Small businesses rely heavily on their supply chains to meet the high standards of consumers and gain a competitive edge. The efficiency of your operations depends greatly on what technology you use, workplace organization, company best practices, and your network of distributors. Your profits depend on your ability to pool your resources to get your products to customers as quickly and cheaply as possible.
A weakness anywhere in your supply chain has the capability of hurting your entire organization. However, improving your operations is the first step to becoming a leader in this ever-evolving world of industry. Continue reading to learn what five things you can do to improve your supply chain.
1. Prioritize fleet safety.
The road can be a dangerous place for your products, but it’s the most cost-efficient way to move your goods from point A to point B. When you rely on commercial vehicles to transport your goods, the last thing you need is careless behavior behind the wheel to put a damper on your profits.
When speaking to fleet managers about their services, it’s important to get as much information from them as possible to ensure their fleet safety standards are in line with industry best practices. For instance, many commercial vehicles have dash cams in them to capture video footage of driver behavior as well as to serve as video evidence in accidents. A fleet dash cam is a great safety and accountability tool that gives fleet managers and customers peace of mind as far as cargo and driver safety. Some dashboard cameras even come with night vision to help drivers with visibility when it’s dark.
The point is that, when consulting with fleet managers, you should look for companies that prioritize driver safety. The safer the work environment your supply chain partners create, the better it is for your products.
2. Create a workplace culture that’s conducive to success.
No matter what industry you’re in, the bottom line is that your company’s success depends on the culture you create. However, implementing new standards and best practices can be difficult for business owners if the status quo has been good enough. If you want your company to be great instead of good enough, it’s time to take a different route than the one with which your company is familiar.
Implementing revolutionary methods like the 5S principles that address the specific needs of your company is a science better left to organizational consultants who specialize in helping companies realize their potential. Incito is a 5S consulting firm that knows the best ways to implement the 5S process to eliminate clutter from your workspace, both literally and figuratively.
3. Shop around for better prices on supplies.
Your bottom line depends greatly on your ability to offer your customers the best prices in your market. Oftentimes, the reason for the differences in pricing between brands that make the same products is the cost of materials. You owe it to yourself, and your customers, to shop around to find the best suppliers and prices on raw materials as well as delivery services. Every dollar you save is more savings you can pass along to your customers.
4. Use artificial intelligence to automate inventory management.
The best thing about having a reliable system in place is that, after a while, it can pretty much run itself. With the right software tools, you can create an inventory management system that uses artificial intelligence to track supply and even use automation to place orders when supplies are low.
5. Use big data to gain actionable insights.
Communication will always be essential to making sure everything goes as planned for your business, and nothing communicates better than data. With data analysis, you get valuable insights you can use for everything from demand forecasting to preventative maintenance on critical machinery.
As you can see, improving your supply chain is a matter of making the right partnerships and using the right technology. Enhancing your supply chain will not only help increase your bottom line, but your customers will thank you for the savings you’re able to pass along to them.