Outbound logistics is the one that is responsible for getting the finished product from its place of manufacture or from the warehouse to the final customer. It therefore includes various tasks such as storage, order preparation and final transport.
Inbound logistics, by contrast, would also be known as supply logistics. Which is the one that deals with the materials and the arrival of merchandise in the phase before having to send it to customers. We have already dedicated space to this kind of logistics in our blog, so we recommend that you read the article to have a complete perspective of both phases.
Phases of outbound logistics
The warehouse is a fundamental nerve center to be able to carry out this type of operation successfully. The planning of the warehouse, its design and the distribution of spaces must take into account both inbound and outbound logistics. For example, we must arrange the exit merchandise according to its rotation, both in terms of height and location along the aisles.
Order preparation is vital in outbound logistics. In addition, it is a part of the supply chain with a great tendency to be statistically measured through performance indicators. Thus, during the preparation of orders we can obtain data on the accuracy of the orders (in quantity, good condition, correct item, etc.), on the speed in the preparation of orders, on the stock levels -evaluating the existence or convenience of having maximum or minimum levels of stock- and so on.
The world of ecommerce has accelerated order preparation times and customers are increasingly demanding with delivery times. For this reason, for outbound logistics it is quite a challenge to be able to extend the time limit for requesting orders as long as possible and to be able to combine it with those orders linking with the transport part of our supply chain.
The thing does not end once the merchandise has left our warehouses. Depending on the complexity of our logistics, the merchandise may travel to other intermediate points before reaching the final recipient. For example, our outbound logistics can have distribution centers, in which even more steps are carried out for final delivery -such as the consolidation of merchandise in order to optimize the last part of the transport-.
In transport, it is essential to be able to trace shipments, since transparency throughout the entire process is increasingly valued -and demanded- by customers. If we have informational black holes, the quality of the whole suffers enormously.
Finally, speed and being able to meet transit times is another very important aspect to be able to narrow lead times and to be able to be reliable in the final delivery to our client.