How to manage your supply chain effectively

Keeping track of your business from the starting point to the delivery is incredibly important, flagging up any potential issues before it becomes a problem and helping to streamline the process. Regardless of the type of product or service you put out there, efficient supply chain management helps you take control of your business and eliminate risks as you are aware of every step of the journey. Here are a few ways you can effectively manage your supply chain and save money while you do so. 

Planning 

The first step in any supply chain is the planning process, which is one of the most important parts of any business. Without a good plan, you make mistakes, so stop to consider all elements of the product or service. Plan out every step of the supply chain, all the way from A to B. Consider how many supplies you need to match customer demand, how these products will be made and how you can deliver them at a rate that meets your business goals. By doing so, you’ll straighten out the potential problems before they arise and create a seamless supply chain. 

Sourcing materials 

When it comes to sourcing materials, the key is to always have dependable suppliers. Rather than trying out different companies, build a relationship with one and you’re sure to see benefits from being loyal. While saying that, it’s essential that you don’t pick the first supplier you come across, but rather do your research and check reviews if possible. Test them out before using them for actual products to ensure the quality is high at a great price. After defining the process in the planning part, you should know exactly what you need and pass this information to the supplier, checking in advance that they tick off everything on your list. 

Keeping track of delivery

Reliable delivery is incredibly important when it comes to customer satisfaction. Nobody wants to order an essential item only for it to arrive a month late, or not turn up at all. Invest in fleet tracking services to ensure you’re aware of any issues before they worsen. Fleet tracking allows you to keep track of parcels during their journey from A to B, as well as provide information about the driver’s behaviour, issues with the vehicle and more. By investing in this, you’ll be able to provide the customer with updates every step of the way, helping to provide excellent service that will keep them coming back to your business. 

Streamline the way your products are created and kept track of by investing in automated programs. From printing packaging labels to streamlining the inventory process, using automation technology allows you to make the most of your team and take them away from menial tasks. Not only that, but you actually save money by doing so as you need less staff. The people you do hire can focus on more skilful tasks, whether that be designing or delivering the products. 

Effortless returns process

As important as delivery is, your returns process should be just as smooth. If possible, offer free returns labels but save paper by asking that they print them out on request. This ensures less paper waste and is cheaper in the long run without taking away the returns option. If you can’t afford to offer free returns, which is the reality for many new businesses, then ensure it is still a clear process by listing directions for successful returns on your website. Ensure to include any situations in which the return will be rejected, such as damage to the item. 

Manage your business from the first step of the process to the very last to ensure smooth deliveries and returning customers. These tips will get you off to a great start.