By Mr. A. Venkataraman, Vice President, Mission Critical Supply Chain division.
In today’s e-commerce push economy, each shipment is critical and delivery times are already crunching. Mission-critical logistics services; are just that ‘mission critical.’ An e-commerce company delivering a parcel which is delayed by a few hours may have an irate customer, however a delayed mission critical shipment will either lead to loss in production line or lost customer because a critical part could not be replaced in time leading to costly productivity loss.
Identifying ‘critical’ parts in your business
A ‘critical’ part is any component that is essential for smooth operation. When a mission critical part fails, business operations is significantly impacted and can cause significant amount of monetary loss as well as reputational damages. Therefore, identifying the right components as critical is a task in itself. Some parts may be so critical that an extended downtime may will lead to huge losses, therefore the parts supplier should have the ability to do delivery within a few hours.
It makes no difference whether it’s business-to-business or business-to-customer, working within a few-hours delivery window or next-day, replenishing a critical component is a ‘round-the-clock’ commitment. The SLAs are demanding and parts must be delivered and made accessible to field engineers for timely repair and maintenance. This is the current reality and in certain industries with extremely short times-to-obsolescence like electronics, the complexity increases.
Outsourcing to a 3PL
When outsourcing to a 3PL, some of the critical factors to consider are whether the 3PL has-
- The understanding and expertise of managing mission-critical services
- Inventory and Order management processes which maximise accuracy
- Ability to pick-pack-ship the required part within the SLA which can vary between 2 hours to next-day.
- Ability to be on a stand-by for after-hours requirements
- Ability to import or export any part at any time and clear through customs
- Understanding of the technicalities at parts/ components level
- Infrastructure, Technology and Processes being used by the 3PL
When you make the decision to outsource mission critical services, we at ProConnect Supply Chain Solutions, will ensure that the transition is seamless and quick.