No matter the size or scale of your business, B2B organizations need to be efficient and agile when managing a supply chain for ecommerce. In some cases, orders can be large quantities or be customized to suit specific business needs. With customisations and stakeholders unique to the B2B space, a streamlined supply chain will greatly influence fulfillment of orders and business outcomes. Here are our tips on how you can improve your ecommerce business’ supply chain management.
What is supply chain management?
Supply chain management refers to managing the flow of goods from the supplier all the way to the customer. The most critical part of any ecommerce business is to get your product to your customer, and managing your supply chain effectively will ensure a happy customer and a profitable business.
Supply chains have many steps to them, usually spread across multiple departments and multiple locations. With so many moving parts, it’s critical that every business regularly optimizes their supply chain to reduce costs, mitigate risk and maintain customer satisfaction.
Components of an optimized supply chain
While there are always unique aspects to any business, there are also a few key features of an optimized supply chain to reference when improving your system.
- Customer demand and customer satisfaction – your supply chain has a positive impact on your customers, such as fast delivery, products delivered intact, etc.
- Demand forecasting and scalability – your supply chain can easily be modified to suit fluctuating demands and can be scaled when needed.
- Managing costs – you’re able to visualize the costs of each part of the workflow and manage your budget.
- Constant improvement to workflows – and adaptability – you can make informed decisions and updates to your workflow as the business grows and changes
- Risk mitigation and management – you’re able to identify risks quickly and take proactive steps to manage them.
Stakeholders involved in supply chain management
Equally as important are the key stakeholders involved in your supply chain, especially key decision makers and management staff. Effective supply chains have effective stakeholders, including:
- Company leaders
- Manufacturers and supplies
- Technology providers
- Fulfillment centers
- Shipping couriers
When updating your supply chain, these will be the stakeholders you will need to work with.
How to optimize your supply chain management
Whether you’re constantly hitting bottlenecks or proactively assessing your supply chain, here are a few steps to take to improve your supply chain management.
Centralize information across multiple channels
By centralizing your information, you cut out the risk of doubling up orders, missing essential information from other areas of the business or being unable to track the status of an order. Centralisation works by aligning all department’s objectives and processes to improve communication and collaboration.
Assess inefficiencies and weaknesses
The best way to optimize business practices is to identify weak spots and determine potential risks. Even if you haven’t found yourself met with an issue before, if there is the potential for human error, if you’re reliant on a single source or have noticed other risk factors, consider an alternative pathway to troubleshoot the potential issue.
Minimize or remove paperwork
If you haven’t already implemented digital workflows, it’s time to start. Paperwork can be lost, forgotten or even damaged, adding risk of human error and minimizing visibility across all stakeholders.
Reducing paperwork by implementing exclusively digital workflows provides businesses with greater visibility and transparency, and provides it instantly. Real-time monitoring gives you the agency to keep tasks on track, identify issues and optimize decision-making.
Every stakeholder within a supply chain plays a role in efficient operations. If you have existing supplier relationships, take some time to connect and build relationships with the key stakeholders to ensure priorities and objectives are in alignment. If you are unable to rely on your existing suppliers, consider looking into other options.
As businesses grow and change, existing processes can become outdated or not serve the same function. In order to keep your management systems optimized you should be regularly reviewing them and cross comparing with updates to processes, new products, business growth, etc
Implement a warehouse management system (WMS)
Warehouse management systems (WMS) are designed to collate all the necessary processes, reviewing, organization and tracking in one platform. By implementing a WMS, you give the business the freedom and time to focus on your business and your customers.
Da Vinci’s WMS helps you streamline your supply chain management
With the right technology you can determine a flexible, optimized and streamline supply chain that supports business objectives and improves customer satisfaction. With Da Vinci’s cloud-based WMS, ecommerce businesses of all sizes have the technology needed to create efficient, optimized supply chains.
With easy supply chain integration, customisable features and a trusted team providing you with ongoing customer support, Da Vinci empowers you to streamline all facets of your supply chain.
Ready to get started? Request a demo from our team.