8 Methods to Streamline Your eCommerce Supply Chain
It is essential to streamline your eCommerce supply chain to compete with other companies effectively. The proper management of the supply chain makes it easier for you to move your products to your customer without hassle. Many eCommerce and dropshipping companies have started recognizing the importance of the supply chain and are looking for ways to streamline it. This article will discuss supply chain management, its importance, and different methods you can try to streamline it.
Supply Chain involves multiple stages of production, from sourcing to the delivery of the product. There are various ways to streamline your eCommerce supply chain. Some of the most prominent methods are improving communication and looking for direct-factory manufacturing. You can also automate the entire process or add new technologies. Introducing a 3PL partner can also benefit in enhancing your customer experience.
What is Supply Chain Management?
A supply chain is the production process in which raw material is changed into a product and later delivered to the end customer. This process involves a lot of stages, people, and resources. Some stages in the supply chain are sourcing, manufacturing, packaging, storing, and shipping goods.
Supply chain management is the process of monitoring these interdependent stages of production. It helps manage the supply chain's activities by ensuring synchronization and clear communication between stages. When you streamline your supply chain management, it increases your efficiency, improves the product's quality, and unifies your business production.
Importance of Supply Chain Management
If you have effective management of your supply chain, you can reduce your cost and time in production. Industries have become just-in-time supply chains, where the manufacturer is noticed as soon as the products start to replenish in the stores. This allows the retailers to restock their shelves as soon as their product is sold out. You can also improve the processes by analyzing the data provided by your supply chain partners.
There are three primary scenarios where you can add value to your supply chain management and make it more effective.
You can identify different problems like delayed shipment and shortage of products by using data analysis. This will help your manufacturer to deliver the products before any shortage.
Optimize the pricing of your products dynamically. Check if the product has a long shelf life or is seasonal. Based on this, use analytic software to price your dynamically such that you can improve your margins.
Improve your production and inventory by using software tools to allocate work based on the sales forecast. This will help the manufacturer source the raw material and deliver the product in promised time.
8 Ways to Streamline Your eCommerce Supply Chain
Streamlining your eCommerce supply chain is not a one-day process and requires continuous learning to improve your customer service. Here are 8 ways that can help get started in the right direction.
1. Review Your Supply Chain Management
You should conduct a high-level reviewing process to uncover your challenges and bottlenecks. This method can help reduce the cost price of your product and pass over this benefit to your end customers as a discount. A transparent review system will enable you to improve your ROI and build better partnerships.
2. Improve Internal & External Communication
As your business grows, you'll bring in more employees and vendors. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain an open communion to keep them on the same page. Improving communication can result in faster services, fewer returns, and great efficiency.
It also takes a lot of time for customer care executives to find the transit status of the products. Adding an interface will allow your customers and staff to find the shipment's location, saving valuable time.
3. Reconsider Your Sourcing Partners & Strategies
Your ideal sourcing partner should provide you with a high-quality product at a low price in shorter lead times. Although it is not easy to find someone that offers all three solutions, you should try to find an essential attribute for your business and then look for the best partner. You can also consider sourcing your products from abroad depending on your requirements.
4. Consider Manufacturing Directly from Factories
After finding the best sourcing partner, you should look for ways to connect with a factory directly. Having clear communication with the manufacturer can enable him to understand your business goals clearly, making the production process more streamlined. Besides increasing your supply chain visibility, you can also get a good profit margin on the products. While dealing with an international factory, we also recommend you get a trademark or patent to protect your IP.
5. Reduce Duplicate Tasks and Data
Overcomplicating daily tasks by duplicating the processes is a big reason for eCommerce businesses to fail. It takes up a lot of your employee's time, reducing their productivity. You can evaluate similar functions and eliminate them to avoid complications.
Having duplicate data can add more complexities to your database than it should typically have. You can also hire a database administrator to look for the maintenance and routine data entry to your database.
6. Consider Using New Technologies like Blockchain
Since blockchain is a peer-to-peer technology, you can use it to store and share digital records. It adds transparent and shared accountability to your supply chain streamlining. Additionally, you can use blockchain to offer amazing potential for auditing and building logistic trust between all parties.
Use it to track material consumptions, demand, deliveries, contracts, and accounts payable. The ledger provided by the blockchain can quickly help in certifying the work practices involved in the supply chain.
7. Get Your Processes Automated
There is a higher certainty of failure if you are not automating your processes. Many dropshippers or eCommerce owners have adapted the AI-based procure-to-pay systems. These systems help assign manual tasks to machines, freeing more time for humans to work on other essential tasks.
8. Keep up with Domestic & International Policies
As a dropshipper or an eCommerce business owner, you must know about all the updates regarding transportation regulations, especially working with a global marketplace. The government decides on the rules and laws for a particular product in the foreign market. It would be beneficial if you could keep a check on all the policies since political or economic situations can occur at any time.
If you consider getting your product to a new country, partnering with a 3PL company like Titan 3PL can be very beneficial. This is because a 3PL company already has its due diligence and research done.
Discover a New 3PL Partner in Titan 3PL
While we have discussed all the valuable ways to streamline your eCommerce supply chain, one significant way can be partnering up with a 3PL company to get your job done. Today's growing businesses want a hassle-free partner for managing their logistics—especially when dealing with high ticket, fragile, heavy items.
Partnering with Titan 3PL can also be helpful as we can help lower the logistics cost that you would have to pay to a shipping carrier otherwise. We believe in bringing your brand to the forefront by moving your products faster. Titan 3PL also provides custom packaging and a transparent system that makes your customers happy. To know more about Titan 3PL, contact us today!