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How to improve the efficiency of your supply chain

It’s a competitive world out there, so whether you’re a castor manufacturer or an online shoe shop, it’s essential to improve the efficiency of your supply chain. Competition is rife, so to ensure your customers don’t go elsewhere here’s how to provide the optimum service by making sure the route from supplier to consumer is as smooth as possible.

  1. Work with the right people

Whether you’re selling finished products or are making them in a factory, there’s a high chance you’ll need to work with organisations who source and stock the raw materials you require. If the people you work with are inefficient, this can slow your progression considerably and damage everything from annual goals to the company vibe, so make sure you team up with the right professionals. Always do your homework when networking and if someone lets you down or acts in a way that’s against the morals and ethics of your business – don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

  1. Keep on top of inventory management

Effective inventory management in a global supply chain is a must – after all, how can you order the right products if you’re not on top of your stock? You must be in the know at all times, so it’s a good idea to set up a computerised system which helps you to keep track of what you do and don’t have. That way you won’t have to do any complicated stock takes or calculations and can see at a glance what you need to order. This, in turn, will ensure you always have enough products to send out to people and will allow you to keep track of what’s selling well. You should also be able to track and trace inventory at all times as any products that go missing or aren’t delivered should be investigated.

  1. Order in advance

Mistakes, complications and errors do happen, so be sure to make your orders in advance when you still have plenty of stock, rather than waiting until you’re running low. Doing this will mean you always have products to send out to people and won’t have to put ‘out of stock’ messages in your shop or website due to poor organisation. Similarly, ordering in advance will allow you to spot any mistakes and rectify them before your stock runs low. You’ll need time to send faulty or inaccurate products back and receive new ones and you don’t want to be running around all flustered because things aren’t going to plan.

  1. Improve your distribution network

Are you distributing your stock in the correct way? Are there things you can do to speed up the process or make everyone’s lives a little easier? As well as looking at your transportation methods you should also see if the communication between the purchasing software and delivery system is functioning properly. Do the foremen or warehouse managers know exactly what’s been bought, for instance, or are they fumbling around wondering what to pack and send? Smooth communication links in business are essential, so it’s well worth spending some time analysing these.

Refining the efficiency of your supply chain could not only increase revenue but it should also improve your reputation for providing a quality, on-time and reliable service.

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