As the owner or supervisor of a growing business you are faced with competing demands from operations, supply chains, employees, budget, sales and customer service. You have a lot on your plate, so some things go overlooked — especially if they seem to be running smoothly. But there are some key factors of your supply chain that, if ignored, could cost you a lot of money. Take time to ask yourself these four questions to determine whether your supply chain is working for or against you:
1. Do I know my supplier’s processes and timelines?
- Your suppliers should be providing you with high-quality products at reasonable rates and delivered on time. Sourcing out other suppliers can feel daunting and disloyal. But, if you’ve laid out expectations and your suppliers are consistently underperforming it may be time to cut the ties.
- You should know your supplier’s timelines. You should be aware of exactly how long it takes them to source materials — and where are they are sourced from — make your supplies and ship them. Make sure when suppliers tell you their lead times you know exactly what that encompasses so that there are no surprise delays.
- If you need help ensuring that you are receiving the most cost-effective shipping options and rates for your orders, we will happily provide you with a free quote that you can compare.
2. At any given time, do I know what’s in my inventory?
- Warehouse supervisors should be able to tell you exactly how much product you have at any given time and whether or not it is in sellable shape? Not only is there a risk in having too much inventory, there’s an equal risk in not having enough. If your customers suddenly submit a larger, time-sensitive order you need to be prepared or they will go somewhere else, if not this time the next.
- Your warehouse should be organized. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if your warehouse supervisor or employees have been there for a while and getting comfortable in the day-to-day, they may be overlooking inefficiencies that are costing you time and money.
3. Am I getting the most out of my shipping?
- From the supplier to the warehouse, warehouse to your customer, your shipments should be tailored for each specific delivery. If you’ve placed a small order to refresh your stock in anticipation of those incoming large orders mentioned above, there is no need to pay for a full-truck-load. Similarly, you need to have the most cost-effective ways of meeting demanding overnight shipments.
- Ask us about our services to learn how we can help you to effectively coordinate transportation to and from your warehouse with select, cost-effective carriers for each shipment’s specific needs.
4. How am I delivering invoices and communications?
- Let’s face it, it is no longer reasonable to provide or pay for paper invoices, paystubs or cheques. Not only do they add unnecessary costs to your business, they unnecessarily impact the environment. Shifting to paperless will free up time for your administrators and save you money, while making transactions quicker.
- While we’re on the subject, stop spending money on printing and postage for mail-outs and flyers. Move to e-newsletters instead.
These things may seem small, but you add up all of the cost savings associated with each of these themes you will laughing your way to reducing your bills.