How much loss do you think a business firm takes during stock-outs of certain products? With the inception of e-Commerce, customers expect their desired products instantly. Potential customers trust reputed companies that make products ‘available’ in their stores. Evidently, a seamless inventory management system forms the bottom-line of e-Commerce businesses. Even in traditional brick and mortar stores, the reputation of a business hinges on their ability to cater to the needs of their customers. Stock-outs often tarnish the image of a company. As a marketer, you need to streamline supply chain operations.
A survey revealed that around 88% of holiday shoppers had to opt for a different site when the gift items they were seeking were out of stock. However, you might find it difficult to manage the high cost of maintaining a healthy supply chain. Here are five ways that you can streamline your supply chain operations and reduce costs.
Reviewing and optimizing the supply chain mechanism
First, you need to review and analyse the present supply chain in order to quickly respond to fast-growing business needs. An optimized supply chain keeps the business ahead of the competition. The sooner you evaluate its present status, the faster you can determine the investments you need to make. Once optimized, business firms will be able to come up with short lead times for customers. This will reduce some of the costs of inventory. You can also manage the storage and handling costs more efficiently. When you make your production, manufacturing, distribution, and fulfilment lines more productive, the costs of those processes are reduced.
Today, almost every business firm is striving to optimize their supply chains. It is estimated that in 2018, only 17% of businesses will not be streamlining. Various mechanisms are used to make them more productive. Human errors in the supply chain process are also reduced significantly when you mechanize the system.
Integrating your supply chain
Information-oriented actions pivot businesses. Integrating information from a wide range of sources into your system can leverage the efficiency of your supply chains. Each transaction is connected to a number of systems, including the organization’s ERP, CRM, financial system, and resource planning systems during manufacturing. In certain cases, businesses need to share information with parallel systems, which are owned by their partners, suppliers, or customers. System integration of relevant data is necessary for optimization and elimination of communication gaps. Small and medium-scale businesses carry out data integration processes through batch uploads; file uploads and manual uploads, apart from uploading information-enriched spreadsheets to the systems. As these are time-consuming tasks, it is necessary to automate systems using sophisticated technology. It also prevents loss of data, which takes place when the information is handled manually.
Leveraging existing systems
It is necessary to leverage existing systems on your platform to reduce costs and boost the productivity of your firm. Around 50% of business firms close down within five years, regardless of industry. Maintaining a healthy supply chain is a necessity for your firm. While you might come up with your own in-house inventory management system, these are often complicated and difficult to incorporate. Moreover, when you upgrade your supply chains, they are difficult to sync. Also, the important data in the existing systems can be used for planning and analytical purposes in the future. All of these call for a seamless mechanism to leverage your existing systems, utilizing all of the available data for productive purposes. With technical advancements, mobile-controlled automated systems are being used to manage supply chains. Therefore, you need to integrate the right tools into your system.
Eliminating duplicate data
Improving the operational efficiency of your firm involves cost reduction and effort reduction mechanisms. When you operate with a manual data entry system in supply chain operations, chances of duplicating information are high. Automating the system with smart devices eliminates duplications substantially. Finding conflicting figures in the stored data later on can lead to confusion. Make sure that you do not have any duplicate data in your system. This will help reduce operational costs greatly.
Research based on Australian businesses revealed that poor management of these strategies accounts for around 44% of their businesses. You simply need to do away with unnecessary data entry mechanisms and automate your supply chain.
Analysing future goals
With an optimized supply chain, you can assess the needs of your future customers and arrange for the inventory accordingly. You need to look beyond tactical order processing needs and better understand the requirements of your customers. Streamlining your supply chain is not just about enhancing the product delivery process. It is important to improve the customer support strategies for the future, too. Regardless of the size and nature of businesses, companies around the globe are focused on this streamlining goal. It ensures accurate demand forecasting and delivery scheduling, which optimizes production lines. These measures result in decreased costs for the firm and make their business more profitable and flexible.
79% of businesses that have high-performing business chains experience faster growth in revenue. It is vital to strengthen your supply chain to avoid stock-outs and bolster your sales. Today, sophisticated technology, like IoT, is being integrated into business platforms for inventory management. You need to maintain the efficiency of your supply chain, as it substantially impacts your brand image. A steadfast management of your supply chain can, ultimately, leverage your sales.