The business activities are defined according to the domestic and export sales achieved and these supply chain management activities include freight management, warehouse components management and other costs management too. The supply chain management not only creates an impact on business but also on the customers for enabling growth and success and furthermore differentiates products and services to survive in the competitive business environment. The logistics and supply chain activities include the management of companies as a network to coordinate the business actions and enable successful procurement, distribution, maintenance and management of inventories (Christopher 2016). The business organisation DHL is chosen as the case study and it includes the various benefits obtained by enabling the supply chain management activities along with the innovation in business models and approaches to communicate. Lastly, the most suitable practices in logistics and supply chain management are illustrated too.
DHL is one of the global market leader within the logistics and supply chain management industry. The company has its skills and expertise in the management of international parcel, express, air and ocean freight, road and rail freight, etc. The company is located in more than 200 countries all around the world and has more than 350000 employees working currently. The business organization, with its good quality services delivered has managed to provide solutions for a huge number of logistics needs (de Lange 2016). It is also considered as one of the leading postal and logistics company Deutsche Post DHL Group and includes various other areas where operations are carried out including DHL Express, DHL E-Commerce, DHL Freight and DHL supply chain (Dhl.co.uk 2017).
A. Analysing the effectiveness of "Logistics management" to improve the competitiveness of DHL
DHL is known for its excellence in services, which has helped in connecting people and improved their lives largely. The international express deliveries of various products and services, global freight forwarding by air, sea, road and rail along with different types of warehousing solutions ranging from packaging, repairs, storage, delivery of mails and customized logistics services. Within the increased global economic business environment, the products are being sourced from the locations of low cost products to fulfill the needs and requirements of the consumers at costs that they will be able to afford. The supply chain management has been excellent for DHL and this has increased the level of satisfaction among the customers too (Dekker et al. 2013). There are fashion and clothing, consumer electronics, FMCG, auto parts that are sourced by DHL in many countries and have created a positive impact on the supply chain management too. The wide range of services provided by DHL included international supply chain consultancy and designing of solutions, controlling of tower services, management of operations and enabling visibility of supply chain, consolidating changes, management of vendor and delivery of value added services too. The freights are managed across and transported via different ways by air, sea, rail and carrier neutral too. The destinations are managed properly prior to the delivery of freights from the source and even the by-pass services have been managed with ease and effectiveness (Fernie and Sparks 2014).
The expenses are reduced along with the betterment of customers’ services. The raw materials are accumulated at first during the logistics management and ends with the delivery of goods to the destination. The management of logistics is done by DHL through selection of appropriate vendors who could provide enhanced transportation facilities, selecting the most effective route for transportation, identifying the most effective modes of delivery, i.e., by air, sea or rail and finally utilize the information technology resources for handling the logistics processes properly. There are various issues associated with the logistics and supply chain management including the failure of delivery, damage of products due to carless transportation and undertaking inaccurate decisions related to the outsourcing or selecting the inappropriate vendor (Fr??, Scholz and Olszty?ska 2017). Rather than competing with its rivals, DH; has focused more n implementing the best logistics, supply chain management practices, which further helped in ensuring collaboration between the buyers, vendors, etc. to reduce the expenses and provide safe transportation facilities for keeping the product safe, and ensure business success too.
There are various benefits related to the management of supply chains such as the improved flow of products or materials and thus the freights are delivered to the customers on time. The factors that can affect the supply chain management processes include quality of products, balance in supply and demand and costs of shipments and inventories have been considered to optimize the speed of business and ensure that the products are delivered to the customers without any manipulations. The management of logistics and supply chain by DHL has also facilitated the flow and exchange of data and information, furthermore helping to meet the constant demands of the customers and provide them easy access to the products and services delivered (Islam et al. 2013). DHL has managed its supply chain properly, which has prevented issues like inaccurate flow of information, poor relationships between the supplier and customers. The effective flow of information has reduced the chances of miscommunication that has improved the visibility of products and been accelerated the supply chain generation with the help of previous financial reports. With the enhanced supply chain management, the financial flow has enhanced and prevented occurrence of problems like high day sales outstanding due to delays in invoice reconciliations, inappropriate empowerment of employees, etc (Jacobs and Chase 2013). Thus, it could be understood that DHL has maintained a good financial status through management of supply chains properly and this has contributed hugely to the success of the organization in United Kingdom.
B. Relationship between e-business and e-commerce and benefits obtained from the recent developments and innovations in e-business/commerce
Electronic business or E- business includes the email marketing and other marketing activities that are done electronically to conduct the business and derive good outcomes in business. It is an online system that helps in tracking the inventories and creates alerts from the beginning of the delivery process until it has reached the destination. The content management system is also part of the E-business that has helped in managing the flow of work electronically and even facilitated the online induction program for the employees who are new to the company. When compared with E-commerce, it is an online platform that creates ease and convenience for the customers to order products online and make payments through an online gateway too. E-commerce includes management of a website where various products and services are sold to the consumers (Mangan and Lalwani 2016).
E-business is relatively larger than the e-commerce in terms of size, structure and management of transactions, which are based on the online activities that have been managed by DHL, United Kingdom. The E-business allows for better scopes and opportunities and this has helped DHL to manage its selling of products and services and at the same time, control the other business activities and delivery of products through the management of logistics and supply chain. The E-business for DHL has helped in enhancing the efficiency of the business processes ranging from the production, distribution, procurement, sales, payment, restocking and marketing of products and services done online. The vertical planning is an important aspect of the E-business, which has improved the efficiency of logistics and supply chain management and even ensure successful resource planning with ease and efficiency (Mazzarol 2015). The customers, suppliers, business partners and other business stakeholders are managed properly through integration of new technologies and business operations managed by DHL in United Kingdom.
With the use of various online business models, it has become easier for DHL to manage the customer relationships and enhanced the consistency of services and customers’ services too. With the use of information technology system, it has become easier for the company to communicate with the customers and know their needs. The e-strategy is implemented by DHL to identify the scopes and opportunities and manage business evolution by driving business successfully towards the future. The online business models have also helped in managing the logistics outsourcing and ensure successful management of physical assets and execution of processes effectively as well (Mohapatra 2013). DHL has used parcel robots, smart sensors, E-paper, solar powered warehouses, remote vehicle intelligence, E-paper and electric vehicles to capitalize on the innovation process and meet the demands and preferences of the people across multiple industries in UK. The E-business standards such as UN EDIFACT, RosettaNet, OAG, GS1, IATA, ANSI to provide a supporting community and maintained effective collaboration too. The transactions are standardized as well, which have leveraged the implementation of strategies for the major IT providers and even enhanced the performance of the DHL enterprise internal integration platform (Myerson 2012).
C. Analysis and implementation of the Best Practice in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Various business practices are considered by DHL as effective for managing then logistics and supply chain activities in an effective way. For DHL, it is important to ensure that all the business practices, from the manufacturing to the production processes are properly undertaken and most of the benefits are obtained quite easily. The supply chain consists of few major areas including the ability to plan, source, make and finally deliver. The planning allows the business organisation DHL to ensure that the demands and preferences of the customers are forecasted at the earlier stages and then the inventories are managed properly to set the right prices for the products and services delivered to the customers. The sourcing business practice allows for managing the purchase, vendors, policies and practices for ensuring proper designing of the products and services and even manages the facilities and business processes effectively (Rushton, Croucher and Baker 2014). The delivering is another business practice that helps in identify the major areas of order management, manage the scheduling of delivery and returns too. The supply chain management activities enable to optimize the business operations and processes in the major areas of supply chain such as minimizing the inventories, managing the reduction of costs, increase the productivity level and finally fulfill the rapid orders that have been placed by the customers for DHL. The three major business practices are plan, source, make and finally deliver (Stadtler 2015).
The planning stage allows for forecasting, which is useful for creating a framework for the supply chain planning and ensure that all the business departments work as an u it to achieve the common goals and objectives with ease and effectiveness. The goals and objectives are accomplished with the assessment of historical data and information based on the supply and demands of products and services along with the sales achieved by the company. Various guidelines are set along with important forecasting methods for receiving the information and data and finally obtain the result in the form of forecasting number (Waghmare 2012).
The measurement of metrics is also another important business practice that utilizes the most important performance indicators to know how the business is performing and also allow for the management of costs and maintain a proper cash-to-cash cycle. The standard indicators re also used to managing the analysis of supply chains and develop a roadmap to measure the metrics and determine the areas where improvements are needed.
The logistics operations must be flexible and clear to achieve the competitive performance by managing the supply chains and even configure the business operations and processes to meet the changing demands and preferences of the customers (Wymer and Regan 2013). The areas that need operational improvements have been identified too for fulfilling the orders and enable value added services that can be applied for customization and differentiation of products and services to gain high level of customer satisfaction. This would also generate additional revenue to the bottom line and create enough scopes for becoming successful in the future too.
The Make technology could be used by DHL for automating the warehouse facilities and satisfy the needs and requirements of the customers effectively. The Warehouse management system or WMS is used at DHL to make the warehouse less prone to the risks of wasting both time and money. This would also help in managing the expenses of premium freights, manage the costs of reverse logistics and decrease the time taken for restocking the components of the warehouse. As a part of the Make technology, the Order Tracking system is also beneficial for making the users het informed about the time when the customers made the order and the time when it would be shipped and finally delivered to the customers (Christopher 2016). This business practice also helps in enabling more visibility and provides them opportunities to track the orders made by them online, furthermore understand the time when it would be delivered to them by DHL.
The management of logistics is considered as one of the major aspect of supply chain management that has helped in meeting the demands and preferences of the customers and facilitated the planning, control, implementation, movement and storage of freight related information starting from the source to its destination. The relationship between the e-commerce and e-business had been illustrated here, which showed that the e-business proved to be more beneficial for DH;L to sustain in the marketplace. The various business practices that were effective included the plan, source and make technology, The forecasting practice helped in analyzing the present and future market scenario and make technology allowed for utilizing the most effective technologies for improving the business efficiency and generate enhanced levels of profit in business.
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