The importance of supply chain control for wholesale and distribution
The importance of supply chain control for wholesale and distribution has always been paramount to business success.
Supply chain management relates to the control of materials from the initial sourcing stages to the product finally arriving in the hands of the customer.
It’s also important that this flow of materials is managed consistently and at an optimum level for the wellbeing of the business – otherwise there is a danger of manufacturers being unable to deliver on promises to wholesalers or distribution causing hold-ups in the chain. The possibility of inventory levels being too high, resulting in growing costs, is also a real danger.
For wholesalers, operations involve managing large quantities of goods that need to reach retailers on time, running like clockwork to meet demand. This involves significant carrying costs and places demands on the business to get quantities of goods and timings to an optimal level to minimise waste.
Here are just some of the ways your wholesale or distribution business can succeed at supply chain management.
Get better stock visibility
In order to get a grip of your stock levels, you’ll want to move away from manual processes and towards being able to view stock in real-time through automation.
Using ERP software, you can monitor your supply chain from beginning to end, highlighting shipments that are running behind and allowing patterns to develop that can then be fixed.
Automating your inventory Management processes is equally important, particularly in the age of Ecommerce. Outdated inventory information makes it impossible to run a functioning Ecommerce site, since your levels will be unable to keep up with customer demand.
Eliminate waste with data analysis
Getting to grips with your Supply Chain Management system is all about ensuring stock levels are at precisely the correct level to meet demand without taking up valuable shelf space or tying your capital up in stock.
By analysing data generated through automation, you can begin to identify patterns and predict problems along the supply pipeline.
Perhaps you notice greater demand at a specific time of the year, maybe one of your suppliers is routinely late with shipping or needs more time to be able to fulfil your request – the business intelligence your generate will help you make smarter decisions and eliminate waste.
Once you’ve identified patterns, you can amend your sales approach accordingly. Maybe you can send customers tailored emails that anticipate their needs, or maybe you can schedule reminders to suppliers that are frequently late in delivering. The option are limitless.
Better communication equals better supply chain control
Once you’re generating data and collecting business intelligence, the next step is to ensure this information is communicated to the people who need it in an accurate and digestible form.
Better communication allows you to build trust with suppliers and customers. If you anticipate supply chain disruption, don’t be afraid to alert your customers of the potential problems – they will likely be grateful to receive the warning and take mitigating actions.
Similarly, by sharing the intelligence you collect, many suppliers and customers will be happy to collaborate to improve their own services and ensure that the business benefits apply to both parties. The best business scenario is when both parties win.
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