What is inbound logistics? Your guide to this essential aspect of any project

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26 July, 2017

Developing a good inbound logistics strategy is crucial to the success of any business. Let us take you beyond the jargon and explain what inbound logistics are and how you can best develop a way of handling them to boost your revenue and streamline the way that your business operates.

A quick definition of inbound logistics

Inbound logistics refers to the way in which you receive, process, handle and store any goods that come in to your business. For example, if you own a manufacturing company, an inbound logistics strategy would encompass the way that you receive and store the raw materials for the products that you produce. You can also contrast inbound logistics with outbound logistics: the strategies that businesses deploy to prepare, care for and ship all of the products that they make. In the above example of a manufacturing company, your outbound logistics would comprise the way in which you store, package, and ship out the products that you have made. Outbound logistics and inbound logistics ought to be well integrated for a successful business: you cannot hope to concentrate on the one whilst ignoring the other. Nevertheless, this article focuses specifically on inbound logistics.

What makes a good inbound logistics strategy?

A successful inbound logistics strategy is both theoretical and practical. On a practical note, you will need to have all of the right equipment to store and transport the goods entering your business premises. Sturdy shelving and crates, fork lifts, hooks and other transportation devices, and well trained personnel who know how to use all of this equipment are all absolutely essential. A weatherproof, secure warehouse or other storage facility is also a must. On a theoretical level, you will need to develop an effective way of cataloguing the goods entering your premises, especially if you operate a large business that needs to deal with large volumes of different incoming goods every week. You will also need to develop a system for monitoring any goods that you have in storage to ensure that they stay in top condition, particularly if you will need to store them for a substantial period of time. Management software can help you to deal with cataloguing, tracking and monitoring goods on your premises. This tends to be much quicker and more efficient, and much easier and error free than tracking and cataloguing incoming goods manually.

Check your inventory today to ensure that you have all of the equipment that you need for a successful inbound logistics strategy

Is your inbound logistics strategy in need of a reboot? Is there a way that you could make it more streamlined and efficient? And, do you have all of the equipment that you need to carry out your plans effectively? The purchase of new ergonomic, automated hooks, for instance, can make unpacking shipments of heavy goods and depositing them on the right shelves much easier. Buying cranes and forklifts can ensure that your personnel are not tasked with the (quite literally) back breaking job of lifting heavy boxes when a shipment comes in. Sit down today and think about all the areas in which your inbound logistics strategy could be improved and then start implementing those improvements right away. The positive effects on your business operations will be visible almost immediately in the form of quicker and more effective handling of goods, personnel freed up to work on other tasks, and the more intuitive cataloguing of shipments from your suppliers.

supply chain inbound logistics

Now you know what inbound logistics is

Far from being a simple piece of jargon, inbound logistics is a concept that ought to be crucial to the way that you go about your business. Shipments from suppliers are the lifeblood of any business, and the way that you go about handling those shipments has a knock on effect (whether for good or for ill) on the entirety of your operations.