The international consulting firm Miebach, from Germany, has conducted for the first time a regional study on distribution and logistics among Central American companies, with the participation of 238 companies, 80 of them in Costa Rica (39% of the total).
The main findings for Costa Rica were that companies are expanding sales, have well qualified staff, but there are lags in terms of infrastructure, automating internal processes and product delivery times.
39% of the Costa Rican firms surveyed belong to the consumer goods sector, 22% are distributors, and the others are in logistics and retail services.
"Locally, one fifth said they had annual increases in the order of 5% to 10% per year and another percentage just over 10%. None experienced negative growth", reported Elfinancierocr.com.
Regarding logistics costs, in the case of Costa Rica they are divided as follows: 29% for stock, 22% for transportation, 20% for staff payments, and another portion for infrastructure.
Costa Rica has slower delivery times than other countries. The average in Central America is less than 48 hours for 60% of companies, in Costa Rica nearly 60% do so in a period of between 48 and 72 hours.
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Taking time to eliminate hidden costs in business may be the best short-term investment.
In the article by Omar Becerril at Altonivel.com.mx, he highlights some of the types of expenses in which businesses often incur. Even highly efficient processes may be covering up unnecessary costs that can be avoided.
Business leaders in Costa Rica say that big delays in public works are putting a brake on their investment plans.
"Because of the problems with public transport, we've had to lay our own transport for workers. That adds to costs but it's the only way to make sure they get to work on time," said Christian Rodríguez, vice-president for operations of Western Union in Costa Rica.
The home appliances company will inaugurate a distribution center in El Coyol, Alajuela, in March 2010.
This center will ship goods and products to the chain's 102 stores in the country.
Daniel Coto, commercial manager, told Nacion.com: "We seek more efficient logistics and cost savings".