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Creating a Digital Pathway For Product Delivery

Once you’ve developed your website, you’ll have a store that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether you’re at work. Creating a digital pathway for product delivery.

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Once you’ve developed your website, you’ll have a store that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether you’re at work. You could be making money in your sleep thanks to digital technology.

The only problem is you’ll need a system at the other end that’s just as effective at making sure your products can be packed and delivered at the same speed. Luckily, there are several ways digital technology can help with this task.

1. Shipping

Traditionally if you run a small online store, you might have a set time to check for orders every day or even just a couple of times every week. After you’ve acknowledged the law, you still need to pick the product, pack it, and send it off to the shipping company before you can complete the request. Unlike your online checkout, this system only works when you or one of your colleagues is awake and has time to complete the request.

One of the most efficient ways to speed up this process is by delegating the physical packing and shipping currently handled by your staff to an outside company. Many small businesses choose a product fulfillment company to speed up the process of getting the product to your customer.

For example, Red Stag Fulfillment allows you to integrate their ordering software into your e-commerce, meaning that an order could be on its way to the customer without needing to click a button.

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2. Accuracy

Another one of the significant advantages of making your dispatch process digital is accuracy. Remove the reliance on humans to carry out most of the processes, and you reduce the chance for human error. Several things could go wrong when dispatching a product.

You or your colleagues could pick the wrong product, the incorrect quantity, or even write the wrong address on the front of the package. Each of these will result in a loss of revenue, as the returns process can significantly affect a business’s ability to make a profit.

If your system is integrated into your website, the address printed on the parcel will be precisely what the customer entered during the checkout process. Some fulfillment companies (like the one mentioned earlier in this article) even use digital tag systems to identify each product and make sure the correct version is picked and sent.

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3. Tracking

Even once the parcel has left the building, your job still isn’t done. It’s essential to choose a shipping company that offers a package tracking system to know exactly when a transaction is completed. Without a tracking system, it can often be difficult to claim back for any parcels that aren’t delivered due to an error by the postal service.

This again could have a significant effect on how much profit you make on that order. It could also put loyal customers off ordering from you again.

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Business

How small businesses can overcome their supply chain challenges

Here are six tips to help your small business overcome its supply chain woes. Staying in control with effective supply chain management.

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Increase Your Income Streams with These Three Remote Business Ideas

Managing a supply chain is difficult for every business. Small businesses may have fewer supply chain requirements, but they also don’t have the financial clout of big operations, which suppliers are understandably willing to move mountains for.

Smaller businesses need to use their size to their advantage when dealing with supply chain challenges. While big companies are locked into mega orders and negotiating long-term partnerships, small operations can be nimble in the face of a dynamic market.

Here are six tips to help your small business overcome its supply chain woes.

1. Always pay on time

It may be obvious, but the first tip is always to pay your vendors in full and on time. Small businesses have enough supply chain issues to deal with. You don’t need to make new ones for yourself.

Manage your cash flow efficiently and keep track of all your payments. This way, you’ll ensure you don’t come into conflict with suppliers and end up paying interest or even potentially ruining business relationships and reducing your options moving forward.

Plenty of payment methods are available for small businesses to better organize accounts payable, including Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments that completely remove the need for cash or checks. Other benefits of ACH payments for your small business include scheduling payment dates and recurring payments, effective cash management so you can hold onto funds for longer, and reduced transaction fees.

2. Identify risk areas

Supply chains are often complex, containing a series of components critical to business operations. Make sure your small business has a clear and comprehensive list of everything it needs, along with multiple suppliers capable of sourcing each piece. Identify any potential risks in your supply where you may only have one or two viable sources.

It’s easy for small businesses to fall into the trap of finding a single supplier that handles everything they need and leave it at that. Unfortunately, this puts the fate of your business in the hands of one vendor. Any problems they have delivering their products is now your problem. There is no reason to introduce this level of risk to your operations, and a much healthier way to run your business is to always give yourself multiple supply chain options.

cropped view of worker with broken arm signing form for compensa

You never know if a specific product might become unavailable at short notice. However, as a smaller business needing lower quantities, you can use your agility and develop relationships with multiple suppliers. Try to find entirely separate vendors in different locations that do not work with the same manufacturers.

3. Stock management

Keeping track of your existing stock is critical regardless of the size of the business. You need precise numbers for everything you currently have in stock and estimates for current usage in order to restock in time and never is left short. Accurately forecasting demand is critical for businesses to effectively manage their stock and protect themselves from unplanned product shortages.

While it’s not always possible due to budgetary constraints or storage capacities, if you have a volatile supply chain, there are benefits in trying to increase your inventory levels. In particular, this applies to critical components that are harder to come by. You can do this by bulk buying when you have the opportunity or seeking financing options to invest more into your inventory.

4. Simplifying your supply chain

While it can help to offer a wide range of products, this places additional strain on your supply chain. More products mean expanding your supply chain, dealing with more vendors, and more complicated logistics. Where possible, remove or combine products to simplify your supply chain and save yourself time and headaches. Even larger companies are streamlining the products they offer, consolidating operations, and building supply chain resilience to limit future disruptions.

5. Managing logistics

Even once you source everything you need, you still have the logistical challenge and costs associated with getting it all delivered. With rising fuel prices, logistics costs are snowballing, and small businesses need to work hard to rein in the cost of moving their supply chain products. This may mean making larger orders from fewer suppliers to save money along the way.

6. Use supply chain tools

A range of supply chain tools can help businesses stay on top of their operations. While it may seem like overkill for your small business, Supply Chain Management (SCM) software can help you track inventory, manage logistics, and create a comprehensive real-time database of all your supply chain information.

Staying in control with effective supply chain management

Having steady, reliable, and fast access to everything your business needs is one of the most challenging parts of running a business. Unfortunately, even the biggest and most well-equipped companies in the world have supply chain struggles. But, by using your size to your advantage and identifying multiple sources for each type of inventory, you can remain in control even when inevitable supply chain mishaps occur.

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