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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There is growing confidence by businesses to delegate to specialized companies the storage, management and distribution of their inventory.
Another service offered by companies that focus on managing inventories for third parties is the labeling of products to help companies promote their products in the market.
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.
Investments by Costa Rican companies in their neighboring country went from $2.43 million in 2010 to $67.7 million in 2013.
Installation of production facilities, maquila subcontracts or transfer of part of the production process are part of the investment models that Costa Rican businessmen are utilizing in order to minimize the negative effects of the high production costs prevalent in Costa Rica and to stay competitive at the level international.
It has been estimated that there are 80 million square meters of space in unmet demand for use as warehouses, industrial buildings and Office-warehouses by logistics companies.
In response to this lack of supply identified by Colliers International new projects have appeared west of the capital, near the logistics centers of companies which distribute their products nationwide.