Outsourcing of logistics services in Poland.
Geographical location, availability of modern warehouse spaces and competitive personnel costs make Poland an attractive place for investors. According to warehouse market reports, over 2.5 million sq m of logistics space was leased in Poland from January until the end of September 2017, which is a 15% increase in comparison to the same period last year. Continued development of road infrastructure and openness to foreign investments in also small towns create a positive image of Polish economy.
Poland is a popular location for international distribution centres among representatives of various industries. Locating distribution centres in Poland is considered particularly advantageous for logistic projects in the online sales business. The choice of location is largely determined by the closeness of markets and courier hubs as well as employee availability. Logistics projects for e-commerce usually serve a few or several European markets, and their operation involves logistics operators, courier services providers and subcontractors such as temporary-work agencies or warehouse infrastructure providers. Continued growth of internet sales, which gradually replaces traditional sales channels, suggests that the coming years will bring further development and specialisation of logistics services for online sales.
Apart from the representatives of the production and trading sectors, Polish market has also seen an influx of both new companies and branches of international logistics operators. Poland is becoming a strategic location for logistics services providers, which testifies to the importance of Poland on the logistic map of Europe.
In our experience, we can say that contract logistics services are attractive to companies that are aware of the need for further development and want to entrust their logistics to an external company.
A client who chooses to outsource contract logistics services usually expects to receive a comprehensive service i.e. warehousing, preparation of shipments according to client's order, handling returns and a broad spectrum of added value services. Clients from the e-commerce channel expect also a number of additional processes such as personalised orders or adding greetings cards. The criterion of size does not always apply here. Logistic operator may offer solutions for both large and small companies – large logistics projects in dedicated distribution centres as well as smaller logistics projects as part of multi-user solutions. In both cases, cooperation with an operator creates an opportunity to optimise logistics costs. Cooperation with a logistics operator offers a high degree of process flexibility and a stable level of operating costs, while maintaining a high quality of provided services.
HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
In the case of projects that require a considerable number of employees, many companies face the challenge of maintaining a high degree of flexibility in seasonal peaks. The current trends show that ensuring an adequate number of qualified employees is a key criterion in the choice of logistics services provides. Furthermore, there are also projects that are limited only to outsourcing employees. Human resources is an important factor in large international projects for the e-commerce channel. In our experience, the biggest challenge faced by the e-commerce channel are seasonal peaks which require the warehouses to become several times more efficient, while maintaining the highest quality of processes. Logistics during seasonal peaks requires not only proper preparation, but above all experience that can only to be gained over time. Developing human resource management procedures, managing temporary workers, appropriate infrastructure planning or re-organising space in a warehouse require time and commitment. Services provided during seasonal peaks serve as a litmus test for the professionalism of a logistics operator.
CHOICE OF SUPPLIER
Outsourcing of logistic services is an important choice – one that testifies to the maturity of the organisation that wishes to focus only on its key activities. In our experience, companies which decide to outsource logistics are seeking to optimise their processes, increase the scale of their activities or entirely reorganise logistics across the company. In such a situation, providing a comprehensive logistics solution which encompasses the entire supply chain is key: starting with transport from the country of production, followed by sea, air or land shipping, customs, warehousing, preparation of shipments in accordance with the orders of a wholesale or individual client, up to handling returns. The foundation of success for any company is the satisfaction of its customers, and efficiently organised logistics is one of the elements that creates positive customer experience, which is important in every sales channel and every industry. Companies that decide to organise a tender for logistics services should, above all, clearly determine its needs and goals, and then choose a credible and experienced service provider – one that will be able to react flexibly to the company's changing needs, and thus allow for its further development.