9 Supply Chain Strategies for an eCommerce Business
A multichannel supply chain involves various factors to run it smoothly. It typically includes the warehouse, distribution, transportation, and technology. Therefore it would be best to analyze your supply chain and its overall operations while creating strategies for the eCommerce business. You should also assess warehouse operations that will help you examine their efficiency. It will help you do the qualitative and quantitative analysis of your overall processes and systems.
First, you have to analyze your eCommerce company processes and costs. Decide how you can minimize the cost of warehouse labor. Think about different ways of shipping products to the customer in the least possible time. Also, determine how you can enhance your product storage capacity. Once you start addressing all these questions, you will create result-driven strategies for your eCommerce business.
You need to understand that every company faces different types of supply chain challenges. It means that the same strategies are not the right fit for every eCommerce business. But some tactics are proven to be fruitful for many companies. Let’s dive in and explore some supply chain strategies for an eCommerce business that can help you achieve new heights of success.
Improve your Inbound Supply Chain
Whether you are purely an eCommerce business player or an omnichannel retailer, make your inbound supply chain efficient. You have to manage inbound products and materials smartly by ensuring that you get inbound materials and products on-time.
Analyze the existing problems in your inbound supply chain structure. Start by knowing what the costs of reworking non-compliant receipts are. Also, identify the vendor that is causing delay and cost issues. You may implement a reliable computer system between your company and vendors to ensure transparency. Another way to improve the inbound supply chain is to keep complete track of all inbound activities like inspection and ticketing. This will let you understand how to streamline your overall supply chain operation strategies for your eCommerce business.
Additionally it would help if you worked on inventory forecasting to gain better insight into the inventory you need to meet customers’ needs. This gives you an estimate of products you will sell over a particular period, thus positively impacting your inbound supply chain.
Minimize Delivery Time and Shipping Cost
All your existing customers expect you to provide timely services. As soon as an order is placed on your eCommerce platform, the suppliers must receive order generation. As such, it would help if you were responsive by delivering their orders quickly at a lower shipping rate. Examine your multi-distribution channel to form a better delivery time strategy. Additionally consider deploying additional staff and facilities to reduce the delivery time to improve your supply chain system.
Enhance Warehouse Capacity
Increasing warehouse capacity makes a significant impact on the productivity of your supply chain. It is not a wise step to move to a new space. You may face capacity issues by not having a proper layout of your distribution center. Rather than moving to a new center, free up some space in your current warehouse by getting rid of products no longer in your use. By working on these areas, you can smartly increase warehouse capacity.
It requires a handsome amount to operate and manage warehouses. Considering the factors like labor cost, material handling, storage, and occupancy, you need to develop solutions to expand the warehouse layout. You cannot ignore the critical areas like product flow, warehouse system functions, and labor efficiency to attain your desired capacity.
Work on Operational Accuracy
One of the significant technological developments for warehouse systems is barcode technology. It helps you in keeping complete track of all activities within the premises of the warehouse.
Implementing barcode technology will help you in producing long-term beneficial results for your eCommerce business. From shipping to receiving, cycle counts to labor tracking will help you improve paperwork accuracy and decrease processing time.
Pay more attention to Labor Work
Most of the warehouses heavily depend on manual labor, and that does not come cheap. If you cannot achieve the desired ROI you want in applying automation, managing work should be your primary concern. Do an in-depth analysis with your team on how you can lower labor costs. Think about it from the perspective of the number of orders and cartons shipped.
Increase Number of Orders
Order picking is the heart of the warehouse operations that make a valuable addition to any eCommerce business. Timely delivery of orders with accuracy holds particular importance in providing a good user experience. Therefore one of the ways to increase orders per day is by improving the picking and packing procedure. Depending on the size of your distribution center, you can implement robotics automation for better product management. It can help in boosting orders.
Lower Outbound Shipping Costs
It is the initiative that every eCommerce business should take. The outbound shipping costs increase your fulfillment costs, and it keeps going up due to a lack of options. You need to analyze shipping data for the possibility of negotiation of rates. However, this may allow you to cut down shipping rates if you are using it. Look for the different ways that can help you in reducing your outbound shipping costs.
Consider Third-Party Logistics
You need to ask yourself whether your fulfillment facility is good enough or getting third party logistics is preferable. Working with third-party logistics also involves multiple distribution centers. This strategy is not for every eCommerce business but still works for many.
Integrate a Solid Information Systems
In this digital era, companies need brand new and highly functional technologies and automation to operate smoothly. You cannot think about even surviving without advanced technological developments in the modern world. According to statistical studies, a sound information system in place provides accurate and valuable business-related data. Then you can predict future outcomes and ultimately make the right business decisions.
Creating the right supply chain strategies requires deep insight for your eCommerce business. You need to dig deep and assess what mistakes you are making and how you can fix them. List down all areas where you need to work on, such as improved warehouse capacity, number of orders, operational accuracy, and so on. Once you know your weaknesses, you will put smart efforts to run your eCommerce business the right way. Hopefully, this guide will help you build the right supply chain strategies for your eCommerce business and attain the desired growth.