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What Is Design for Logistics?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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Design for logistics (DFL) is an approach that seeks to organize the design or structure of tasks so that the movement through the associated tasks is logical and fluid, exhibiting the highest degree of efficiency possible. When successful, the end result of DFL is a standardized process that eliminates waste, which in turn allows the manufacturer to make the most efficient use of raw materials. Along with the production process, a design for logistics will also address the methods used to create and use packaging, manage the transportation of finished goods to best effect and allow for a continuous and logical flow from the receipt of raw materials all the way to successful delivery of those finished goods to buyers.

The essentials of design for logistics can be employed in a number of different scenarios. As it relates to supply chain management, the process will often focus on timely ordering and receipt of materials used in the production process. DFL is particularly important the goal is to operate with a lean inventory and manufacturing mindset, in that the logistics will establish set criteria that calls for ordering raw materials at when the available inventory reaches a certain level, making sure those orders are delivered on time for use in making goods to fill orders in a time frame that customers consider satisfactory. As a result, the manufacturer saves taxes and other expenses associated with maintaining large inventories of raw materials as well as finished goods, since both resources are moved through the system and ultimately out the door in a logical and efficient sequence.

The general idea of a design for logistics can be applied to other essential business functions, such as the structuring of a viable customer service and support strategy. Here, the business establishes what owners and managers consider acceptable customer service levels or standards, then designs specific steps that are taken to provide that standard to all customers. The process will usually include providing multiple means of interacting with customers, setting goals for responding to customer queries, and establishing specific escalation processes for dealing with customer concerns and complaints.

In any scenario, design for logistics seeks to provide a high degree of order to any task. By assessing the goals of a process then creating a series of logical steps that make it possible to realize those goals with a minimum of effort of use of resources, the business is able to maximize the use of all assets. As a result, the company can operate with lower expenses and retain a larger share of its revenue stream as net profit.

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