As a small business owner, you know that not everything in the supply chain runs as smoothly as you’d like. Sometimes customer’s products don’t get shipped on time, or maybe you find yourself in the negative because making, storing and shipping your products is costing more than you thought.
In order to run a successful e-commerce business, you must figure out how to optimize your supply chain management. This means finding out the trouble spots in your customer delivery and inventory management. This will allow you to identify the root causes of your issues and implement countermeasures so that these issues can be corrected and avoided in the future.
Customer Delivery & Lead Times
Some companies don’t consider customer delivery part of the supply chain, but for small businesses, it’s important that you have ownership from beginning to end. If you’re not delivering on time, all the time, then it might be time to look at why. Here are some possible reasons as to why a customer might be receiving their product late:
• Your customer placed the order late
• Your customer placed the order on time, but it wasn’t processed in a timely manner
• You thought you had the product ready to ship, but you didn’t or it turned out defective
• Your supplier delivered to you late causing it to be late for the customer
Lead times can have a huge impact your on-time delivery performance. It’s important to understand how long each step of the delivery process actually takes. If you want to receive shipments from your supplier on time, you need to figure out how long it takes from them to receive your purchase order, process it and ship it. Then, take in consideration the internal lead time (the time that it will take your business to inspect or add any value to the product). Lastly, account for the amount of time that it takes to receive a customer’s order, process and ship it.
Keeping track of what is in stock is crucial for running a small business. If a customer orders a product you thought you had but didn’t, their order will be late. One way to improve your inventory accuracy is by implementing an inventory management system An inventory management system will allow you to track inventory receipt, movement, and order fulfillment with barcode scanning in real time. Learn More >>
This blog post was based of an article by the balance small business. Read full article here.