Which logistics platform should you choose to handle your products?

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Expert advice

Optimal logistics management is essential for every company and helps to maintain efficient production activity under all circumstances. Companies often choose to delegate the management of logistical products when they deal with larger flows than they can absorb. This raises the question of choosing a service provider to manage the stocks of goods, sort or prepare orders, control product quality, etc. Although the range of logistics platforms specialising in product management is very varied in France, the tasks assigned to each one are not always in line with the client's needs.

Find out from Viapost, a logistics company specialising in the management of goods flows, what criteria you should take into account to make the best choice for your logistics platform.

What is a logistics platform?

Definition

A logistics platform, also known as a logistics warehouse in the supply chain, is a place dedicated to the logistics flows of companies. Various tasks can be carried out there, and different professions are involved, such as order pickers, sorting agents or transporters. The logistics platform is more than a company's storage warehouse for its goods and products. It is a place chosen according to the peaks of activity, whether they are occasional or frequent.

Its surface area, its human dimensioning, its level of mechanisation, etc. are all specific features that make it possible to guarantee better fluidity and continuous improvement of productivity.

 

What operations are carried out in a logistics platform?

If the main mission of a logistics platform is the management of stock, the sorting or preparation of orders and the piloting of a company's transport flows, various services are put in place to facilitate the correct application of these services, such as:

> The reception of the products in the platform;

> Real-time stock management using warehouse management tools such as WMS;

> Order processing and preparation;

> Sorting of parcels before collection and delivery;

> Shipping and transport management of goods;

> The distribution of products to the final customer.

Thanks to the logistics platform, the goods are only in transit and the service provider, who is entrusted with the logistics activity, takes care of the products from A to Z during every stage.

What are the criteria for choosing a logistics platform?

There are many criteria for choosing between all the logistics platforms in France.

Size of the logistics platform

To estimate your space requirements for stock management, it is essential to measure the size of your flow. To do this, focus on your average inbound and outbound volume of flows, taking into account all periods, even those with a low throughput. You should also average the number of items or products contained in a single shipment. Finally, it is necessary to think about the number of product references, and the size of your goods and their constraints: heavy, bulky or fragile products, controlled temperature, time limit for consumption, dangerousness (flammable products, etc.).

These three factors, taken together, will help you to determine the space you need and the size of the logistics platform that will be suitable for your flow. As a guide, the average size of a logistics facility is 18,500 m².

 

Services and equipment offered by the logistics operation

When choosing a logistics platform, it is important to consider the services offered and the means used to achieve them. Making a list of your needs will help you determine the most suitable structure for your project.

Does the logistics platform benefit from:

> The possibility of setting up an operations team on your platform (in situ);

> Procedures that comply with safety standards;

> A team with developed know-how and trained in the latest innovations;

> A structured division of tasks according to trade: sorting agent, order picker, delivery person, etc;

> Good maintenance for its logistics tools, such as machines and software;

> A high-performance flow management and tracing service with state-of-the-art software;

> A wide range of logistics services and solutions such as parcel sorting, order preparation, direct transport control, etc.

 

Location and distribution radius covered by the logistics platforms

Depending on your company's delivery offer, it is necessary to ensure that the distribution radius proposed to your customers is respected and covered by your logistics provider. Is the delivery only to Metropolitan France? Some logistics platforms, such as Viapost, offer distribution throughout Europe for its standard or express deliveries. It is essential to find out about the quality of the service and the modes of transport used. Is the fleet deployed to transport the goods in line with environmental concerns? Finally, make sure that the logistics platform is located in an area that is accessible to you so that you can monitor it as you see fit.

Do you know Viapost, a logistics provider that adapts to your needs?

As a logistics partner and subsidiary of La Poste Group, Viapost makes it possible to manage your goods flows by offering a variety of high-performance solutions and services.

Your logistics are managed from A to Z according to your needs (storage, sorting or preparation of orders, etc.).  Viapost has powerful tools and software that support our well-trained and expert team.

For any one-off, regular or unforeseen request linked to a peak or increase in activity, Viapost can take care of your entire logistics organisation in your warehouse or on one of its dedicated platforms.

Choosing Viapost is a guarantee for your company:

> Unparalleled adaptability thanks to our flexible working hours. Our teams work at weekends and at night to adapt to the demands of our companies and their customers;

> Compliance with quality, health and safety standards for our teams, but also for your products;

> A broad regional and national presence;

> High performance parcel sorting tools;

> Tracking software to guarantee the follow-up of your goods;

> A qualitative and reactive maintenance service.

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