In commerce, supply chain management is critical, creating an efficient flow for goods ensures that they move smoothly from point of origin to final destination. This has to happen in the most economical way possible, and it can involve multiple third parties, as well as taking into account the logistics of geography and transportation.
A comprehensive strategy as well as a good logistics partnership is a vital part of the supply chain.
The four major elements of the supply chain are integrations, operations, purchasing and distribution. They must all work seamlessly to deliver the end to end solutions retailers and consumers expect from both online and offline sales.
In simple terms, supply chain management involves managing the range of activities required for planning, control and deployment of materials into production and then goods into distribution.
The benefits of successful supply chain management include new efficiencies, higher profits, lowered costs and increased collaboration. So now is a good time to look at your current supply chain, can you make changes to streamline the processes?
This is achieved by better management of demand, carrying the right amount of inventory, processes to mitigate disruption, trimming costs to a minimum and meeting customer demand.
Begin the process with demand planning – gather historical data such as past sales to create a forecast, as well as mapping spikes in demand, these can be dictated by seasonality or other trends. This will determine the type and quantity of the products to be manufactured and the calendar of sales for fulfilment.
A good start on costs and efficiencies would be see if you can minimise overuse of large fixed assets such as warehouses and vehicles, perhaps outsourcing certain parts of the supply chain or consolidating operations with one provider.
Reviewing inventory management – there are lots of software solutions to assist with this, we use a Pixi Warehouse Management System that directly integrates with eCommerce platforms/sales channels such as Amazon, eBay, Magento, Shopify and more. You can customise pick and despatch notes, invoices, and reports etc, it is integrated with our courier platforms to streamline delivery. The sophisticated inventory and reporting management capabilities include automated rules to remove the possibility of human error when processing orders.
Your logistics are vital, this is the element of the supply chain that focuses on moving a product or material in the most efficient way so it arrives in the right place at the right time. Covering transportation, distribution, warehousing, packaging and delivery. The final mile delivery to stores and customers can also include returns, known as reverse logistics.
Sourcing/procurement is important, finding the right suppliers and managing these relationships to acquire goods and services at the best prices. This is a time consuming process of communication – requesting and comparing quotes and bids and all the paperwork that goes with overseeing purchase orders, invoices etc.
SHIFTING CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR AND MANAGING CUSTOMER EXPECTATION, TOGETHER WITH THE GEOPOLITICAL AND ECONOMIC EVENTS ARE MAKING EVERYTHING A LITTLE UNCERTAIN AT THE MOMENT. BUT YOUR LOGISTICS PARTNER IS HERE TO HELP.
This is the time a partnership with a good, reliable logistics provider will help, we’ve been in business for over 16 years and our experienced TPS Global Logistics team offer advice on all aspects of UK, European and International freight forwarding, supply chain and logistics. Including customs procedures and consular support to ensure the smooth running of your supply chain every step of the way from manufacturer to customer.
Very few retailers have the warehousing and supply chain capabilities of Amazon or Walmart, but with the right strategies, technologies and partnerships, it’s easier than you think to offer services such as same day delivery to customers.
BACK OFFICE SOLUTIONS AND INNOVATIONS SHOULD BE AT THE FOREFRONT FOR MANY RETAILERS WHEN WE EMERGE FROM THE CURRENT COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
The back-end of your retail operations may not be as glamorous as customer facing initiatives, but you will need to invest in your back office in order to thrive.
From warehouse operations to inventory management, more effective logistics will offer an enhanced customer service.
We advise focusing on technology to help make more proactive decisions in all aspects of retail operations. Really evaluate your processes and technologies to identify any areas for improvement. Specifically, are there any inefficient tasks or steps that are preventing you from providing the best customer experience possible?
For instance, if you’re unable to offer a seamless shopping experience between your ecommerce site and brick and mortar store, then perhaps it’s time to integrate your online and offline systems.
There are plenty of software systems, online management tools and ecommerce platforms available to make life easier and at TPS Global we can integrate with them to streamline supply chain operations, our Operations Director Barry Broughton is always happy to advise.
We see a lot of businesses operating their online and offline stores separately — for example running a Shopify site and then using spreadsheets and paper receipt book logs to track inventory.
This limits growth and efficiency, whereas centralised, streamlined operations in the cloud enable smooth tracking and stock management across multiple channels, saving valuable time and reducing human error.
Ecommerce activity is pushing retailers’ offline operations and stores to become more flexible, the goal is to remove friction from the customer’s purchase and fulfilment experience.
It’s important to have the tools in place that can grow with your business — and they need to have the automations, integrations, and scalability that your business operations rely on.
Please contact us on +44 (0) 1622 237979 or email@example.com if you would like to discuss any aspect of your supply chain operation.