When your small business is in the midst of scaling up, reliable suppliers can make or break your company. Securing adequate amounts of product is critical for successful expansion, but it is also the biggest problem area business owners face due to factors outside of their control. In order to manage supply chain processes successfully, keep the following four tips in mind.
1. Focus on Sales Forecasts
Your company should focus on sales forecasts and plan at least two or three years into the future. Having a good understanding of sales forecasts, as well as diversifying your supply chain, will help minimize the impact of something unexpected happening.
2. Have a Contingency Plan
Many companies operate globally. While this is a great opportunity for expansion, it can also be challenging to manage supply chain risk on an international level. To overcome this, it is advised to have multiple partners in each country as a contingency plan.
3. Proactively Manage Supply Chain Risk
If your company has a complex supply chain, you must think ahead to minimize risk. Consider working with suppliers on a project-by-project basis until you find ones that consistently deliver. You should also make extensive inquiries and gather as much information as possible before you begin working with a supplier to lessen the risk of disappointing a client. Another tip to manage supply chain risk early is to require supplier updates one or two weeks out from the delivery date.
4. Invest in Your Suppliers
The best way to manage supply chain issues is to educate your partners from the start. Starting off a partnership with a clear briefing of expectations can foster a mutual understanding that is beneficial to both parties. Not only will it help improve your systems, but your logistics and processes will run more smoothly too. Providing clear instruction right away will create a reliable, long-term supplier.
Managing supply chain logistics doesn’t have to be a headache. If your company can implement the following strategies early on, your logistics and processes will run like a well-oiled machine regardless of how much your business grows.
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