How to Build Efficiency into your Supply Chain

business communicationRegardless of how much you choose to invest in your business, it is amazing how even seemingly small details derail the best-laid plans. This is why every business owner, regardless of the precise sector in which they operate, should pay attention to detail and ensure that their core commercial strategy is not let down by avoidable oversights.

Take an online retail business, for example, which has had hundreds and thousands of pounds invested into its branding, promotion and the value proposition of its products. Even with the foundations established, a business of this nature can quickly be undermined by an inefficient supply chain and an inability to deliver consumer-bought products on-time.

How to build efficiency into your supply chain in 3 simple steps

With this in mind, building efficiency into your businesses supply chain remains critically important to the long-term success of your venture and brand. This will also impact heavily on the reputation of your business, as late or incorrectly delivered products will encourage customers to mistrust you ultimately prioritise alternative suppliers.

So here are three simple steps through which you create an efficient and purposeful supply chain that drives business growth:

Strategise and simulate your way to success

The key to an efficient supply chain is strategy, as you look to understand your market and the underlying needs of consumers. This must then be measure against your budget, as this will enable you to create a strategy that is both progressive and viable in any given economic climate.

The key to achieving this lies in a process of trial and error, so you must not be afraid to test out various supply chain functions in a simulated, real-time environment. While this is not viable for all functions, there are are some that will benefit from simulation while helping you to make an informed decision in the process.

Simulation features on route-planning sites such as Next Step also enable you to estimate fuel and transport costs, which in turn can save you money over time.

Optimise your efforts through Partnership

Optimisation is a key phrase used in the creation of an efficient supply chain, although without context it appears as little more than a buzzword for middle managers. When utilised to its full potential it can deliver huge benefits to your businesses supply chain, however, as it provides everything from reliable decision support to enhanced network design and load-building schedules.

You should also look to optimise your efforts through partnerships with established service providers, so long as they add value, reduce costs and drive efficiency. This is especially true when shipping small packages in high volume, as these entities can often be overlooked when creating a large-scale supply chain. Outlets such as InXpress can help in this regard, as they offer access to a host of reputable couriers that can ship nationwide and internationally.

While these partnerships will require an investment, this type of outlay is superior to paying for cheap and low quality service providers.

Inspect and Protect your Products prior to shipment

Whether you manage your logistics in-house or outsource responsibility, it is crucial that you tailor your efforts to suit the nature of your products. You must also invest in expert assistance that enables you to protect your goods prior to transit, as this ensures that they are shipped securely and in a way that minimises damage.

While this requires an initial, up-front investment, it also saves you money over time and minimises the risk of goods being delivered in a less than ideal state. You should make sure that your employees are trained to inspect goods at alternative stages and drop-off points, as this helps to maintain quality control throughout the supply chain process.

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