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Business Logistics Assignment on Strategic Planning & Logistical Performance Cycle


Task: Prepare a business logistics assignment answering the following questions:
Question 1: Discuss the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the overall logistical performance cycle of companies. Your answer should include the possible challenges in 3 subcycles (purchasing, manufacturing, and customer cycles) and solutions to overcoming those challenges.

Question 2: Some companies have adopted robotic capabilities to increase their warehousing efficiency. Discuss, using real examples, how this new technology may impact their logistics systems in terms of below parts. a) Supply-side logistics b) Demand-side logistics


Answer1: Herein business logistics assignment, discuss the impact of covid-19 outbreak on the overall logistical performance cycle of companies.

The outbreak of the pandemic covid-19 has directly affected the logistical firms. It has been observed that the deadly virus has adversely affected the work, likely the movement, the storage of goods, the flow of goods, and also the supply chain drastically (Rahimi et al. 2021. pp109). The impact of the pandemic has also affected the competition in the market along with the rapid effect in economic expansion and job creation.

Moreover, Yu et al. (2021, pp-12), stated that most of the companies have faced several challenges to stabilizing their situation as the overall logistical performance cycle has observed a dwindling situation due to the pandemic covid-19. Studies reveal that several Australian stock-listed companies have been facing significant issues related to short inventory and inadequate supply chain diversification that have resulted in disruption and loss. According to online reviews, it has been recognized that the pandemic situation has made several companies face circumstances that have made them tougher, collaborative, and upgraded (EY.Com. 2021). Nevertheless, the answer would bring forth the challenges faced by companies on the basis of 3 Sub-cycles, mainly the purchasing, manufacturing, and customer cycles with the solution to overcome them.

As the essential services have been necessary to continue in the crisis period like the supply chain, logistics, transport, and many other operations, it was observed that the several operators operating these are under tremendous pressure.In addition, the workload was supposedto deliver the supplies through the implementation of new regulated strategies. On the other hand, lockdown and road closures have also affected the access of goods and supplies globally which has slowed down the procedure tremendously (Zhu et al. 2020, pp-5858). It was observed that demands were not met, as the customers were not being provided proper services and goods in the crisis period which had affected the growth and the economy of all the countries abruptly. The pandemic situation has also affected the logistical functioning of Woolworths a popular Australian chain of supermarkets in grocery stores rapidly ( 2021).

Possible challenges in Purchasing
The covid-19 outbreak has devastatingly affected the workflow of the supply chain management making it impossible for the proper functioning in the business environment. Purchasing has also been contrived as the people had to follow certain norms and regulations implemented by the government to stop the spread of the virus. It has been taken into account that the customer footfall in the traditional stores has been drastically falling down as well as the companies were not able to buy raw materials for the manufacturing of the demanded products and services. The upward and downward flow of work had been hindered.

Solutions to overcoming the above challenges
Strategic planning and implementation of innovations and technology in the logistics service have helped several companies to bring back the flow in the work. Woolworths, an Australian stock-listed company, also influenced its business logistics with the implementation of technology and services to keep the floor and maintain resilience. As observed by Lee and Trimi. (2021, pp-16), the Covid-19 pandemic has taught several companies to improve their functioning and learn from the fast to upgrade the future decision-making in situations of disruption. Moreover, it would have been helpful for the foundations to bring effectiveness and efficacies in the supply chain proceeded by the implementation of strategic planning and focus on the effects of the factors internally and externally. On the other hand, Obrenovic et al. (2020, pp-5981), stated that companies’ effective measurement of the contingency strategies would also be helpful for the purchase departments to mitigate the emerging risks like the pandemic situation.

Manufacturing challengesand Solutions
The deadly virus has hit the manufacturing sector hard as several factories and companies have been affected by this corona virus pandemic which has disturbed the whole business logistics (Alhawari et al. 2021, pp-435). Moreover, the government measures taken care of like the lockdown have completely brought the manufacturing sector into a standstill that has been bringing hassles and hindrances in the whole global supply chain. Talking of Woolworths, it has been observed that the process manufacturing mainly based on the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and other personal care and cosmetics have been hindered. Nevertheless, the covid-19 outbreak has also observed scarcity of laborers and reduced demand that have affected the manufacturing sector.

However, maintaining safety measures and hygiene within the workplace would be helpful for companies to introduce new workers, as well as evaluation of the supply chain agility making the whole system stronger and tougher (Lombardo et al. 2021, pp-132). It would be helpful for Woolworths to continue with their smooth business manufacturing. Moreover, strategic planning based on emergency response plans as well as revising the price and promotional strategies through the execution of innovation and Change management would reduce the disruptive supply chain procedure and bring a new Ray of hope within the organisation to work and fight back the deadly virus.

Challenges in Customer’s cycle and its solutions to overcome
It has been observed that the covid-19 has played havoc with the lives of millions of people. According to Goodell (2020, pp-101512), the deadly virus has affected customers' lives on an unprecedented scale. The attitudes, behavior, and buying habits of the customers have changed too rapidly, affecting the companies and the foundations drastically. The impact of covid-19 has taught several business persons to comprehend with the minds of the customers as they have changed their perceptions on buying. This, in turn, has affected the whole manufacturing and processing procedures that have declined the sale and the manufacturing of goods and services. The buying habits have also changed as people now were more concerned about necessary products rather than luxury items (Subawa. 2020, pp-62). Henceforth, it was observed that the business sectors and the logistical performance shifted their manufacturing from all types of goods to the necessary items that were demanded on a regular basis.

To bring back the flow of work and eradicate the hindrance in the customer cycle, the most important procedure that Woolworths adopted was the online sale of products and goods. It was taken into facts that consumers relied on the online sale rather than physically buying the product. Upgraded strategic planning along with the STP strategy would also be helpful to minimize the issues related to the impact of covid-19.

Answer2: Some companies have adopted robotics capability to increase warehousing efficiency Technology and innovation have brought a new Ray of hope for the customers, the factories, warehouses, companies and have made the work logistic operations within companies more easy and friendly. According to Sarc et al. (2019, pp-485), the use of robotics in the logistic system has increased the productivity level of companies compared to manual labor. Sensor robots and drones have been observed to be used for warehouses to speed up and focus on the fulfillment of orders by delivering picked orders to the workers at another location in the warehouse and sorting of packing.

Implementation of robotics in the supply chain management has helped to lessen the errors made by human beings and bring in a significant profit reducing the warehouse costs. Several companies are there that have adapted the robotics capability to upgrade the efficiency level of warehousing. There are several companies that have adapted the robotics capability like the DHL, Amazon, and many more that use technologies like drones driverless vehicles to improve the efficiency, speed, accuracy, and maintain a standard within the workplace. As stated by Ahmad et al. (2020, pp-284), robotic logistics upgrade safety for workers by taking over dangerous works such as getting items from higher racks for storage spaces without any hindrance. For example, giant Amazon uses drones for delivery purposes and robots for scanning items in the warehouse.

Discussion using real examples how this new technology impact the logistics system in terms of the following

a. Supply-side logistics
Implementations of artificial intelligence and robotics have brought innovations in logistic and supply chain management rapidly. The recent years have forecasted that technologies have developed the working conditions of companies intelligently automatically and at a rapid rate. Supply-side logistics have been usually influenced by the technology as it has been observed that the supply of organizations is increasing alarmingly the artificial and augmented intelligence. According to Dash et al. (2019, pp-45), robotics and artificial intelligence have boosted productivity in the supply chain, lowering the cost of production and mitigating the errors that the human could have made. Moreover, the advancement in technology has helped areas of logistics like tracking, transportation, supply chain management, and shipment tracking. Robotics has been observed to reduce the labor cost and lessen the manual progress that may contain errors and mistakes. On the other hand, the execution of technologies and artificial intelligence has helped organizations to maintain the supply side logistics by monitoring the data and collecting the information with up-to-date records. It has been observed that several Australian companies have also executed the work of robotics in the supply side logistics to maintain proper control of the stocks and the inventory. Woolworths, also have depended on technology and innovation to execute its supply chain work and maintain a proper synchronized report. Other retail giants like Amazon have been using robotics for improvement in their work and minimizing the errors in the work. Other companies like DHL also use self-driven cars for their functioning in the supply side logistics. Robotics and technology have helped organizations to execute faster and more efficiently making supply chain software that improves internal functioning and work access (Attaran. 2020, pp-160). On the other hand, technology has made it possible to provide data capture and upgrade the labor management as well as take note of the resources by reducing stock and providing the goods and services with punctuality. Circumstances have been observed that robotics have impacted pragmatically on the supply side logistics by maintaining a proper and conventional report of the stocks as well as limiting the required cost to maximize the profitability.

According to Kumar (2020, pp-165), robotics has balanced and made several companies overcome the situation of the pandemic covid-19 where the foundations have faced issues in manufacturing products where technology has supported the business strongly. Logistic technologies, mainly the robotic warehousing system like drones, have upgraded the capacity of supply-side logistics with better tracking and improving the work of the supply chain.

b. Demand-side logistics
Technology and the evolution of Change management in the business world have affected the demand side logistics in a pragmatic manner. It has been observed that robotics and improved technology have increased productivity in supply chain management reducing the costs of manufacturing and limiting errors (Shao et al. 2021, pp-120354). Several technologies in the demand side logistics like the shipment tracking system, radio frequency identification, drones, self-driven trucks, upgraded GPS system, social media, and many more have been helpful to fulfill the demand side logistics of several companies like Amazon, DHL, and other retail brands like Coles, Woolworths, Wesfarmers and many more.The usage of these technologies in the case of the mentioned companies has allowed for the fast tracking of the supply process. This process has been able to effectively facilitate the demand for the case of the company as this would ensure a larger rate of impactful potential which can be created and engaged. Thus, the delivery and meeting of the demand is easier through such technological implementation.

It has been observed that shipment tracking systems implemented by several companies have helped them to get into contact with the deliveries that are made satisfying the customers and increasing the demand. Companies like Amazon, Flip kart, Woolworths, and Coles use this technology for online deliveries and checking the shipment as it gets delivered in a safer and upgraded way.

Radiofrequency identification technology has also been observed to be a popular labor-saving technology that tracks the inventory successfully with the sensor and the radio waves that help to maintain the stock and monitor the records of goods available in the company and that can serve the demand of the trusted customers.According to Daum et al. (2021, pp-105480), GPS accuracy has helped companies like Uber to accurately help the customers reach a destination with punctuality. It has also helped organizations to increase productivity by satisfying their trusted consumers.This has also significantly helped in reduction of lead time in service delivery. Thus, meeting the demand side of the element has become easier and faster. This helps in order for assuring a larger rate of potential and effectiveness which is present through the company prospects.

Social media has the optimizing power of operating the logistic industry without any issue.

Henceforth, it could be stated that the adaptation of the latest technology and robotics have helped organizations to remain work efficient and the logistic industries have been immensely getting help through the advancement and increasing productivity (Fragapane et al. 2021, pp-12). Robotics has been proved to be the push effect for several organizations to upgrade the functioning of supply-side logistics demand-side logistics pragmatically.

Ahmad, F., Alam, M.S., Alsaidan, I.S. &Shariff, S.M., 2020,‘Battery swapping station for electric vehicles: opportunities and challenges’,IET Smart Grid, Vol.3, No. 3, pp.280-286.

Alhawari, O., Bhutta, K. &Muzzafar, A., 2021,‘You are entitled to access the full text of this document Supply chain emerging aspects and future directions in the age of COVID-19: A systematic review’, Uncertain Supply Chain Management, vol. 9. No. 2, pp.429-446.

Attaran, M., 2020, July,‘Digital technology enablers and their implications for supply chain management’, In Supply Chain Forum: An International JournalVol. 21, No. 3, pp. 158-172.

Dash, R., McMurtrey, M., Rebman, C. &Kar, U.K., 2019,‘Application of artificial intelligence in automation of supply chain management’,Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, vol.14, no.3, pp.43-53.

Daum, T., Villalba, R., Anidi, O., Mayienga, S.M., Gupta, S. &Birner, R., 2021,‘Uber for tractors? Opportunities and challenges of digital tools for tractor hire in India and Nigeria.’,World Development, vol.144, p.105480.

EY.Com. 2021,How COVID-19 impacted supply chains and what comes next,viewed 2nd June 2021

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Goodell, J.W., 2020,‘COVID-19 and finance: Agendas for future research’, Finance Research Letters, vol.35, p.101512.

Kumar, V., 2020,‘Adjusting to the new normal: Challenges of the food sector in the wake of COVID-19’,business logistics assignmentJournal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement, vol.3, no.2, pp.163-180.

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Obrenovic, B., Du, J., Godinic, D., Tsoy, D., Khan, M.A.S. &Jakhongirov, I., 2020,‘Sustaining enterprise operations and productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic:“Enterprise Effectiveness and Sustainability Model”.’, Sustainability, vol.12, no. 15, p.5981.

Rahimi, I., Gandomi, A.H., Asteris, P.G. & Chen, F., 2021,‘Analysis and Prediction of COVID-19 Using SIR, SEIQR and Machine Learning Models: Australia, Italy and UK Cases’,Information, vol. 12, no. 3, p.109.

Sarc, R., Curtis, A., Kandlbauer, L., Khodier, K., Lorber, K.E. &Pomberger, R., 2019,‘Digitalisation and intelligent robotics in value chain of circular economy oriented waste management–A review’, Waste Management, vol.95, pp.476-492. Shao, X.F., Liu, W., Li, Y., Chaudhry, H.R. &Yue, X.G., 2021,‘Multistage implementation framework for smart supply chain management under industry 4.0,’Technological Forecasting and Social Change, vol.162, p.120354.

Subawa, N.S., Widhiasthini, N.W., Pika, P.A.T.P. &Suryawati, P.I., 2020,‘Hedonism on the behavior of consumer society as a global cultural transformation,’International research journal of management, IT and social sciences, vol.7, no. 2), pp.59-70. 2021,Woolworths Supermarket - Buy Groceries Online,viewed 2nd June 2021

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