Logistics covers additional services that, when combined, represent a sum of know-how often far removed from the core business of companies. Outsourcing can, in this case, be a solution. To work better with a logistics provider, it is better to know the range of services that it can provide and which are, in principle, grouped in one place: Logistics Platform. Initially, a logistics warehouse is a platform on which the goods to be transported converge. France thus has more than 30 million square meters of warehouses, more than two-thirds of which (22 million m2) are located in Ile-de-France. These goods are then distributed according to their destination.
Once this grouping function has been carried out on the departure platform, the goods are routed to a destination platform where they will be unbundled to be delivered to their recipient. Each logistics platform has, in general, the dual function of bundling and unbundling.
Packaging of the products by Logistics Platform
The service provider can take care of the packaging of the products.
Under these conditions, it is tempting to use them for other functions. For example, we can use logistics platform for warehousing to support inventory for recipients who need regular supplies. The logistics platform operator becomes the manager of his customers’ stock.
Having the merchandise, the logistics platform can also take care of labeling and packaging. This allows the customer upstream to mass supply the buffer storage, the operator of the platform taking care of the preparation of the goods according to the orders of the recipients before ensuring delivery.
We can also go further in the integration of ancillary activities. Thus, the logistics platform can directly receive sub-assemblies from subcontractors and carry out simple packaging operations—even assembly. We then enter the field of small industry. Under these conditions, the logistics platform becomes an integral part of the industrial process.
The trend towards outsourcing is a factor in developing these integration processes that we are witnessing on logistics platforms. The creativity of logistics providers, who see it as a way to make a better return on the capital invested in warehouses, is immense. For more information, visit air freight companies in Hong Kong.
Optimal traceability of Logistics Platform
In modern logistics, we understand why the management of the physical flow of goods is accompanied by the parallel management of the flow of information on the goods. The use of the electronic label, which allows optimal traceability of products from the production chain to the final consumer, will further increase the need for IT resources.
Regulations of all kinds consolidate this development. Therefore, for any company that uses a logistics platform, the ability to connect this logistics platform to a very high-speed telecommunications network has become imperative. Municipalities that set up new logistics parks to create jobs (it is estimated that a logistics zone can create 30 to 40 jobs at the
“We must offer an à la carte service.”
What do the Benedict and Banania brands, the Jorden Company, which manufactures fans, and Panini, the publisher of children’s cards, have in common? They are all medium-sized companies that have chosen to entrust the management of their logistics to FM Logistic. However, with stocks representing 2,000 to 3,000 pallets, they do not offer the same business potential as other customers of the same service provider, such as Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Brother, or Mondelez.
However, they find the same interest in using the services of a supply chain specialist. “More and more, our partners no longer have either a factory or a warehouse; they are focusing on R&D, sales and finance”, explains Yannick Buisson, Managing Director France of FM Logistics.
Primary Functions of Logistics Platform
The products produced by suppliers converge at the logistician, who stores the goods, manages the orders, and makes the deliveries. In reality, the services can be very varied, and the range of interventions has grown considerably over the past ten years. Generally, in the case of mass production, the intervention of the logistics platform aims to personalize the products to adapt them to each market and each end user.
The addition of the appropriate manual, integration of a specific part according to the regulations, and software implementation are produced primarily for a market. A company like FM Logistic is carrying out more and more operations, entering into a process of “delayed differentiation” of products.
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Stick to market and regulatory developments
According to Yannick Buisson, this method of intervention makes it possible to stick as closely as possible to market developments and to reduce stocks: The brands regularly renew their ranges and launch ad hoc commercial operations. But the essential products do not change.
Differentiation delayed allows us to manage the stock of these products while giving us the possibility of adapting packaging and integrating promotional actions according to the commercial strategies of our customers.
The advantage is evident in the costs and the frequency of deliveries and on the stocks, which can be reduced at the places of consumption. “With the optimization of warehouses, preparation operations, and final deliveries, we can increase logistical cost levels that a single customer cannot achieve”, explains Yannick Buisson, especially if it is an SME.
In an increasingly normative regulatory environment, logistics service providers finally guarantee compliance with the standards in force and their development. Even standard products can be subject to special storage conditions. On 1st January 2015 will enter into force the EU directive Ceveso 3 on the storage of alcohol and flammable products. Bringing warehouses into compliance represents investments that would be disproportionate for a client without an external service provider.