfect delivery of the goods thus the operations should all incur profits and improved performance. This indicates that if firms perfectly incorporate logistics to other functions like marketing and purchasing, the probability of attaining the optimal level of organization’s performance is increased.
Managers have been bestowed with the responsibilities of conducting both marketing and logistic activities in the modern competitive markets. Organizations have since become visionary and proactive towards the logistics and marketing functions to retain their positions and relevance in the market thus others which ignore such developments and trends have ended up suffering massive losses among other risks incurred. Research has shown that logistic functions only become complete once integrated with the marketing functions as these two are all involved with the free flow of the manufactured products through the distribution of its consumer goods. Marketing, being an essential function in industrial development and the economy ensures that all business activities are in line with the goals of the businesses.
Logistics managers in most companies today are faced with tough challenges in the decision making processes regarding the need to expand their product portfolio development evaluating their channels of product distribution and with the general nature of developing various promotional programs that will eventually contribute in towards the development of programs that are promotional in nature and ill enhance the establishment of better polices in firms. It is evident from the discussion in this paper that the primary concern of logistics is to promote and enhance the high level of development in marketing relations that will enable effective exchange of the company’s products in the market.
A common belief over the years has been that a company having efficient market strategy has higher chances of accommodating logistics functions towards its implementation process. Researchers have constantly emphasized the urgent need for firms especially based in developing economies to have their marketing and logistics operations integrated so as to have greater influence in concepts facilitations. The interplays existing between logistics that is flow oriented and concepts that are marketing oriented are very high. This can only imply that manufacturers stand to enjoy more benefits by increasing the properties of the materials and information of the product that will be perceived by end users of such products that are consumer oriented. Marketing-logistic integration greatly stimulates the emerging of functions within these two structures hence providing wide options that managers can choose from. Marketing is a widespread concept across the globe today that gives room for several modifications for the commercial manufacturers concerning their functions and overall objectives.
The strategy of marketing promotes the manufacturers to be involved in the decision making of their product processing to effectively perform the company’s roles and achieve the desired objectives. It can hence be concluded that these two key areas, marketing and logistics play major roles in the operations of a firm, and are closely inter-related thus any organization whose goals is to achieve a balance or the state of equilibrium and stability in the market ought to consider the integration as a critical step towards this achievement. The role of management in logistics in current organizations puts into consideration the process of decision making that relates to the marketing functions, with a major goal making the maximum possible value and reducing the total costs incurred.
There has been a wave of increased awareness among manufacturing executives that there is need for such a process to take place due to the advantages that come in line with not only the process but also the firm’s products. Most companies are now adapting the integration strategy due to the realization that there is need to effectively respond to the needs of the customers in meeting the demand in the market. They are using several strategies to make this process a reality. From the traditional view, logistics has always served in better delivery of the customers’ services while marketing had played a key role in the identification of these needs to be met. Logistics as a function on its own requires the use of much capital in the implementation process and the outcomes may also be very limited. The integration process is thus the key shift that is needed towards the process of supply chain management. There have been limited studies in this area over the years and thus the need to shift more attention towards finding out more of the unknown areas.
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Discuss how population can be viewed as both a market for goods and a source of labor source of labor
Human capital is vital in the production and in the servicing of the goods produced. This being the case, it is vital to understand the aspect or how human or the population plays their part as either a source of labor or as the market for goods. One, after the management has designed a particular product, it is vital to note that the process of product development involves the input of human skills and labor to produce a given product.
This being the case then, we can say that human being or the population is used as a source of skills and labor in that they make sure that the goods undergo the various processing cycles before they are produced. Here the role of population is to provide supportive duties like, supervision, management, professionals and laborers for the products. On the other hand, after a company produces goods, the company has to find the market for their products. It should be noted the only final customer for economic goods is the customer. Therefore, the population is the direct source of market for any commercial product that a company produces.
How does logistics strategy connect to overall corporate strategy?
It should be noted that the logistic strategies do reside at the functional level of any organization so that it may translate the corporate and business level strategies into action plans. The main functions of the logistic strategy is to indicate and determine the number and locations of warehouses that the company has and are operational and the requirements by these warehouses.
This is vital to the corporate strategy, as the corporate strategy will help in redefining and making recommendations based on the report from the logistics strategy. At the same time, the logistics strategy is tasked with the burden of selecting the appropriate transportation modes. This being the case, the corporate strategies headed by the senior managers and the board of directors makes this happen by apportioning the required funds to the logistic department. With the logistic strategies, a company is advised on how to deploy inventory and the technological investment that supports logistic activities.
The role of the corporate strategies in this is to make sure that the findings and recommendations of the logistic strategies lie under the main objectives of the company and to finance the projects that are in line with the company views. The logistic function positively affects the corporate strategy in the sense that it designs a strategy that optimally supports the development of a business by following the set out corporate strategy. Logistics can be said to directly relate to the corporate strategy in terms of asset management and location, quality, productivity, customer service, and even costs. Logistic strategies are involved when the corporation intends to build a new warehouse, in the inventory work, transportation and in the implementation of business objectives that the corporate may be intending to invest in.
Is it a one-way or two-way connection
It should be noted that logistic strategy is a two-way connection. This means that the company may not be able to function properly if it does not have the logistics required to produce a certain product, to invest, the transportation to be used as well as the implementation measures. It therefore should be noted that cooperate relies on the logistical strategies to measure the success and when identifying of the various places to invest in. A logistics department on the other hand relies on the corporate strategies to get the go ahead to commence projects.
Strategy Mapping & the Learning and Growth Perspective
It is difficult to exclude General Motors when doing an analysis of the automobile industry in the world. The company is a leading producer of automobiles that serve the world market. A direct relationship exists between internal business process, learning, and growth of an organization. This is because learning and growth of an organization focus on activities of employees and other intangible assets of an organization who facilitate the working of all internal processes. It facilitates the creation of an environment where employees and other resources interact in the organization to produce the desired results as well as the goals of the organization (Pangarkar & Kirkwood, 2009).
Organizations must pursue learning and growth, especially in this period of technological improvements. The pursuant of learning and growth helps to establish avenues for optimum resource use, which gives competitive advantage over others.
General Motors is among the companies that must review their objectives in order to achieve the mission, vision, and goals as wells as other strategies set by the company. The company needs to come up with objectives that help them achieve a learning and growth perspective, which will contribute towards the realization of the company’s goals and vision of investing in production efficiency and customer satisfaction (General Motors Company SWOT Analysis, 2013).
In addition, the company serves an international market with diverse tastes and preferences, which necessitates the need for the creation of a learning and growth perspective. These objectives should target increasing the efficiency of non-capital assets in an attempt to increase global competitiveness. Non-capital assets include employees, technological facilities and other entities that affect the internal processes of the organization. In most cases, learning and growth focus on interaction of employees and the work environment as the main source of influence in the internal processes of an organization. This paper focuses on some of the objectives that will help General Motors improve its learning and growth aspects.
Learning and Growth Objectives
ObjectiveMeasureTargetActionImproving product differentiationIncrease in the number of brandsIncrease in profits by over 10%Decentralizing production to areas that serve as major markets.
Support employee talents and encourage innovation among employees.Development of new designsThe measure of this objective will be in terms of improvements and availability of new designs in the marketIncrease sales and profits consecutively.Incorporate technology in production.
Study consumer behavior to understand their needs and specifications.Enable global competitiveness through supporting talents and innovations.Increase in the number of designers and research facilities.Mass production and optimum of resourcesPursuing employee motivation
Involving employees in designing products
Enhance market researchRelationship to other objectivesIt is clear that these objectives have a relationship with the financial and internal business process objectives of the organization. Most of these objectives have common measures and targets. All of the objectives focus on improving the sales of the company and the profits in general. The objective of increasing product differentiation also affects the learning and growth aspects of the company. However, the action plan differs depending on the area of concern. For instance, under the internal business process objectives, the action plan for increasing product differentiation is through production specialization. On the other hand, under the learning and growth objectives, the action plan is through decentralization of production and supporting innovation among employees.
General Motors Company SWOT Analysis. (2013). General Motors Corporation SWOT analysis, 1-9. Available at http://www.strategicmanagementinsight.com/swot-analyses/general-motors-swot-analysis.pdf
Pangarkar, A. M., & Kirkwood, T. (2009). The trainer’s balanced scorecard: A complete resource for linking learning and growth to organizational strategy. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.
Running head: LOGISTICS 1
Application of Six Sigma approach at Aramex
Aramex is a global company that deals mainly with comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions. Being part of the Arab international logistics and being on the list of Dubai financial markets, it provides these solutions in the whole of the Middle East, North Africa and also South Asia. This is a company that has come to be recognized as a result of the customized services in terms of logistics and transportation as well as the multiproduct offering. Due to this therefore, the company has been able to expand its boundaries and at the moment, it employs more than 12,300 people in over 353 locations all over the 60 countries that it currently operates. Due to its strong alliance network, it provides a worldwide network (Jacoby, 2010).
Some of the services that are being offered by Aramex include: freight forwarding, international and domestic express, logistics and warehousing, e-business solutions, records and information management solutions and online shopping services. Aramex is actually a founding member of global Distribution Alliance (GDA) and it chairs it. This is an alliance that brings together over 40 leading express and logistics providers all over the world. This network has over 12,000 offices and 66000 employees serving the alliance customers and attending their business meetings in over 240 countries. As a result of this therefore the company seems to be expanding its borders day by day (Jacoby, 2010).
The customer case of the company is very diverse, which spans across all the regions of its presence mentioned above. Their customers who are both retail and wholesale are also seen to be diversified in terms of their service needs. This is due to the fact that Aramex’s customers are not actually concentrated to one particular industry. They are very diverse ranging from pharmaceutical companies, trading companies, banks, manufacturing and distribution companies, service and information companies and express companies. Due to this growing diversity of its customers therefore, the company has resolved to come up with a broad range of services to cater them. These customers are making use of the high value added services that the company is offering. However this is not up to the expectation of most of its customers. This has thus necessitated the company to get back to the drawing board and come up with h a strategy that will ensure that company becomes more competitive through quality services. This is very important especially when it comes to the overall improvement of the company in terms of efficiency and customer satisfaction.
The company however ought to come up with a perfect growth strategy that will ensure that it remains relevant in this dynamic market that keeps changing. In such a growth strategy various elements ought to be taken into consideration. The most notable one is the expansion of the market geographic presence to the emerging markets in the region. The other one would be the provision of total transportation solutions in terms of logistic management and multimodal regional transportation. There should also be an emphasis on the technological aspect by making sure that they use it to enhance the quality of customer care. All these strategic plans would be made possible through the Six Sigma approach which will be discussed in this paper.
Using Six Sigma for Improvement of product and service delivery
Despite the growth that is being seen at Aramex, there seems to be a lot of areas that needs attention in order to make sure that the quality of services at the company is above the expectations of its clients and stakeholders. One of the areas that have been found to have let down the quality of services of the company is on the communication aspect. The call center of Aramex receives averagely 4,000 calls in a day. The callers are requesting for information on various sectors, products and services of the company. In this regard thus, the company could not be able to handle all these calls due to the fact that there were no experienced personnel on this sector (George, 2002, p.9).
As a result of this thus, the company needs an improvement plan which can only by effective with the application of the six sigma quality methodology. This will be able to ensure a measure of quality that actually thrives for near perfection. The best thing about the Six sigma approach is the fact that it is disciplined in terms of data approach and methodology for eliminating defects. The company will only be able to comply with the Six Sigma approach if they will thrive to pay more attention to their customers in terms of their specifications Aramex would thus need to make use of the Six sigma approach if at all they have the vision of drastically improving on the services which will translate to an increase in profitability. One impact that six sigma will have on this company is to complete change the process of getting the work done for the better. The application of six sigma approach at Aramax will signify an improvement in the speed and efficiency of services that have been derailing the vital services of the company like communication. The swiftness and efficiency that will come with the six sigma approach will mean an improvement in product and service delivery, satisfied customers and overall profit for the company (George, 2002, p.9).
The most important thing that ought to be done by the company is to make sure that they use the IP telephony in all its sites. This will make sure that there is deployment and centralized management of the main system such as the updates to the phones as well as to the users. In order to make use of the Six sigma approach therefore that company needs to a system like Avaya in order to streamline its transportation systems. Furthermore, this will make sure that Aramex fully integrates with its CRM application which makes sure that there is seamless business process integration. This is the solution that will also see the connection of Aramex sites on the global scale thus making sure that various Aramex locations can be able to communicate freely and seamlessly. With the installation of a call management system, the introduction of skill based routine will be witnessed and this will lead to accurate reporting Yang, H. M., Choi, Hyung, Suh, & Bongsug, 2007, P.88).
Being a service provider, the company also ought to take special consideration on the product responsibility in order to ensure customer satisfaction. This will be very important in the company’s bid to come up with the best strategy for the improvement of its products and services. They ought to streamline their product development as well as service delivery in order to make sure that they build and maintain a long lasting relationship with their customers. They best strategy to do this is to start with a customer survey. This will be able to reflect on the current trends and emerging issue that affect the customer service and thus be able to improve it better.
The application of the Six sigma approach on the product and service delivery at the company will be very instrumental especially in improving its typical steps which are: definition, measurement, analysis, improvement, and control. Due to the fact that Six sigma will be focusing on the data speaking point of view, as well as a combination of other traditional statistical methods and tools like Quality Functional Deployment (QFD), Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA) among others, it will ensure that all the improvement that are needed by the company will be done to perfection and effectively. With the help of some external forces like green belt and black belt, this will be used as a fire to complete projects and at the same time reduce the process variation, optimization of processes and reducing of costs. This will ensure customer satisfaction which is the perfect recipe for the overall competitiveness of the company (George, 2002, p.9).
Product responsibility will be complete if the company takes the initiative of motivating its staff to go beyond their areas of designation in order to build further the image of the company. The company may look at certain possibilities like presentation of several performance awards which will make sure that there is a perfect recognition of individuals and teams who make a significant contribution to the company. This will ensure that these individuals remain motivated to do the work without any coercing which in turn will translate to the improvement of service delivery in the company oat all the levels.
Six Signa approach would also call for the setting up of plans that are aimed at improving the quality systems within the framework of the management reviews Yang, H. M., Choi, Hyung, Suh, & Bongsug, 2007, P.88). This plan’s output will be expressed in form of quality system objectives which will apply in all the relevant departments in the organization. In this regard the quality objectives can be classified in various means. The first one is the policy objectives which remain the principal objectives that are strategic enough to the point that it is able to apply to the whole organization. The second one would be the quality performance objectives which ensure that there is a set specific targets that are measurable that are targeted towards the improvement of the operational performance (Jacoby, 2010). These objectives thus should be established, documented and monitored in order to make sure that they make an impact when it comes to the overall improvement in the quality of products and services in the company. This can be done perfectly through a semi-annual performance appraisal which ensures that quality is maintained and the objectives set at the beginning of the year are rightly met. The third objective would be the service and product quality objective. These can be rightly connected to the products and services of the company. Due to the fact that these are what makes or breaks he image of a company, it is important to lay a special emphasis on this area. If the company will maintain a service level that is consistently acceptable, then it would not be hard for the company to conform to the Six Sigma approach. The last objective would be the quality system objectives which are related to the quality improvement and performance (Yang, H. M., Choi, Hyung, Suh, & Bongsug, 2007, P.88).
Apart from the quality management system, it is important to make sure that other management systems that would ensure qualities in the company are adopted. These include the use of an integrated communication technology that ensures that best service delivery at all times. This integrated technology will ensure that there is a seamless flow of information that are deemed to be relevant between Aramex as a company and other alliance members which will also include its customers. The development of relevant IT solution for customers will go a long way in ensuring that the company gets the nod from its customers who will in the end translate to improvement in service delivery through the integration of the Six Sigma approach. This will thus call for the training of the staff on the world of the changing technology in order to make sure that they get the best out of the technological advancement. In this regard thus the use of technology through the Six Sigma will prove to be the perfect combination for the improvement of the company efficiency and thus improvement on quality of service (Jacoby, 2010).
The economic strategy is also very important when it comes to the improvement of a company. This should be designed in a way that ensures that it maximizes the benefits of the stakeholders through the act of responsible profit maximization. This will call for Aramex to focus more on the structure that will allow them to come up with a federal structure that will directly contribute to the economic gain of the company and to the local community through the provision of job opportunities as well as economic development in their areas of operation.
It is thus evident that Aramex would be in a better position to improve on its product and service provision. This is because the Six Sigma organization is a learning one and it can specifically be identified with the organization’s need for different levels of staff. Due to the fact that Aramex was struggling with issues related with customer service, the Six sigma approach proves to put this to an end taking into consideration Six Sigma’s ultimate goal of changing the behavior of everyone. If this will be combined with the financial accounting and the active management, it will replace the passive work habits thus pursuing perfection in its improvement strategy.
In its bid to increase it profitability and ensure competence the company ought to optimize on the management of the core business processes, the six Sigma approach comes in handy. With this, the quality of service for the company goes up tremendously simply due to the swiftness and effectiveness that comes with the use of Six Sigma quality methodology. This will define how best and how prepared the company is when it comes to competence and provision of quality services. This will thus mark the ultimate improvement plan for the company as they face the challenges of the future market trends. With this, Aramex will be in a better position to attract more customers which will translate to increased profitability.
George, M. L. (2002). Lean Six Sigma: Combining Six Sigma quality with lean speed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Jacoby, D. (2010). Guide To Supply Chain Management. London: Profile.
Yang, H. M., Choi, B. S., Hyung, J. P., Suh, M. S., & Bongsug (Kevin) Chae. (2007). Supply chain management six sigma: A management innovation methodology at the samsung group. Supply Chain Management, 12(2), 88-88.
Every manufacturer aims at processing his raw materials and distributing the final product to the consumer. But this process has some challenges and operational problems which require to be identified. One of the ways of dealing with these challenges is by applying effective supply logistics. In regard to this, this report refers to Westminster company which is an international organization dealing with supply of medicinal drugs. The company redesigned its distribution channel trough application of supply logistics.
Supply logistics is a term used to define the activities involved in planning, implementing and controlling the efficient flow of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption. Brandimarte and Zotteri breaks down the term logistics into both management issues and material handling of goods during the distribution of goods from the producer to the consumer (2007). The interconnection between proper management issues and effective physical handling of goods offers a proper definition of supply logistics (McInerney, 2003). In regard to this, Westminster Company is an international consumer health products provider. Their products are distributed all over the world and hence their management has to consider the proper supply logistics. Several decisions have to be made by the company before identifying the proper distribution channel of their products.
Objectives of the report
The report aims at identifying the factors that Westminster Company considers before choosing a distribution channel. Another objective is to find out whether the company uses a third party and what influences the decision of using a third party. These are some of the crucial logistics that any organization must control before distributing their products.
Westminster supply logistics
Bowersox, Closs and Cooper assert that distribution challenges are attributed to faulty management designs and improper integration of logistics (2013). Apparently, Westminster management researched exhaustively on their customer’s current and future supply chain requirements. The management discovered that the choice of supply chain is determined by the customer composition and what the consumer requires in a specified period of time. Westminster customers are composed of ten percent domestic customers and ninety percent from abroad. Therefore, the company required to make radical decisions concerning the distribution channel. According to Pujari, there are five important factors to be considered when choosing a distribution channel (2004). These factors include considerations related to the product, the market, manufacturer, legal considerations and other considerations (Pujari, 2004). For example, the size of the market is a factor related to the market and since Westminster has a wide scope of market they opted to ship their commodities abroad. Shipping is not only cost effective, but also it is a proper way of transporting bulky commodities.
Consequently, technology is a key pillar in ensuring an effective distribution of commodities. Bowersox et al suggests that a proper information technology, design promotes an effective distribution of goods (2013). Since the consumer and the manufacture are quite a distance, they rely on technology for communication. Faulty technology brings hitches in communication and it can bring losses to a company that is why Westminster had to invest heavily on information technology. In fact, Brandimarte and Zotteri suggest that any organization should set aside a group of IT experts to oversee the entire supply process (2007). One way that Westminster refurbished their information technology is by introducing a point of sale (POS). POS could allow faster and timely purchase of stock, customer support and better distribution management (Sujdak, 2002). Another logistical consideration is the ability to cope with increasing demand. High demand requires an efficient transportation of goods and an increase in supply. For instance, Westminster customers increased their procurement practices from one delivery request to three requests per week. Therefore, in such a situation an organization involves third parties who include retailers and middlemen. If the number of buyers is large then it is better to take the services of distribution to the middlemen (Pujara, 2004). When deliveries are made direct to the retailers, consumers can make purchases at their own time. Similarly, the financial strength of a company determines the choice of a distribution channel. A manufacturer should select a channel of distribution that is cost friendly and effective. For instance, in spite of strong financial capabilities Westminster chose water transport over air transport due to its cost friendly charges. Finally, supply logistics involve an organized distribution network until the commodity reaches the consumer. A distribution network entails a proper storage of goods after the shipment. Westminster has private warehouses where they store their products awaiting distribution. Warehouses helps in a safe storage of the products and a close monitoring of the goods before the liability is passed to the consumer (McInerney, 2003).
Westminster Company has revolutionized their sales since they redesigned their supply logistics. Many losses were incurred during transportation and distribution of their products. But the five factors considered and technological advancement contributed to effective supply of their goods (Sujdak, 2002). Therefore, it is very important for managers to strategic on supply logistics before making any decision about distribution. Logistics management will help in removing the organization bottlenecks and challenges involved in selection of distribution channels (Bowersox et al, 2013).
Bowersox, Donald J. (Donald John) (2013). Supply chain logistics management (4th ed). McGraw-Hill, New York
Brandimarte, Paolo, and Giulio Zotteri. Introduction to Distribution Logistics. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley-Interscience, 2007. Internet resource.
McInerney, M. (2003). Supply chain strategic alliances can help logistics teams provide value. Pulp & Paper, 77(10), 38-40. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/209820818?accountid=1611
Pujari, S. (2004). 5 Important Factors Affecting the Choice of Channels of Distribution by the Manufacturer. Retrieved from:
Sujdak, E. J. (2002). Impact of the shortage of IT professionals on logistics and supply chain management. Logistics Spectrum, 36(2), 15-21. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/195306296?accountid=1611
Manual for Logitech Harmony 700 Remote
The manual for the Logitech Harmony 700 Remote is purposely written to guide user on how they apply the device in controlling their domestic electronic appliances. This document is purposely written to offer guidance to users on how they can go from watching television to watching DVD or listening music (Laporte, and Miller 37). The transition from watching TV to DVD games is aided by the harmony remote with just a single touch. Principally, this manual gives the information needed by the users to becoming experts in controlling TV s and DVD by the single touch of a button.
The manual for Logitech Harmony 700 Remote is purposely intended for domestic consumers of TVs and DVDs. Consumers can always control their TVs and DVs at the comfort of their chairs. Consumer must read the manual to aid them with the operational techniques of the remote (Whitbread 42). In summary, this document serves consumers with the required knowledge of operating the remote in conjunction with home appliances.
This material was well written as it captures the intended objective of the manufacturer. The manufacturer of this remote has a mandate of explaining various application features of the remote, and how consumers can operate their appliances. Elements that indicate effectiveness of this article attributes to its logical explanation on the application of the remote.
User manual differs from typical academic writing on many accounts. It is always written in a logical manner, which is distinct to a particular application. On the other hand, academic writing exhibits an official standard of writing, and always follows a particular writing pattern that is globally prescribed. For instance, they follow APA, MLA and other forms of writing. User manuals use pictorial representation to emphasize a particular procedure; the language used is generally simple. On the other hand, academic writings use complex language.
Laporte, Leo, and Michael Miller. Leo Laporte’s Gadget Guide. Indianapolis, IN: Que, 2006. Print.
Whitbread, D. (2009). The design manual. Sydney, NSW: UNSW Press.
Printing and packaging is supposed to be attractive and descriptive to attract more customers to buy that product. With the introduction of new technology and products, there is need for coming up with suitable printing and packaging processes to attract more customers. There are various printing methods that can be used to fold cartons. For instance, sheet fed lithography. This method is recognized because it produces good quality graphics that that have coated and uncoated paperboard. It also allows images to be burned because it makes coating an easier process (Bbc.co.uk, 2010, p. 1). This method relies on the fact that oil and water is not supposed to mix. They are highly used with linseed or soy printing materials. Secondly, flexography which is the quickest process for package printing.
Lithographic printing is a printing method commonly used for small runs because of various reasons: Firstly, it is less expensive and fast plate production, it allows for color adjustment on the press, and it brings out the best output. This method produces both uncoated and coated paperboard surfaces (Bbc.co.uk, 2010, p.1). The tooling methods for this method are slightly above those of offset lithography method. This method comprises of binders, pigments, processing aids like retardants or drying accelerators. I would prefer this printing method because it is in a position to produce different colors. There are three common flexo presses and they include inline, stack, and central impression. The major suppliers of flexographic suppliers for printing package are Kidder, Fischer, and Krecke (F and K), windmoeller and Hoelscher (W and H).
The most accepted type of printing techniques is block printing, photocopying and screen printing. This type of printing achieves it’s desired through placing a stencil under the screen and ink. It is suitable for small runs because it produces a variety of colors. The following processes are necessary for screen printing firstly, stapling of mesh onto wooden or metal frame. Secondly, design a stencil on the cut. Thirdly, placing a stencil under frame above paper. Fourth, use squeegee to put ink across screen, pressing firmly and carefully lift screen. Finally, evaluate and repeat. Block printing is a type of printing where blocks are cut into pieces of linoleum, metal, or wood. This type of printing method can be used although it may not be suitable for printing that requires several colors. It is suitable for printing both small and medium runs of wall paper, greeting cards, and paper table cloths. There are various advantages for Flexo printing methods are: it has various substrates and applications.
Web offset Lithography. This method does not require offline sheeting because rolls of the paperboard are inserted directly into the press. Splicing system enhances continuous running. When it comes to production, productivity is based on feet per minute and run lengths are often expressed on form of total linear feet. Web offset takes into consideration in the long run of repeatable sizes like national brand cereal cartons. Offset printing is the most recognized method for printing and it is commonly used for a four color printing. It is good for most companies doing printing packaging to use this process because they produce cartons with colors like black, Cyan, Magenta, and yellow.
Rotogravure: this printing is used by high quality packaging like brewery and detergent cartons, tobacco, spirits and cosmetics. This printing method allows ink to be transferred onto the substrate directly. Although this method produces high quality colors, it is costly and time consuming. Light weight sleeves can be used as the second option to steel cylinders that makes handling and storage easier. Gravure printing method has the capability to produce unmatched fluorescents, vivid metallic’s, and ink opacity. This printing method has a high line resolution of gravure that makes it advantageous for packaging with small runs. It requires separate printing cylinders that are necessary to come up with a variety of colors. There are various that may make a produce who wishes to pack his products in cartons to use gravure printing method for instance, there is consistency of good colors for a long periods of time. This printing method also enables a faster printing for long runs. This implies that this method would be very effective for the long runs and large production.
This company can also opt for other printing methods in case of productions in long runs. Examples of this printing packaging process include: rotary screen, ink jet, and digital (Malenke, 2010, p.1). These printing processes allows for variable images like custom labels and bar coding that can be used by any run length. Digital presses is inexpensive that produces prototypes in small quantities. Digital processes comprise of extra capabilities like laminating, die cutting, and cold-foil stampling. Screen printing can also be used in case of long runs. This method can be effective because the image to be represented is passed through a fine mesh screen of the selected areas. Screen printing is vital for packaging printing because it can produce a variety of colors. It is a simple application process and therefore requires a variety of inks compared with other printing processes.
I would also recommend that various printing processes be combined to come up with a desired quality. A good example is offset presses that can be used to produce cartons of different colors. A combination of various printing methods like rotary, gravure, flexo, and offset would be appropriate. I would not change to other printing methods if the production does well and turns into a large production. This is because these printing methods are economical in terms of production which would be very appropriate with production large quantities of products. Secondly, I would not change to different methods because these printing methods can produce a variety of colors and a product that is packed in cartons attract more customers to buy the products. Thirdly, a printing method like flexo will be appropriate for large production because if the products are taken to foreign countries, the entrepreneur can be in a position to make supernormal profits (Fishman, 2010, p.2). Most of this method like flexography uses water based ink. This type of printing method is environmentally responsive because it does not pollute and it is not toxic to the environment. This makes it to be very appropriate for printing and packaging of various products. The use of these printing methods has to be maintained because a method like flexography uses a flexo machine that is very simple to use and to operate. The use of this type of machine improves the productivity of labor. Most of the flex machines like polishing die cutting, and polishing. At the same time, the equipment makes the printing process to be easy and simple.
Bbc.co.uk (2010). BBC – GCSE Bite size: Printing 1: screen printing, block printing and photocopying. Retrieved from:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/design/graphics/mechanismfinishprintrev1.shtml [Accessed: 5 Sep 2013].
Malenke, G (2010). A Comparison of Folding Carton Substrates and Appropriate Applications, Brand Packaging. <http://www.brandpackaging.com/Articles/Case_Studies/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000805552
Fishman, D (2010) Gravure Printing Markets, Process and Inks”, All Business http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/advertising-print-advertising/679266-1.html
Domino India Logistics
Statistics point out that the currently more than 50% of the global population reside in cities and urban areas, if the current migration and population trends are to continue into the next decade; analysts argue that by 2050, 75% of the world population will be living in cities and urban centers. High population in urban areas has created great strain on public facilities and a greater complication in mobility and transportation factors. With increased pressure on transport facilities and roads, business corporations that rely on road transport are greatly affected by complications of road transport such as poor roads and traffic congestion that lead to delays in delivery of services. Domino’s Pizza is a private firm that specializes in production and delivery of pizzas to customers in India. The company’s company faces the challenge of delayed service delivery and warming up of pizza during delivery due to poor roads and traffic congestion, application of technological advancements such as Hailo taxi magnets, use of drones for delivery and Google pilot services could help the firm improve its delivery services. This paper reviews the challenges facing Domino’s pizza and the technological advancements that could help improve the firm’s performance.
Background information of Domino’s pizza
The firm’s history dates back to 1960 when Thomas S. Monaghan (Thomas) and James S. Monaghan (James), brothers studying at the University of Michigan, bout a pizza store for US$900 . The following year Thomas bought James’ share of the business. Thomas’ business progressed well and he was able to expand his business by addition of two more pizza stores in the town- Pizza King and Pizza from the Prop. In 1995, DomiNick’s Pizza was renamed to Domino’s Pizza which was able to establish Domino’s Pizza International (DPI), DPI served to open the firm’s stores internationally with the first one in Winnipeg, Canada. The company grew fast and was able to inaugurate its 1000th store by 1983.
Domino’s established itself in India in 1996 by a contract agreement with Vam Bhartia Corporation in Delhi. Due to great success of its initial store, the firm was able to launch a second store in the city; by the year 2000 it had set up stores in majority of India’s major cities. By the time the firm first established its store in India the idea of door to door pizza delivery was in its preliminary stages and was only possible in major cities. The firm established a delivery system from its outlets that guaranteed pizza delivery in 30 minutes of order placement with a compensation of Rs.30/- less for late delivery . With increased urban population and traffic congestion in India’s urban areas and lack of a defined street addressing system, the 30 minutes delivery time guarantee has become difficult to meet.
Challenges facing Domino’s Pizza
India has a population of 1.1 million with a population density of over 336 people per square kilometer. It is the second most populated country in the world after china and its large human population is a major contributor of the congestion in its cities. Most of it’s the country’s population and traffic is concentrated in cities, India also has a big contrast between its urban and rural population statistics. According to the Forbes magazine, India has the world’s most congested city. The traffic congestion on Indian roads is caused by cars, buses, scooters, trucks, auto-rickshaws, bicycles and the people as well . The country’s roads are in a bad condition and are rarely maintained leading to a great prevalence of accidents. Statistics show that India has the highest number of car accidents in the world; it accounts for 1% of the worlds automobiles with over 10% of the globe’s road accidents which is the highest compared to any other country. With such poor road transport statistics in India, domino’s Logistics encounters numerous problems in the process of pizza delivery; the company experiences delays in delivery of pizzas to customers due to traffic congestions in most of India’s cities.
Lack of defined street addressing system in India
Due to the large population and congestion in majority of cities in India, there is immense pressure on public amenities. Management of most public facilities becomes a problem and due to this, most streets and houses in the country’s cities are not properly demarcated and addressed. The country continues to use ancient methods of addressing that involve the postal addresses and therefore make physical identification of streets and residential places very difficult. Owing to such a poor public and private amenities identification system, Domino’s pizza and other institutions that specialize in delivery services experience great difficulties. Since domino’s specializes in delivery of pizzas on a door to door basis, lack of a well defined address system in the country greatly affects its effectiveness as a lot of time is spent on locating a destination and these results in delays in delivery and low customer satisfaction.
Warming up of pizza during delivery
As a result of poor roads, traffic congestion and lack of proper street and residential addressing systems, delivery of pizza is usually delayed. Pizza is a food commodity that is supposed to be delivered while in its frozen form. The delays in delivery due to traffic jams and difficulties in locating the customer’s position pizza is forced to spend long hours on transit, with the high temperatures experienced in the country the pizza often warms up before reaching its destination. Warming up of pizza results in high rates of customer rejection and constant accumulation of losses for the company. Furthermore, warming up of pizza leads to low customer satisfaction levels and the firm may lose customers to their competitors. Unless the company opts for alternative means of pizza delivery that would reduce the warming up, their public image continues to Danish and it will lose customers to their competitors.
Shortage of delivery automobiles and personnel
India is one of the world’s most populous countries and reaching out to all customers is a tough experience for the company. With the population of Indian cities expected to double by the year 2050, the company faces shortage of delivery personnel and automobiles. Since the traffic congestions and poor addressing systems delay the delivery of produce to customers, a higher number of personnel and delivery facilities such as cars, trucks, scooters and bicycles are required to go in parallel with the high numbers of customer orders placed at any given point in time. To counter this, the company needs to either increase the number of delivery personnel and facilities or opt for other technological inventions that would improve the speeds of delivery while reducing the number human laborers thereby maximizing the firm’s income revenues and reducing operational costs.
Proposed technological solutions
Use of drones
Unmanned Arial Vehicles (UAVs) usually referred to as “drones”, are in-flight remote controlled mechanical devices that are used for short and long distance military and civilian functions . These devices are designed to accommodate surveillance cameras, thermal imaging devices, license plate readers and laser radar (LADAR) and have abilities to carry armed missiles . These mechanical devices are designed to fly in the absence of an onboard human operator . Drones vary in size with the smallest equal to the size of an insect while others can be as large as a traditional jet; they are designed to take flight either by mechanism of a remote control or via a pre–determined flight path. These devices have previously been used by the US military in for out-of-the-country operations especially in tracking down and killing suspected terrorist group members. Drones can also be used for domestic surveillance operations such as fighting crime, disaster relief, immigration control, and environmental monitoring .
With increasing domestic application of drones, Domino’s pizza can embrace their use to improve its efficiency in the Indian market. The firm could use custom designed and medium sized drones with surveillance cameras and slots for carrying pizza. Upon receipt of a pizza order by a customer from a remote location, the pizza is loaded onto a drone and the drone set into flight. The drone could then be flown to the delivery destination via remote control of through a pre-determined flight path. When the drone reaches its intended destination, the customer is requested to unpack the pizza after which the drone is flown back to the store. Due to the lack of a well defined street and home addressing system in India the survey camera on the drones will be effective in helping the company to easily identify and locate customer place in very remote locations.
Advantages of using drones
The use of drones in domestic operations is not currently in use in India
and would be effective in solving some of Domino’s delivery challenges. The use of drones in pizza delivery could be advantageous to the firm in the following ways;
Drones do not require a defined address system to navigate to remote areas as they are fitted with surveillance cameras that help one to locate even the very remote areas.
Drones are fast since air travel is not affected by congestions and therefore pizza delivery time will reduce significantly.
Use of drones will cut down operational costs by eliminating the need for a driver to th
It is less costly to use drones for delivery purposes
Disadvantages of using drones
It is costly to acquire custom designed drones
Drones require special trained personnel to operate
The use of drones will reduce operational costs for the company leading to an improved supply chain management and increased productivity.
Hailo Taxi Magnet
Hailo is an improvised version of hail- a free mobile phone application that enables passengers to identify the public licensed taxis nearby and also enables taxi drivers to reach out to more passengers whenever they need them. The mobile application was developed and launched in November 2011 by three taxi drivers in collaboration with three enterprising entrepreneurs specializing on internet appliances. The use of Hailo taxi services has gained tremendous application in major cities around the world. It is currently available in London, Dublin, Toronto, New York, Tokyo, Washington DC cork, Madrid and Barcelona. Since its establishment in 2011, the “Hailo taxi magnet” application has accumulated served a total of five million customers and its annual sales have grown to an estimated value of more than 100 million US dollars.
How it works
Hailo is a Smartphone mobile application available for download by users with cell phones that support iPhone and android applications . To use this service one is expected to download and install the application on their cell phone. When one is in need of a taxi service, he/she activates the application which in turn displays the available taxi cabs around the customer . Once you select the nearest taxi available, the application automatically alerts the chosen taxi driver who in turn drives to pick the passenger. The application runs a search the nearest taxi cabs that would take the shortest time to pick up the passenger.
How domino could integrate Hailo Taxi Magnet.
Since Domino’s Logistics faces shortage of delivery automobiles and personnel, integrating Hailo taxi services would help boost their delivery services. By installing Hailo application at the customer services and orders desk phone, Domino’s pizza will be able to access and use the taxi services for part of their delivery. Using this application he firm will be able to access the nearest taxi cabs to help them with the delivery. Once the taxi is contacted, they are given the pizza and the address to which the delivery is to be made. Customers will also use the Hailo mobile technology to place their orders and also for identification of their locations by the firm. Once the customer makes an order, their location is pinpointed by the application and delivery is made to the person.
Benefits of using Hailo application
is free to download and install and therefore reduces the firm’s expenditure and maximizes profits.
Hailo application is simple and easy to use and does not require professional training to familiarize with it.
There are no maintenance costs for the application
The application will help the firm to reach out to customers situated in areas with no well-defined street and house addresses.
The application reduces the time of tracing a customer’s location and therefore reduces the time for delivery and increases the company’s efficiency.
Google Pilotless Car
In 2010 Google launched and tested its first pilotless cars in California . These cars are able to navigate roads and traffic without human assistance. Pilotless cars eliminate the need for a driver and are deemed more efficient compared to human driven automobiles as they have been tested and found to be accident free and are efficient in fuel consumption. The Google pilotless cars are an efficient technological advancement that if adapted would help domino’s logistics improve their efficiency by reducing operational costs.
How they work
The pilotless cars are designed to look like normal human driven cars, however instead of a human driver; these cars are fitted with surveillance cameras and sensors and observe the road and sense the presence of nearby cars. The cars incorporate video cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders that enable them to detect the presence of other traffic . Maps of the surrounding environment are manually collected and fed into the cars software so that they become familiar with the environment before they are allowed to go. The passengers of the automobile are only responsible for keying the destination address into the car’s GPS system. These cars have been found to use less fuel, reduce carbon emission into the environment and increase the capacity of roads.
Incorporation into Domino’s system
These cars could be used by Domino’s to aid in pizza delivery in Mumbai and other Indian cities. The pizza is loaded into the car and then the destination, which is the customer’s location, is keyed into the car’s GPS system and then the car allowed to make the delivery. On arrival the customer unpacks the pizza and keys into the car’s GPS system the destination of the Pizza store to send it back.
Advantages of using the pilotless car
The cars are free of human errors and therefore reduce risks of accidents. Automated cars are
by computer programs which do not get tired, get distracted nor are they influenced by alcoholic drinks.
The use of automated pilotless cars eliminates the need of hiring drivers and therefore maximizes the firm’s revenues by reducing costs that could be spent on hiring drivers.
It is less costly to use pilotless cars for the company since the cars have been proved to be very efficient in terms of fuel consumption.
Following the analysis of the challenges facing the company such as delays in service delivery due to traffic congestion, poor roads, poor street and residential addressing system in the country, the company’s performance is severely affected. Furthermore lack of adequate personnel and transport mechanisms lead to further delays and increased customer dissatisfaction levels which could have negative effects on the company’s image, performance and net income. New technological advancements such as use of drones, pilotless cars and “Hailo taxi magnets” could help improve the company’s productivity by reducing time of delivery, reducing human labor and therefore increase the company’s revenue. This paper therefore recommends Domino’s India Logistics to embrace the use of drones, Hailo smart phone application and Google pilotless cars in the operations to boost its productivity.
Domino’s India Logistics is a pizza producing and distributing firm that owes its roots to Domino’s Pizza, a company that originated in Michigan USA in the 1960s. Due to the physical, environmental and demographic factors in India, the company faces numerous challenges that include; delays in pizza delivery due to traffic congestion poor street and residential addressing systems. The company also faces losses incurred due to warming up of pizza as a result of long transit hours due to poor roads and traffic jams. These challenges could have negative impacts on the organizations performance. New technological advancements available in the market could help solve the company’s problems, these include; use of drones, Google pilotless cars and use of “Hailo taxi magnet” mobile applications. Drones and Google pilotless cars increase the firm’s income revenues by reducing the company’s expenditures through eliminating the need of drivers for automobiles. Drones also help reduce delivery delays as they are not affected by traffic congestions and bad roads. The Hailo mobile application will enable the company to improve the identification of customer locations and therefore reduce delivery time. Application of the three technological advancements could help the company to further cement its position in the market.
Gardner, David. “Pictured: Google drives head-first into controversy as it tests cars that steer THEMSELVES – in busy California traffic.” Daily mail online 11 October 2010: par 10.
Gibb, Alexandra Suzanne. Drowning thr Story. Masters Thesis. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2013.
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Tiffany Le, Tom Pashut. “Dominos’s: the Turn Around.” n.d.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Logistics and supply chain management is one of the factors that enhance the competitiveness of a given organization. Organizations that apply logistics in their supply chain management have been recording improved services and products. This report will highlight the significance of logistics and supply chain management to a company such as Dragon Boards NZ Ltd. The organization has its main business as the supply, assembly, after sales service of leisure products. The company has a main office, a show room, and a demo station in Symond Street. The organization has a warehouse in Albany and has franchised outlets in principal towns in, New Zealand. Dragon is constantly looking to increase the number of franchises in New Zealand. However, this can only be achieved if the organization adopts the best supply chain management. This will play a crucial role of ensuring that the organization is at a position of transverse the entire New Zealand market. The logistics and supply management strategy that the report will recommend to Dragon will have an express and constructive impact on the organizational strategy, the organization structure, the organization competitive advantage, and the managerial decision-making.
Dragon Boards NX is a limited liability company that operates in New Zealand. The core business of the organization is the production and after sale services of leisure products. The organization operates from a main office in Symond Street. Still in Symond Street, the organization operates a show room and a demo station. The organization also operates a warehouse in Albany, Auckland. The organization has a number of franchised outlets that sell the products of the organization in all major towns, in New Zealand. The company is continually looking to increase its franchises in New Zealand. The company operates franchised outlets in Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier-Hastings, Tauranga, Hamilton, and Whangarei. Apart from the outlets in Auckland, all the other outlets are franchises that are operated by independent retailers who also stock products from other suppliers.
The organization has the strategies required to determine the future leisure trends in the market. It also prides itself as being the leader in the market for the introduction of new and innovative product in the New Zealand market. The central operations of the company is the supply of the leisure products. These products are not seasonal and are supplied throughout the year. With these operations, it is imperative for the organization to have logistics and supply chain management in place that it will ensure that the organization strategies, competiveness and decision making process are enhanced. This will play a crucial function of ensuring that the organization can handle its operations and ascertain its position in the market (Simchi-Levi, 2007).
2.0 Literature Review
Many scholars have contrasted logistics and supply chain management with the usual distribution channels that an organization will deal with other organizations in the short term. The conventional distribution channel is founded on the basis that every organization will try to benefit to the optimum from the transactions that they deal. The relationship between organizations that are dealing with each in the absence of logistics and supply chain management is dissolved as soon as the transaction is complete. Organizations in the traditional distribution channels do not consider themselves as a part of the vertically incorporated channel. These firms have the habit of considering themselves as autonomous business entities, which can buy goods from suppliers in the market at the most minimal cost and then sell it to their clients at a higher price (Simchi-Levi, 2007).
Any diseconomy that happens as a result of redundancy is some that happens regularly. These redundancies are countered by the logistics and supply chain management process. The process of logistics and supply chain management has a number of key features. One of the prime features of logistics and supply chain management is that the organizations that are involved consider themselves as central to the channel. The organizations should realize that their own survival is dependent on the channel’s success. The other key characteristic is that all the relationships within that channel as seen as being long term as well as the missions, cultures, and philosophies that are related to the channels and organizations involved. There is also the characteristic that, in logistics and supply chain management, there is joint planning done on locations, inventory quantities, products are kept in a system (Simchi-Levi, 2007).
In logistics and supply chain management, there is the sharing of information between the firms that are operating within a given distribution channel. This is essential for the coordination need to oversee the flow of products through the channel. There is also the application of modern computing and communication technology. This can be attested by the fact that a distribution channel that applies computing and communication technology for transfer of data electronically will be afforded the benefit of quickly being provided with information whenever needed. This implies that the organizations that are within that distribution channel will get any information such as pricing, and innovations in a quick manner and efficiently. All these indicates that a firm will have a number of benefits when it has an efficient process of logistics and supply chain management in its distribution channel. These can be referred to as the cost of advantages of having an efficient process of logistics and supply chain management (Coyle, 2002).
In the current business environment, there are a number of firms that are offering constant research and development services for logistics and supply chain management. These firms are focused on a number of aspects that concern the distribution channel. These aspects include contract management, procurement, shipping management, warehouse inventory, and distribution. In order to offer innovative logistics and supply chain management services and solutions, the companies must have set up applications and solutions that incorporate a number of legacy components and technologies. This will play a pivotal role in making certain that the firms that use the services of these companies have their operations running smoothly without being interrupted within the distribution channel (Chopril, 2007).
The tools that firm offering logistics and supply chain management should have include; the logistics frameworks for analyzing, collecting, and managing high volume inputs that are line to shipments of commercial goods, high volume inventory, and high volume distribution. It is also imperative for the firm to have applications that can be used for mobile asset tracking and supply chain management. The firms that offer these services should also have security solutions and cargo tracking solution for government and public organizations. It is also critical to put into consideration firms that will need to ferry lot products over vast distances. This means that an organization must have a multi-carrier shipping control system that will enhance multi-location, high-volume complex shipping. There is also the incorporation of an internet-based software that will handle the n-tier distributed logistics. This will play a crucial function in ascertaining that the organizations will offer client organizations the best logistics and supply chain management solutions that will be beneficial to the organization as a whole (Handfield, 2008).
This implies that, with modern day solutions to logistics and supply chain management, firms stand the chance of improving various aspects of their operations. These aspects have a direct impact on the success of a company in the market. This is especially where the organizations that are dealing with the organization in the distribution channel look for efficiency and effectiveness. The movement of goods has been identified as being extremely critical for any organization’s success within a given market. This implies that an organization will need to have an extremely efficient means of distributing goods (Coyle, 2002).
3.0 Findings and Discussions
An organization like Dragon may be facing a number of problems that are related to logistics and supply chain management. This can be attested by the verity that the organization has a number of stores and a number of franchise outlets throughout New Zealand. The organization can face a number of problems that can prove to be extremely problematic if they are not handled in the best manner. It is imperative to keep in mind that the organization must ensure that it fulfills its obligations to the customers. There are instances when the organization will have to fulfill its obligations to the customers. This is when the organization will have to deal with customers who come to its stores. There are instances when the organization will have to go through middle men and franchise retailers. This means that the organization has a number of problems that can be attributed to the logistics of distributing the goods to diverse locations in the market.
Another source of problems for Dragon may be attributed to the fact that the organization relies on suppliers. The suppliers are responsible for delivery of the goods parts that will be used in the assembly of the leisure products. It is in this respect that the organization must come up with a logistics and supply chain management process that will make certain that it is at a position of getting the supplies without any interruptions. It is imperative to keep in mind that the organization has to offer its products within the market in all months of the year. It is in this respect that the organization must ensure that it gets an uninterrupted supply throughout the year. This means that the logistics and supply chain management of Dragon will have to address these problems:
3.1 Distribution Strategy
The distribution strategy of Dragon must address a number of issues. One of the issues is the verity that the organization is dependent on suppliers who may have a negative impact on the business when they fail to make delivery in time. The fact that the organization is dependent on suppliers implies that the organization must have its logistics and supply chain management addressing how the suppliers can be motivated to keep supplying the company throughout the year. It is also imperative to keep into consideration that the organization must also make its supplies to retailers and consumers. This implies that the organization will have to apply a process of logistics and supply chain management that will cater for the organizational needs of supplying the clients and at the same time making certain that customers get their goods in an efficient and effective manner. This will also be pivotal when it comes offering the customers after sale service to the various leisure products that are applicable.
3.2 Distribution Network Configuration
This refers to how Dragon will have to use the process of logistics and supply chain management in relation to a number of factors. These factors include customers, cross-docks, warehouses, distribution centers, production facilities, and suppliers. It is imperative to keep into the mind that the organization’s success is dependent on these factors. The logistics and supply chain management will enhance the success of the organization in light of these factors. It is also imperative to put into consideration that the organization will have to consider the network, location, and number of the products that are to be manufactured and shipped. This will help the organization in formulating a number of strategies as well as ensuring that the decision making process is hinged on these factors.
In order for Dragon to be flourishing in the market, it must be able to formulate a distribution channel that will be extremely efficient. This means that the company will have to gather a lot of information. This information gathering is not a one time affair but a recurring process. This is because the business environment is noted to be constantly changing in different aspects. This implies that the organization will have to use logistics and supply chain management to make certain that it has all the relevant information. This implies that the organization will need to liaise with other organizations in the distribution channel to gather this information.
Chopril, S. & Meindl, P. (2007) Supply chain management. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, pp. 69-87.
Coyle, J.J., Bardi, E.J. & Langley, C.J. (2002) The Management of business logistics. South Western College Publishing, St Paul, Minnesota.
Handﬁeld, R.B. & Nichols, E.L. (2008) Introduction to supply chain management, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Simchi-Levi, D., Kaminsky, P. & Simchi-Levi, E. (2007) Designing and managing the supply chain, McGraw Hill, New York.
Supply Chain Plan
Supply chain management is another effective way businesses today are employing to increase their competitiveness in the market. In this case, RR Furniture (RRF) will not be an exemption considering that it is planning to establish a new supply chain within US. RRF has been exporting limited quantity of products to a number of regions for some years. Due to demand increase, the company has considered setting up the new supply chain in order to minimize the distribution and manufacturing costs while taking its products close to its clients. The report below thus has provided a plan on the most effective design for FFD in this respect through exploring the feasibility of the establishment in the US. The plan therefore has offered an environmental assessment of the US while also identifying the main logistics and SCM issues linked to the set-up. The New York is the recommended city for this endeavor in enabling FFD to meet its long-term objectives.
Supply Chain Plan
Availability and Quality of Suppliers
As a global organization, the RR Furniture (i.e. RRF) sources its raw materials from across the globe. Majority of its needs are technological in nature while requiring specialized manufacturing techniques and skills. The US (i.e. New York City) however has a limited availability of such specialized and qualified suppliers in this field thus will demand RRF to have a global supply base (i.e. global in nature). RRF will increasingly rely on the local supply markets within the regions and countries in which it operates in order to satisfy its needs (Smith, 2006, p.8).
Availability and Quality of Third-Party Service Providers
Considering their geographical proximity to Asia, the US furniture retailers are in a strategic position of pursuing import supply chain efficiencies. The availability of the 3rd party service providers thus is high, although FFD will have to be very aggressive in selecting the right/quality service providers since all are willing to supply the products FFD may require. Te supply-side furniture landscape within US moreover has changed enormously for the last five years due to imports with the previously entry barriers into this sector of manufacturing declining and new competition developing. Among the furniture retailers, this situation has presented both challenges and opportunities (Smith, 2006, p.8).
Sourcing and Procurement Strategy
The strategy will maintain a non-compromising commitment towards cost effectiveness, quality and the long-term mutually advantageous/beneficial partnerships. Developing strong customer/supplier relationship will be critical in this strategy based particularly on the premium quality services/products, distinguished service, on-time deliveries and competitive pricing. In ensuring that suppliers receive sufficient attention, the strategy will require suppliers to make scheduled appointment prior to visiting or calling the company. New suppliers will be required to request for a meeting through the new supplier introduction form found in the company’s website. Established suppliers however will need to contact directly their strategic sourcing and procure-to-pay representative in order to schedule for an appointment. The strategy will have three major methods through which the suppliers will conduct business with the company including purchase order, formal contract and purchasing card. In the purchase order, suppliers will receive a purchase order to facilitate the fulfillment of the services or products. Formal contract will require suppliers to enter into formal contractual relations with the company while the purchasing card will need the suppliers to accept procurement or the payment transaction through the purchasing card. Verbal orders will not constitute a binding obligation such that acceptance of verbal orders among suppliers will be at their risk. The strategy will award the sourcing and procurement contracts through a bidding process based on the total cost and the value received by the company.
Planning and Forecasting Strategy
Planning and forecasting (i.e. P & F) strategy will aim to help the company maintain the right-sized inventory for a smooth flow and availability of products. This strategy element will be critical since forecasting influences the customer service levels delivered and the safety of stocks thus enabling the company to plan on the amount of inventory to stock. The strategy will help the company to balance its safety stocks cost with the missing order costs or incurring the expediting costs. This strategy moreover will benefit the company’s supply chain greatly considering that stock safety and the customer-service levels increasingly interrelate. Through this strategy, the company will also know how to focus its efforts on the improvement of safety stock levels, working capital, customer service and profits/margins. P&F strategy will ensure a constant flow of products to the customers thus increasing the reliability and accessibility of the products. In consequence, this will increase the customers’ confidence and trust on the reliability of the company’s products (i.e. due to smooth flow) thereby increasing their retention levels. This will consequently increase the financial benefit related to the forecasting processes to the company (Dooley, 2012, p.1).
Inventory Management Strategy
In the management of inventory, the company will import data or information from the many disparate enterprise resource planning (i.e. ERP) systems found within the supply chain network in support of an enterprise-wide inventory levels view. Through this strategy also, the company will trace the inventory flow from the purchased commodities, through work-in-progress (i.e. WIP) to the finished products/goods and eventually, the delivery to the customers. The company will then filter the inventory data as preferred based on the product, business unit or site. The strategy will further require the company to model and set the inventory targets to serve as the platform for the replenishment process. Calculations of the projected inventory surplus within a specified period will then offer an understanding of the inventory liability decisions. The strategy will aid in aligning the inventories to realize where shortage or surplus material exists. The various objectives of this strategy include preventing shortages or surpluses of inventories, improved levels of customer service and improved profit levels (Dooley, 2012, p.1).
Inbound and Outbound Transportation Strategy
This transportation strategy will stress on improvement of the service and cost reduction through the outbound transportation networks. This will also increase the visibility of products among the customers while also generating revenue for the company. The inbound supplies transportation will be included to ensure a complete shipping process to the end-users. The company will control and streamline this inbound transportation to facilitate cost minimization to ensure low-price products availability to the customers while still maintaining the target margins through waste minimization. The strategy will apply the radio-frequency identification (i.e. RFID) in the inbound transportation process, whereby suppliers will be required to attach some tags on the finished goods prior to shipment. For additional income, the company will outsource the RFID services to the third parties. RFID application will be advantageous to the company’s distribution network through increasing visibility, shipping/receiving/routing automation, improved tracking of the products while also facilitating effective routing decisions. All the shipped products or goods to the company will bear the RFID tags before release by the suppliers (Baudin & Rao, 2005, p.3).
Warehouse/Distribution Center Strategy
The strategy will extend beyond filling the customers orders to availing a broad range of value-added services/products. The strategy will balance both the cost and the value aspect of the supply chain. The effectiveness of this strategy will be through consolidating the products for the shipment to consumers/customers, carrying out a wide range of the value-added services (i.e. labeling, branding, packaging, reverse logistics & packaging) and minimizing the transportation costs. Strategic location of the distribution center will allow the positioning of services/products close to the primary customers or markets. Optimization approaches will apply in position the product delivery and availability as the competitive advantage for the company while similarly optimizing the crucial cost variables (e.g. equipment, transportation, facilities, workforce, e.t.c.).
Outsourcing /3PL Strategy
The strategy will involve outsourcing the function of distribution to the third party logistics provider (i.e. 3PL). The outsourced distribution will help the company in penetrating to other markets more easily. In applying this strategy, the company will develop a performance specification, which will define the scope, size and the needs of the distribution process. A critical review of every 3PL partner will be vital for alignment to the business needs based on factors such as location, costs, technology, environmental responsibility and customer service levels.
Customer Relationship Management
In ensuring effective CRM, the company will apply a tailored internet site and the networked supply chain to enable clients to design while also ordering customized furniture online. The company will then ship the furniture directly to the end-consumer via established dealers or from a plant. The company will hook about 500 of its suppliers into the system, allowing them to access the inventory and manufacturing data more effectively. In return, the suppliers will avail materials on just-in-time basis to facilitate final assembly thereby maintaining the company’s inventory low while also ensuring speedy delivery (Reiners & Partner, 2002, p.1).
Supply Chain Integration
Information is very critical in facilitating an integrated supply chain, as a way of collaboration to counter the challenges within the supply chain in relation to supply and demand. The company will thus optimize on the current technology development, using internet as the tool for supplying information. Through this strategy, the company will manage to communicate with others. As the electronic connectivity among participants increases to facilitate unfettered information flow, the supply chain will thus integrate. Web-based technologies similarly will apply in allowing firms to integrate their chains of supply through a system-to-system manner thus reducing the need for the human data entry, human contact or any other human involvement (Westbrook, 2002, p.6).
Perfomance Management Strategy
The company’s PM strategy will base on the culture of competitiveness and knowledge development. In relation to competitiveness, the company will stress on the sharing of the supply chain resources as a substitution to the conventional features joining organization members such as strategy, culture and structure. The sharing process will require cooperation and interaction among the members of the supply chain following a pattern of shared beliefs and values thereby driving the chain’s approach into the marketplace. Knowledge development will apply the internet, particularly the social networks in sharing of information such that the interpretation of that information/data or the shared meaning will harness a collective action in relation to the supply chain performance (Hult et al, 2007, p.1038).
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