An effective and efficient supply chain is crucial for the success of any business that relies on delivery and fulfilment in any form. Late items can lead to customer dissatisfaction, while lost and damaged items are going to cost you real money.
Below, we’re going to look at which links in the supply chain you should be looking at, and what to do to strengthen them.
Let’s start with where the chain begins: your suppliers. Managing effective supplier relationships is key to knowing when you’re going to have the stock that you then go on to sell.
Choosing the right supplier means considering things like distance, cost, and proven reliability. All suppliers are liable to have hiccups in their own supply.
What’s important, however, is that they inform you of the risks of this happening ahead of time and let you know as soon as it does happen.
You must continue to be able to track the movement of goods when they’re in the hands of your business, as well. In most cases, this is going to happen in the shelves and rows of the warehouse.
It’s easy to lose items amongst your stock, so the best way to make sure that it’s effectively organised is to break up shelves so that they are pre-allocated to a specific stock.
Furthermore, you can consider using a warehouse inventory system so that you’re able to track when items come in, where they’re placed, when they’re moved and when they’re shipped out.
How are your products getting to your customers? If ‘poorly’ is the answer, then it’s worth looking at not just who provides your delivery services, but the methods that they take to do it as well.
For instance, if you need to ship items in pallets then you should make sure you’re working with someone who specializes in doing just that.
Track their reliability over time and make sure they provide the information you need to explain any delays or lost products so you can decide how much you’re willing to tolerate.
What’s most important is that you’re able to keep track of what is going on in your supply chain. Problems happen, but being able to collect data on those problems is crucial so that you can inform your customers and adjust.
Furthermore, your ability to know the speed of your deliveries with things like telemetrics, for instance, will then let you inform your customers about how long they might have to wait for deliveries on average. As a result, you can more quickly spot when something out of the ordinary happens and update your customers to changes.
The way that a supply chain is established may change from business to business, so you might need to look at some links aside from those mentioned above. However, so long as you take the approach of finding and fixing your weakest link, you’re definitely going to be able to find room for improvement.
What’s the weakest link in your supply chain? Share your frustrations below (or how you solved them).