Whether you own a large company with countless retail outlets or a small business selling products online doesn’t matter. You have a supply chain if you are involved in developing, marketing, and distributing a product to customers.
And if you have a supply chain, you can face different problems and challenges.
Whether you benefit from third-party logistics or manage your supply chain independently, you must know how to solve supply chain problems.
This is necessary if you want your business to run more smoothly, to boost your profits, and to keep your customers happy and satisfied.
1. Take a closer look at your supply chain
How transparent is your supply chain? Do you know when the raw materials you need will be delivered or how quickly your products will be shipped to the customers who ordered them?
To prevent and solve supply chain problems, you need to look closely at your supply chain. Identify the parts of your supply chain that work well and the ones that present paint points that must be addressed.
If the technology you currently use to manage your supply chain doesn’t help you anticipate and prevent issues, look for another option.
2. Partner with a third-party logistics provider
Whether your business is just starting or considering expanding, partnering with a third-party logistics provider could make a lot of sense.
They could help you with warehousing, inventory management, order fulfillment, or any other service you want to outsource.
A third party logistics provider will help you anticipate, prevent, and solve different supply chain problems.
3. Keep an eye out for opportunities and alternatives
You can’t control everything even when you do your best to manage your supply chain. And whenever a problem arises, you need to be able to think quickly on your feet.
For example, if a product you need isn’t available from your current supplier anymore, look for an alternative supplier. If an obstacle prevents you from doing things, you are used to, get creative and find a new way to run your business.
Plus, always keep an eye out for interesting opportunities. You never know when you might get a chance to rent a better storage space or buy discounted products to increase your inventory.
4. Get better at managing your inventory
A supply chain shortage can be a nightmare for a business owner. You don’t want to run out of a popular product only to discover that restocking is nearly impossible. To prevent this supply chain problem, you need to better manage your inventory.
You must keep track of your stock to always know what you have and need to restock. Being aware of trends will help you identify which products will be in high demand and learn new technologies that could simplify your inventory management.
5. Keep yourself updated and gather data
As a business owner, you need to keep yourself updated. Be aware of trends in your industry and what is happening worldwide. Weather conditions, as well as economic and political factors, can affect supply chains, so the more informed you are, the better you can be at anticipating disruptions.
And when it comes to forecasting demand for your products, being able to collect and analyze reliable data will help you predict the future and react proactively.
6. Aim to reduce transportation costs
When transportation costs increase, it affects different parts of your supply chain and often results in higher costs for your customers.
While you can’t do much about the fuel cost constantly increasing, there are a few steps you can take to reduce transportation costs throughout your supply chain.
Consider looking for suppliers located in your area. Although their prices might be higher, you might save a lot of money regarding transportation. You should also aim to consolidate shipments whenever it’s possible.
7. Make good use of software and automation tools
Different tools can help you automate and streamline your supply chain management. If your current tools are causing you a few headaches, it may be time to upgrade your technologies.
Large companies rely on supply chain management software, but if you run a small business, you could still benefit from such a tool. Just be sure to choose software that will meet your unique needs and allow you to solve supply chain problems relevant to your industry and the size of your business.