Logistics Decisions are Too Important to Make Alone
Researchers tell us that on average, adults make 35,000 decisions a day. Some are less consequential than others – oatmeal for breakfast, or eggs? One egg or two? White shirt or blue? Brown shoes or black? Loafers or boots?
Studies also note that as we assume greater responsibilities in our lives, we make more independent decisions that have consequences well beyond a menu or choice of clothing. Children, for example, make about 3,000 decisions a day; adults nearly 12 times more.
If you are a manager in a complex a supply chain organization, the consequences of your decisions have rippling impacts on others. That’s why it’s so important to consider the needs of others up and down the line and bring them into your decision-making process.
“Without transparency, communication and cooperation you create silos that can be damaging in a supply chain,” says Dan Cser, owner ICAT Logistics Detroit. “Networks of customers, distributors and manufacturers are complex, made more so as they move material, parts and information across the globe. Without an open sharing of information and data, the risk grows for costly errors, sluggish operations, angry customers and missed opportunities.”
Cser says that in his three decades in the business, he has found no better way to ensure sound decision making than regular conversation among members of the supply chain team where plans, projects, data, challenges and successes are freely shared.
“The important thing is to ask questions, even if they have nothing to do with your place in the chain. As a freight and logistics professional, I never resent my clients wanting to know more about their shipments. Is documentation sufficient, has customs been cleared, is the cargo safely enroute and will it be delivered in perfect shape and on time?
“For the same reason, at ICAT Logistics Detroit, we benefit from knowing production schedules, new product plans, delivery expectations and new supplier relationships,” says Cser.
At the ICAT offices, plans are made by teams of specialists and then shared with clients, suppliers and a network of representatives around the world whose input is invaluable. A client that has landed a large order with specific shipping requirements will benefit greatly by sharing that information with everyone who will handle the product from the plant — through packing and crating, shipping, customs, transportation and final delivery.
“The decisions we make as a team are always better,” says Cser. “They save time, money and help ensure better customer service.
“I think that if you are going to make 35,000 decisions a day, there’s no reason to be lonely. Why not share some of your thinking with the people you depend on and who depend on you? It will take you a major step forward toward managing risk and ensuring great customer satisfaction.”
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