A logistics consultant can be described as an advisor who provides his specialized services in the field of logistics to an organization on a full-term, part-time or contract basis. This individual’s role is to ensure that goods and services reach the right place, in right condition, at the right time and for a right price, internally or externally in an organization.
The area of specialization may include any or all of the following: 1. Distribution 2. Warehousing 3. Material handling 4. Transport planning 5. Execution of supply chain 6. Framing of organizational policies.
The role of a logistics consultant covers several aspects such as:
* Framing policies: A logistics consultant is a professional who understands the needs of the organization and its business goals. He has the expertise which can enable the organization to achieve its goals in an effective and efficient manner. He is responsible for preparing blueprints and solutions for existing and prospective business prospects of the organization.
* Minimizing capital employed through outsourcing: Business studies have shown that there is a significant cost attached to the process of running a distribution and warehousing network for outbound logistics. The consultant can follow a strategic approach to reduce operating expenditure by outsourcing distribution and warehousing to third-party logistics (3PLs).
* Designing solutions: The advisor can assist the clients in handling challenges through the preparation and implementation of material handling systems. He can meet the client requirements such as designing of layer, load and handling systems through his expertise in the field of automated storage and retrieval and radio frequency paperless solutions.
* Maximizing gross margin & customer retention: A logistics consultant helps in minimizing redundancy of inventory and maximization of gross margin. He plans and implements for fostering the allocation of resources in the existing supply chain to help grow product ranges.
* Training: The consultant may also be responsible for providing structured training, in addition to possible mentoring.
* Warehouse design: The logistics consultant is responsible for preparation of layouts to optimize volume utilization and thereby supporting effective design of various warehousing systems. The logistics consultant works closely with the distribution and warehousing team of professionals.
* Process Re-engineering: The consultant is a vital part of the process of re-engineering and helps in the elimination of useless activities to derive fast through-put rates and also in lowering costs of goods with compromising quality.
* Reduction of Inventory of an organization: He reduces the cycle time from supplier payment (cash out) to customer payment (cash in) and this is a key factor in lowering the working capital employed of the company. He/she can help in the improvement of the reliability of the supply chain, thereby facilitating substantial avoidance of costs.
* Warehouse Management Systems: She may also be responsible for the selection and implementation of Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) in addition to managing the resultant interfacing to Enterprise Resource Planning systems.
The role of a logistics consultant has evolved greatly with the passage of time. In the modern day business scenario, an organization needs to clearly understand the importance of that role, as an effective and efficient logistics system can help the organization to achieve its business goals in a uniform and effective manner.