A strong supply chain is a vital part of every business. The production and distribution of products is, obviously, the main way in which a business can make money. The more fluid the supply chain, the better the cashflow, and any time-saving solutions should be utilised so long as they’re legal and don’t detract from your firm’s performance.
In the event of online shopping, customers are now used to clicking a button and having their order arrive within days. Instantaneous shopping is now the way of the world, and your company must step up to the plate to meet that demand.
Secure the Supply Chain
Your business should be minimising risks wherever possible, and they can crop up anywhere too. Which suppliers you contact, how you contact them, what you say to them; it can all feed into some serious ramifications if your firm isn’t careful enough. In the end, one of the best supply chain hacks out there is preventing people from hacking into your supply chain.
If you’re less than certain that your supply chain is safe, refocus your efforts for a security-first approach. Your business will lose a great amount of money and time if the supply chain succumbs to a cyber-attack, and so never operate from unstable foundations. Whether it’s anti-virus software or simply avoiding dealings with less trustworthy suppliers, take those precautions. If you prepare for the worst, it’ll never take you by surprise, and you’ll employ countermeasures far faster.
Consolidate the Supply Chain
Any convoluted areas in your company infrastructure need to be simplified as soon as possible. Complicated often equates to chaos, and if your company piles on too much pressure and responsibility it will start to trip under its own feet. If your supply chain gets too busy, it will get messy, and there won’t be enough people around to help you reign it in. From here, things can quickly spiral out of control.
There’s not much sense in performing ten tasks poorly when you could perform five tasks extremely well. First, consider limiting your services; for example, focusing on nationwide delivery instead of international. You could also employ the services of an outsourcing agency. Therefore, consolidating the supply chain for maximum efficiency is a step forward, not backward. A business that’s realistic with what it can achieve will grow at a healthier rate than a business that jumps the gun, spending both its money and time productively instead of wasting it on unrealistic expectations.
Negotiate Cost Reductions
While reducing your list of suppliers might well help you streamline all your supply chain processes, sometimes this can be a rash action if it’s taken too soon. Sometimes, there’s a better deal to be had, and all you must do is test the waters and ask for it. If you feel that your resources or finances are being stretched too thin, consider sparking negotiations with your own suppliers.
For example, one supplier who can provide multiple services is a better deal than three suppliers providing you with a single service each. Could you become more involved with a supplier, and thereafter cut the chord with the others? Remember, if you’ve got pre-existing deals with these people, this means you and your business are at least partly valuable to them already. See how much wiggle room you’ve got and get negotiating.