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Issues related to Logistics in Qube

Discuss about the Logistics and Supply Chain Manufacturing Sectors.

Logistics management refers to the process which deals with the planning and implementation of storage of finished goods, services, inventory and raw materials in an effective manner. Besides this, it also takes into consideration the movement of the goods from warehouse to customers. Effective management of the logistics in a way that the company provides shipment of goods in a quick manner to customers helps in fulfill their needs. This facilitates in achieving a competitive advantage over its rivals. Provision of goods and services with high quality at reasonable price in a timely manner to customers helps in building strong and harmonious relations with them. This also results in increasing the sales and profits of the company. It also takes into consideration that there is an existence of sufficient quantity of raw materials for the purpose of manufacturing finished goods with high quality in order to attain high level of customer satisfaction (Prajogo and Sohal, 2013).

This can be achieved by providing high quality products in right quantity to customers for the purpose of fulfilling their needs. Logistics also help in tracking of the inventory in terms of transportation, manufacturing and storage so that all the departments get the knowledge regarding the tasks to be performed by them. This helps in achievement of the common goal of the business effectively and efficiently. This report emphasizes on the different issues faced by the Qube related to logistics management. Besides this, it also discusses the measures that can be taken by the company to resolve the issues faced by it (Abdulrahman, Gunasekaran and Subramanian, 2014).

Qube Logistics is established in the year 2012 in Australia. The company deals in providing services related to warehousing and distribution, container parks and rail and road transport to its customers. In addition to this, it also provides inter modal logistics hubs which consists of international freight forwarding and rail terminals. The company has expanded its business operation in Australia in an extensive manner din order to become the biggest logistics provider in the country. In addition to this, the company also focuses on developing additional strategic logistics hubs at the port and inland locations for the purpose of allowing rail to developed as an alternative method of transport. There are many issues faced by the company related to logistics management. Rapid changes have been taking place in the preferences and attitudes of customers toward logistics. Nowadays, it is necessary for the companies to examine the changes taking place in the preferences and tastes of customers in order to fulfill their needs in an effective manner (Wu, Huang, Goh and Hsieh, 2013).

Steps taken by Qube to resolve the logistics issues

Besides this, the other issue is the presence of large number of competitors which also results in decline in the number of customers as the customers have several options from where their needs can be fulfilled in an effective manner. Nowadays, due to dynamic needs of the customers, there is a need for companies to provide tailor made services to customers in order to fulfill their diverse needs. Besides this, the other issue faced by company includes delay in the delivery of products to customers due to occurrence of work slow down at ports. In addition to this, there is a lack of infrastructure at different ports and terminals has become a problem for the companies as small infrastructure results in non acceptance of large vessels. It results in blockage of the vessels to be moved from the port to the desired destination (Abdulrahman, Gunasekaran and Subramanian, 2014). 

In addition to this, the other issue is presence of overcapacity and tightening of the shipping affects the logistics management of the company. There is also an increase in the freight prices due to presence of large vessel deliveries. The main problem is the lack of demand of the products and oversupply of the products by the company.  In addition to this, the other issues related to logistics management are lack of trained human resources increase in prices and forecasting problems. Businesses find difficulty in forecasting due to ever changing demands of customers and changes in other factors of business environment. Nowadays, customers demand the full information regarding their order status in order to get the knowledge regarding the time in which the products are delivered to them.  In addition to this, the logistics system also emits hazardous materials in the environment such as carbon emission. Along with this, the other problems are the occurrence of stench, noise and congestion which are required to be paid in terms of infrastructural load. Besides this, occurrence of conflicts in the political environment and natural disasters has a great impact on the logistics management. This is because; there is an occurrence of delay in distribution of products to customers at their doorsteps (Soysal, 2012).

There is also a high dependency on different modes of transportation for the purpose of delivering products to customers residing in different locations. Emergence of globalization results in delivery of products across different countries due to the use of digital technology to view the status of the consignments and orders. It also faces problems of occurrence of injuries among human resources due to occurrence of wear and tear in the equipment. Besides this, the other reason behind it is that the employees are not provided training in a proper manner to develop their skills and abilities. There might be occurrence of variability in the logistics management as there is an occurrence of the deviation in the planned and actual performance in production, transit and supply. There is an increase in the variability due to occurrence of deviations from the planned processes and activities (Wernicke, Saab and Kleinaltenkamp, 2014).

 It is difficult for the company to track the shipments move from one place to other places due to presence of multiple carriers, different modes of transportation and presence of third party logistics providers. Emergence of globalization also results in the occurrence of challenges related to logistics management. Company face difficulty in meeting the needs of customers of different locations due to increased expectations. Besides this, the company has relocate manufacturing to low cost countries which helps in reducing the cost of production and taxes. Company have a global presence of suppliers which also results in an increase in the complexities in delivery and lead times. The other issue is that the customer wanted an innovative product due to which the company are forced to make investments in research and development to meet the ever changing demands of customers. This forces companies to meet the demands of the emerging customer segment for the purpose of increasing the market share of the company (Handfield, et al., 2014).

The company has several freight forwarding offices in various countries for the purpose of providing different services to its customers. The company operates its business operations in five major Ports of Australia in order to increase its foothold. In addition to this, it also operates multi user intermodal rail terminals in Australia in order to increase its speed of delivery of goods and services to customers. The company has also fitted GPS in different modes of transport in order to trace their locations for 24x7 online tracking.  Besides this, the freight is also tracked in real time which provide information related to the status of the consignment without the activation of the driver. Customers got the real time data updates related to their consignment in an electronic form. This helps in bringing transparency in the operations as it facilitates in providing customized email alerts to customers. Besides this, the consignment can also be made customized as a customer can login in the system to gather knowledge regarding different services offered by the company and make changes as per their needs in the consignment. This facilitates in gaining high level of customer satisfaction. The provision of real time information to customers related to their consignment helps in achieving competitive advantage over other players in the market (Wu, Huang, Goh and Hsieh, 2013).

 Rapid changes have been taking place in the technological environment due to which it is necessary for the company to adopt new technologies that are aligned with the aims and objectives of the company in order to attain a competitive edge over its rivals and sustain in the market for long term. Usage of GPS and PODs also helps in forecasting the need of the inventory in a company to provide finished goods to customers. The company receives feedback from the customers through its gateway which helps in tracking the changes taking place in the needs and wants of the customers and makes changes in the processes and procedures adopted to fulfill the demands of customers.  The usage of new technology by the company also help customers to gain full information regarding the shipment details, reports and documents providing full visibility to customers. This helps in bringing transparency in the business operations of the company. This helps in achievement of high level of customer satisfaction and thereby increases in the customer base of the company. The company provides training to its employees to increase or develop new skills and upgrade the existing skills in order to eliminate the occurrence of injuries and accidents at the workplace (Bosona and Gebresenbet, 2013).

The company provides information related to ongoing responsibilities carried out in the organization to its employees and customers in order to build strong relations with customers. Provision of the information related to the consignments and orders helps in building strong relations with customers as timely delivery of products at the doorstep of the customers at reasonable price helps in building loyalty among customers regarding the company and its products. There is a necessity to have a full visibility of the inventory to the members of the organization for the purpose of making effective decisions. It is crucial for the managers to have a knowledge regarding the level of inventory maintained by them as it facilitates in getting knowledge of the presence of stock out problems. This leads to decline in the cash flow and increasing in the expenses related to warehouse (Alexander, Walker and Naim, 2014).

Presence of stock out of the inventory results in the occurrence of unfulfilled needs of the customers. This has an adverse impact on the profitability. It is required for the company to assess the economic order quantity by analyzing the changing needs of the customers. This facilitates in reducing the overall cost of the inventory and helps in prevention of the blockage of funds in the inventory. This helps in achieving high level of customer satisfaction by the way of maintaining optimum quantity of the inventory by the company. Besides this, the company has visibility of the inventory that helps in occurrence of the smooth flow of operations and decline in the cost of inventory. The proper knowledge regarding the location of inventory facilitates in identification of the inventory. This facilitates in proper allocation of the labor in different processes. This helps in improving the performance of the employees and helps in increase in the overall production of the company. The company has high selling inventory near the facility which helps in reducing the number of labor required to perform the task and achieve the common goal of the business. This is because it helps in elimination of the labor to move to warehouses located at farthest locations (Brandenburg, et al., 2014).  

In addition to this, the company uses the barcode identification technology which helps in elimination of the problems associated with the storage of the information through a manual process. There is an existence of the information system or an automated system which helps in storing the information related to pick ticket and eliminates the problem of passing of the information through multiple levels which results in redundancy of the processes. Besides this, optimization and automation of the processes helps in reducing the cost and time incurred in the picking of the items from warehouses for shipment (Tyagi and Agarwal, 2014).

It is suggested that the company should implement a new information system which helps in analyzing and predicting the cost related to supply chain from the source of supply chain to the point of distribution at both levels i.e. national and international which in turn helps in estimating the quantity of the inventory required by the business to fulfill the needs of the customers. Along with this, it is also recommended that the company should implement the automated supply chain process which helps in reducing the time of employees to be devoted on low value activities which aids in improving the overall performance and productivity of the company. This also put barrier on the occurrence of the development of better plans and approaches towards continuous improvement. In addition to this, the company should implement and design a common  communication platform in the organizations at different locations so that the employees can communicate with one another regarding the issues faced so that the problems can be resolved in a quick manner as they share the knowledge and information related to the problems and their solutions in the form of opinions and thoughts (Talib, Rubin and Zhengyi, 2013).

This helps in occurrence of organization learning as the employees share the information gathered through experience and expertise. This helps employees to take decisions in a quick manner in order to handle the objections and problems of customers in an effective and efficient manner. In addition to this, there is also a necessity for the company to provide opportunity to customers to provide their feedback on the quality of the services provided by the company. This helps in gaining knowledge regarding the changes taking place in the tastes and preferences of customers which helps in fulfilling the requirements of the customers in an adequate manner by the way of making required changes in the services provided by the company. The provision of the end to end visibility of the operations to customers have resulted in making transparency in the business operations which helps in attracting large number of customers and investors towards the company. This helps in providing accurate information regarding different business operation in a timely manner to customers. This has a great impact on the buying decision of the customers (Melnyk, Narasimhan and Decampos, 2014).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that emergence of globalization and frequent changes in the external business environment results in the occurrence of several issues related to logistics and supply chain in Qube. It is essential for the company to adopt changes in the processes and procedures as per the changes taking place in the tastes and preferences of the customers. It can also be summarized that it is required for the company to automate the processes and establish a common communication platform for the purpose of attaining a competitive advantage over other players in the market. There is a need of adoption of new technology for the purpose of meeting the changing needs of the customers.

References

Abdulrahman, M.D., Gunasekaran, A. and Subramanian, N. 2014. Critical barriers in implementing reverse logistics in the Chinese manufacturing sectors. International Journal Production Economics 147, pp.460-471.

Alexander, A., Walker, H. and Naim, M. 2014. Decision theory in sustainable supply chain management: A literature review. Supply Chain Management : An International Journal 19(5/6), pp.504-522.

Bosona, T. and Gebresenbet, G. 2013. Food traceability as an integral part of logistics management in food and gricultural supply chain. Food Control 33, pp.32-48.

Brandenburg, M. et al., 2014. Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: Developments and directions. European Journal of Operational Research 233, pp. 299-312.

Handfield, R.B., et al., 2014. How can supply chain management really improve performance? A knowledge-based model of alignment capabilities. Journal of Supply Chain Management, pp. 1-17.

Melnyk, S.A., Narasimhan, R. and Decampos, H.A. 2014. Supply chain design: issues, challenges, frameworks and solutions. International Journal of Production Research 52(7).

Prajogo, D. and Sohal, A. 2013. Supply Chain Professionals: A study of competencies, use of technologies and future challenges. International Journal of Operations &Production Management 33 (11/12), pp.1532-1554.

Soysal, M. 2012. A review on quantitative models for sustainable food logistics management. International Journal Food System Dynamics 3(2), pp.136-155.

Talib, M.S.A., Rubin, L. and Zhengyi, V.K. 2013. Qualitative Research on Critical Issues in Halal Logistics. Journal of Emerging Economies and Islamic Research, 1(2), pp. 1-20.

Tyagi, P. and Agarwal, P.G. 2014. Supply Chain Integration and Logistics Management among BRICS: A Literature Review. American Journal of Engineering Research, pp.284-290.

Wernicke, C., Saab, S. and Kleinaltenkamp, M. 2014. Case: Managing Key Account Disruption in the Logistics Industry. Journal of Business Marketing Management 7(3), pp.406-413.

Wu, Y.C.J, Huang, S.K., Goh, M. and Hsieh, Y.J. 2013. Global Logistics Management Curriculum: Perspective from practitioners in Taiwan. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal 18(4), pp. 376-388.

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