Supply Chain Strategies for Ecommerce Businesses
Starting an ecommerce business is quite a challenge. From coming up with marketplace software to attracting clients, there is so much to tackle. One of the significant challenge areas relates to inventory. However, you may also want to consider coming up with supply chain strategies. Below are some supply chain strategies that will help your ecommerce business beat the challenges relating to inventory.
Work on your Inbound Supply Chain
Making your inbound supply chain efficient is beneficial for both omnichannel retailers and pure ecommerce businesses. You can do this by ensuring that all the inbound materials are received on time. It would also be wise to analyze your existing inbound supply chain to see if there are any problems in the structure. Getting a good marketplace software can help significantly with this issue.
Doing this will help you develop strategies for improving the system. Start by identifying the vendor causing delay and cost challenges. Some ways you can improve your inbound chain supply include;
- Implementing a reliable computer system that your business and its vendors will use to ensure transparency
- Keep track of all inbound activities like ticketing to ensure you understand the ins and outs of the system
- Aim for better insight into the inventory required to meet client needs through inventory forecasting
- Implementing vendor compliance programs
- Implement ways to reduce or eliminate dock and truck yard congestion
All the changes mentioned above will improve your inbound supply system, giving your company a competitive edge and smooth operation.
Enhance the Existing Warehouse Capacity
Another supply chain strategy is increasing your warehouse capacity. Doing this can significantly impact your supply chain’s productivity. When business owners think of enhancing their warehouse capacity, they often think of moving to a new larger center. However, this is not always the best idea.
The first move you can make in trying to enhance your warehouse capacity is improving your layout. Doing this will free up more space in your distribution center. You can also try doing away with products that are no longer in use or damaged. If you have done all this and still do not have enough space, you can consider moving to a new warehouse. However, this should be your last resort.
Develop Ways to Reduce Shipping Costs and Delivery Time
In the ecommerce business, delivery time is one of the first elements that customers consider when determining whether your business is worthwhile. You can improve the delivery time by examining your multi-distribution channel.
Doing this will help you form a better strategy for delivery on time. You may also consider deploying more staff and facilities. Doing this will improve your supply chain structure and increase customer satisfaction by reducing the delivery time. Additionally, you may also want to find ways to reduce your shipping costs.
Follow technology trends
Cloud computing, data modeling and analytics capabilities facilitate increased coordination between partners in the supply chain. Developers of IT solutions are striving to improve their systems: add order tracking, set up alerts in case of supply disruptions, expand interaction with partners and increase transparency in the supply chain.
All of this can be achieved through the openness of partners who are ready to share data, and the support of an advanced system that will process data, find patterns and offer all the necessary summaries for decision making. The GCR system is initially built on the transparency of the supply chain. It offers both self-generated graphs and pivot tables, and allows you to upload data for further self-analysis.
Improve the Operation Accuracy
You can do this by adopting barcode technology. Doing this will help you promote operation accuracy by keeping track of all activities within the warehouse. This technology will also help produce long-term results for your business. It will also assist with improving paperwork accuracy and reduce the processing time significantly. In simpler terms, implementing barcode technology will yield both immediate and long-term dividends.
Stick to a “Proprietary Selection” Strategy
"Proprietary selection" is a strategy aimed at maintaining a narrow and deep range of products in a specific segment. The products featured on these sites seem exclusive due to the depth and originality of the range, the scarcity of similar items elsewhere, and the power of the client communities.
Increase Order Numbers and Pay Attention to Labor Management
Ecommerce fulfillment centers mainly rely on manual labor. Therefore, managing the labor can go a long way in reducing your operational cost. You may want to consider how labor changes may lower the cost per unit, order, and other operating expenses. Managing labor effectively will also help improve the productivity of your organization.
Additionally, you may benefit from increasing the number of orders. Doing this will increase value to your ecommerce business. While doing this, you also ought to work on timely delivery simultaneously, as it is an integral part of creating a good user experience. You can increase your orders by improving procedures. Doing this will significantly depend on the size of your distribution center.