If you’re an e-commerce business, it’s absolutely essential that your supply chain is able to keep up with the ever-changing customer demands. Thousands and thousands of products get delivered to consumers across the world every day, so it’s absolutely essential that all businesses have the required resources, expertise and experience to meet the stringent expectations of consumers and avoid falling behind their competitors.
This inevitably puts substantial pressure on organisations to make sure that their supply chain management process isn’t just efficient, but enables high levels of profitability.
Here we’ve collated some of our top tips for ensuring your e-commerce business’ supply chain is able to deal with increasing customer demands, but if you’re after even more insightful advice, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our friendly team of logistics experts. We’ve been in the industry for over 60 years, and would be more than happy to help you make sure you have everything in place to be running a cost-effective supply chain process.
What is the Supply Chain?
Before we get in to the ins and outs, first it’s important to go back to basics and clarify exactly what the supply chain is: the supply chain refers to the process of getting a product/service from the supplier to the consumer. This includes any external parties involved, such as the company that manufactures the product, as well as the business responsible for packaging and delivering the item.
1 – Understand What Customers Expect as well as the Trends in Logistics & Supply Chain Management
You’re set to fail if you don’t put any effort into understanding exactly what your customers or clients expect when it comes to the delivery of their goods. Think of a strategy that you can implement that will allow you to get an insight into the attitude of your target market. For example, you might create a quick online survey regarding your delivery process, and with every order you can include a little compliment slip asking customers to complete the questionnaire. Any feedback you acquire can be used to better your supply chain process. Customer demands are constantly changing, so this shouldn’t be a one-off exercise, this should be a constant activity to make sure you’re always on top of the latest demands – perhaps offer a discount or other incentive to encourage them to complete the survey.
In the fast-paced world we currently live in, consumers want to be offered same/next-day delivery, as well as the ability to track the progress of their goods. Businesses need to prioritise customer demands, so a versatile supply chain that can be easily adapted is a must.
You also need to keep up to date with the latest delivery trends and developments, so keep a close eye on what your competitors are offering, as well as what some of the industry-giants (such as Amazon Prime) are offering.
2 – Make Use of Supply Chain Management Software & Technology
If you’re currently yet to use technology in your supply chain process, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity. Just like any other industry, a wide range of logistics-specific software and technology has been created, dramatically reducing the time it takes to complete run-of-the-mill operations.
There’s plenty of intuitive programs available on the market, so whatever your business’ individual requirements, there’s bound to be a solution that will provide benefits. Facilitating warehouse/stock levels can be made easier through automated technology systems, not only through ruling out human error, but also by freeing up time for employees to focus on the more important, strenuous duties. A transportation management system (TMS), for example, assists with keeping your warehouse well-organised and structured, increasing productivity and reducing inefficiencies. The system helps to manage incoming and outgoing stock and keeps a record of orders both when in the warehouse and when in transit.
Using cloud-based software can also be of huge benefit when it comes to meeting consumer demands. It allows all records and data to be quickly accessed by staff on their mobile devices (removing the need for them to leave the warehouse floor), vastly increasing the speed at which tasks get completed.
Embracing technology is one of the most effective ways of increasing supply chain efficiency, helping businesses to meet the demands of customers and continue to flourish.
3 – Importance of Logistics Specialists & Employees
It’s important to remember that technology can’t do everything – there are still some jobs that require a human touch – so, the importance of experienced staff and expert logistics partners are high in the effort towards a successful supply chain. With more and more customers opting to buy their products online, demands for customer support, customer service and returns management departments are at record levels for most B2C product selling organisations.
Drivers and freight managers are also an integral part of the supply chain, so their value must also be recognised.
Supply Chain Support Specialists Bristol
Here at Allegro Logistics in Bristol, we specialise in making sure the supply chain of all-types of e-commerce businesses is efficient, profitable and meets the ever-evolving customer demands. Our 30,000 sq ft warehouse allows us to securely store large volumes of stock, and is equipped with innovative technology systems that ensure seamless and reliable management.
Talk to us today to find out how we can help improve your supply chain process.