When we talk about purchases in logistics we can refer to different concepts. In the broadest concept, we could be talking about purchases that affect the entire supply chain; from the supply of raw materials to the final delivery -and even reverse logistics-. However, on this occasion we are going to dedicate ourselves to logistics purchases when it comes to opting for one or another logistics operator.
Four aspects to take into account when purchasing in logistics
When choosing suppliers, it is essential to have developed the way in which you are going to move your merchandise. You will not look for the same in your logistics purchases if you need to make deliveries on weekends, or if you need controlled temperature, or depalletization, or…
Although it may seem unbelievable, there are many companies that launch directly into the search for a logistics provider without being clear about the peculiarities that they will need in their transport.
Companies also approach their relationship with suppliers in different ways. In the world of logistics, one of the most common is the decision between having one or several logistics providers.
The reasons can be several, both in one sense and in another. Necessity (if one provider offers services that another does not), security (working with several so that in case of need the other can be accessed), exclusivity (so that the provider knows all the characteristics of our company in depth) or simplicity (not we must differentiate what merchandise we give to one or the other, what services are offered at a better quality or cost, we reduce the number of people in operations of other companies with whom we have to work, etc).
The purchasing managers of the companies, or those people who, of course, influence or decide on the choice of suppliers, should not arrive at the selection process without a series of guidelines.
Not all companies look for the same thing in a supplier, and therefore it is normal that their decisions are not based on the same thing. For example, some will look for volume discounts, and this will also influence the previous point, since they will try to focus all their purchases on a logistics operator.
Your purchases in logistics will not be the same if the emphasis on what you are looking for is in the optimization of costs, speed in deliveries, in achieving an international reach, in which there may be technological integration, etc.
Quality control in logistics purchases
Your process will not be complete if you do not carry out, in some way, an evaluation of what has been acquired. This implies, in addition to performance, cost accuracy. Imagine that you have tried to follow a policy that puts costs first, but at the time of the invoice the prices do not add up because you have not taken into account or understood some part of the rate. Or that the delivery times for your critical points in international services are not as you expected.
On the performance side, the standard in the business world is the creation and monitoring of performance indicators. It is a topic that we have already talked about several times on the blog and in articles like this we explain how to define and follow them.