Many global brands and companies can boast of having end-to-end logistics, however, not all of them are executing it the right way. It is not just about covering the entire process and being informed about changes in it, it is about being able to make real time decisions in any block of the chain and in any location.
The most important thing for a true end-to-end process is that the entire process has to be tailored considering each company’s goals and needs.
"An end-to-end process, E2E or end-to-end supply chain management refers to the fact that the logistics operation is fully tailored, so it has greater interoperability between the different pieces of the supply chain puzzle."
The 2 biggest obstacles to achieve real end-to-end process
The two main obstacles in reaching true end-to-end logistics are speed and cost. Within the process to achieve an integrated logistics, the current context must be also analysed. The key in lifestyle and retail industries is to adopt new trends or changes in demand as soon as possible to keep a competitive advantage in the market. Therefore, the speed of deliveries or the agility in applying changes - such as destination change, essentially need to improve, otherwise the end-to-end process won’t be delivering the expected results.
Real time decision making
An important factor about time is the ability to make decisions in real time. The sooner we react to changes in the market, the sooner we can implement the action plan to minimise the disruptions in our business. A clear and recent example is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put the entire global industry in jeopardy. Even companies that theoretically operated their logistics under the E2E concept saw how their deliveries suffered long delays and how their processes were disrupted. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, integrating and optimising the entire supply chain as a set of connected processes is essential to ensure a successful business operation.
The hidden costs of an end-to-end process
Improving delivery time when it comes to global distribution normally means a bigger logistics infrastructure and more robust technology to allow traceability throughout the journey. In both cases, a great amount of resources is required: money, expertise, and time.
As a direct consequence, many companies decide to reach out to specialised external logistic partners to optimise each stage of the chain, without impacting their fixed costs. However, having specialists in each of the phases naturally implies having to operate with many logistics players, causing at the same time a fragmentation of the supply chain and, again, an inefficient end-to-end supply chain.
What are the alternatives?
The most expensive way
An investment in technology and structure to design a tailor-made end-to-end solution will grow your infrastructure in your key markets to control your operations and monitor growth. This option constitutes a huge risk for brands, since having the resources does not necessarily mean having the right expertise in logistics and understanding how to optimise the links in the chain.
The most expensive way
One of the most viable options is to find the right partner, who has the right infrastructure in the markets you want to target, who has the right technology to enhance your supply chain with full visibility throughout the process and who has the expertise to optimise each and every step for you.
Having the right partner covering the entire process: ocean, inland, customs management, warehouse will give you a connected and seamless supply chain. Moreover, it will provide the visibility and the optimisation needed to support each business growth agenda.
Maersk not only has the most powerful and effective infrastructure in Latin America and in the world, but also has the technology and expertise to integrate the added value that 2, 3, and 4PL provide in a single process has consolidated itself as one of the first integrators of supply chains in the world.
To learn more about supply chain integration and innovation, get access to the report:
"5 key points for supply chain integration":
- A single platform for the integration of information
- Flexibility as a competitive advantage for your brand
- Agility to predict consumer trends and inventory adaptability
- End-to-end traceability
- Sustainable integration