When Times are Tough, Focus on the Core (Competencies).
The economic crisis unleashed by the outbreak of COVID-19 has hurt economies around the world. When times are tough, shedding non-core business processes is one of the most prudent and effective ways to cut costs while improving performance.
Know your Core from your Context
There is more pressure than ever for companies to provide superior customer service. In his book, ‘Dealing with Darwin’, Geoffrey Moore argued for the distinction between Core and Context, an approach that separates the few activities a company does that create true differentiation in customers’ eyes (Core), from everything else that a company needs to do to stay in business (Context). A focus on core competencies increases the sustainable competitive advantage of a company by creating value for customers.
The core competency of any business is the strategic, competitive advantage it holds over its competitors. This can include equipment, processes or intellectual property, as well as know-how or specific abilities that a company performs especially well. It’s about establishing what you are really good at doing and then concentrating on that.
The importance of innovation
One of the key competencies of service organisations is innovation. Outsourcing business tasks like supply chain management to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider frees up employees’ time, creating an environment in which ideas are more easily able to flow and be further developed into innovations. This in turn drives improvement of the business model and the delivery of better products or services.
Access to infrastructure and expertise
Working with a 3PL provider gives your business access to experts who not only understand your supply chain, but also have insight into a range of logistics problems and how to solve them.
Leading 3PL providers offer state-of-the-art warehousing, the latest technology systems, increased speed to customer and improved flexibility and visibility across the supply chain, enabling your business to meet customer demands more effectively.
The research proves it
In the Gartner 2019 Logistics Outsourcing Strategy Survey, approximately 70% of respondents stated that functional, end-to-end (E2E) supply chain and overall business objectives have been met or exceeded with the help of supply chain outsourcing counterparts.
Five things to consider when choosing a courier company in SA
These are the five main considerations for you, and your company to help choose an effective
courier company in a South African context.
Track record of the courier company
When choosing a courier company, it’s important to do your research on the company to ensure, they have a reliable service that you and your company can rely upon them going forward.
The Specific requirements of your company
This is important, as larger shipments of items i.e., bulk quantity may require you to use a more specific courier companythat meets your demands.
Cost of business
Consider the main cost of the service you will be using and the fact that part of this cost will need to be passed onto the end consumer.
Scale of their network
The size of the company’s courier network may also play quite a large role depending on your distribution needs.
You may want to rely on a company who owns a larger courier network, and which is able to transport your items to a wider variety of locations in South Africa.
How does the company mitigate risks?
It is worth considering what measures each service takes to assure the safety and security of your items.
Given the South African context, where the situation on the ground could at times be considered unstable in certain areas, routes or times.
The risk mitigation services of the courier companyin question, is an important element to consider guaranteeing the safety of your items going forward.
These are some of the main considerations you may want to make to take, in order to ensure your items, get to their intended destinations stress free.
The Top Five Logistics Companies in Africa.
There are a few aspects to observe when looking to find what makes the best logistics provider from their rates, reach, their ability to adapt to change and, most importantly experience and organisation of their human resources.
1. DHL Logistics:
DHL is comfortably the world’s leading logistics company, founded in 1969, this logistics giant has a footprint in over 200 countries and a strong employee base of 590,000 people worldwide with a revenue topping €81.7B as of 2021. It is also leading the way in innovation of new bespoke solutions to assist communities such as parcel drone delivery of medicines in East Africa.
View their website: https://www.dhl.com/za-en/home.html
2. UPS Supply Chain solutions:
Founded in 1907, UPS is one of the most recognisable logistic brands in the world. Operating in over 220 countries this USA based company manages just over 534,000 employees, turning over just under $97.3B in 2021. In 2020 they lead innovation in delivery of the Covid-19 Vaccine with research into safe drone delivery of medicines in hard to reach places.
View their website: https://www.ups.com/za/en/Home.page
3. Kuehne + Nagel:
Operating in over 100 countries with close to 78,000 employees, and a turnover of over $34.5B in 2021, Switzerland based logistics company Kuehne + Nagel has managed to become a powerhouse in the logistics industry. Developing the largest sea freight forwarder in the world specifically in the fields of Full Container Load (FCL) and Less than Container Load (LCL).
View their website: https://home.kuehne-nagel.com/
4. DB Schenker Logistics:
Operating largely across Europe and North Africa, with more than 140 years’ experience in the Logistics & Supply Chain this German based company employees over 75,800 people and delivers to over 2,000 territories – with a turnover of €21.4B in 2021. They focus on providing the best and most efficient customer service that aims to make the supply chain more user-friendly. They are also the first company to utilise autonomous electric trucks, the T-Pod, on public roads for deliveries.
View their website: https://www.dbschenker.com/za-en
A reasonably new player in the logistic industry DSV has fast climbed the ranks to become one of the top providers and most recognisable brands in the supply chain industry. Operating in 75 countries with over 75,000 employees worldwide. They are operating non-stop dispatching over 15,000 trucks per day and moving 650,000 tons of air freight every year – bringing in $28B in 2021.
View their website: https://www.dsv.com/en
KZN FLOODS: Durban port operations, logistics grind to a halt
Trucks travelling on the N3 between Durban and Pietermaritzburg came to a grinding halt outside Mariannhill Toll Plaza on Tuesday after deadly floods, that have killed at least 20, people hit KwaZulu-Natal overnight, with Durban and surrounding areas among the hardest-hit regions.
Many residents are still missing and the SANDF had been activated to assist the province with rescue operations, KZN Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Sipho Hlomuka said on Tuesday morning.
Operations at Durban port had also stopped, according to industry sources, however, a notice issued by Transnet to stakeholders on Monday night noted that port operations were on standby for heavy rains and winds on Tuesday. “Landside and waterside operations are on standby for wind and heavy rain from 19:15 on 11/04/2022. New/unutilised appointment slots will not be available until landside resumes operations. Do not dispatch trucks to the terminal without appointments as they will not be processed,” Transnet said.
Wind speed had been recorded at gusts of 70 kmph, it added.
KZN roads, including sections of the M4 between Durban and Umhloti and the N2 south of Durban, were closed as water gushed down the freeway near the old Durban International Airport. Social media posts showed overturned trucks and containers that had dislodged from vehicles strewn across the N2 freeway, south of the city.
Road Freight Association CEO Gavin Kelly said logistics operations in the province had largely come to a standstill and the Durban port was not operating.
KZN COGTA MEC Sipho Hlomuka said the weather was continuing to cause havoc across the province on Tuesday morning.
“Residents residing in low-lying areas are urged to seek shelter on higher ground, disaster management teams have opened public facilities such as community halls for those that need shelter. The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs is working together with social partners and sister departments to ensure that there is interim relief for those that are housed in shelters. So far, the extent of the heavy rains is across the province, with eThekwini being one of the most affected areas,” he said.
The department’s teams were still collating the extent of the damage.