Supply chain logistics are absolutely crucial to the efficiency and organization of a company of any size. Without a high-level strategy for handling suppliers, processing orders, and shipping products, your company could end up losing time, money, and future customers. Organizing a strategy requires an understanding of how your company fits in the supply chain, and a dedication to keep that chain as efficient as possible.
The Supplier: Your First Link in the Logistics of the Supply Chain
Your part in the supply chain begins long before you receive an order. Selecting a supplier to provide you with parts or raw materials is a priority for new businesses, and the decision is not to be made lightly. Owners need to research raw material suppliers to ensure their collection processes are efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious. If you are receiving pre-made parts from your supplier, keep in mind that they also have a raw material supplier to research. Once a supplier has been partnered with, your company can begin to develop concrete supply chain logistics for handling future orders.
The Order: The Last Link And First Step in Supply Chain Logistics
Your company’s logistics are set in motion the moment a customer places an order. Though that order is what starts the supply chain in motion, their procurement of the product is actually the last link in the chain. While some newer business will have products pre-assembled and ready to ship before orders arrive, many seasoned small businesses prefer to wait until an order has been received and a customer has been confirmed. This method cuts down on unnecessary labor. Once an order has been confirmed, your production facility should be notified, so they can begin assembly. Having this system in place when an order arrives will streamline your supply chain and greatly reduce the amount of time it takes for an order to be ready.
The Shipping: Where The Customer Fits in Your Supply Chain Logistics
Once the order has been assembled, the final link in the chain begins. Your company’s shipping department will figure out the most efficient, cost-effective way to transport the order to the customer, usually with a tangible or digital invoice for the customer’s records. If your company does not have a shipping system in place, you could end up losing money on unnecessarily-expensive shipping or risk an unsatisfied customer due to issues like increased order prices or arrival times that exceed previous estimations.
Without these processes, your company’s orders will be disorganized, stressful, and chaotic. Having a clear logistic strategy and understanding of the supply chain will ensure an efficient process, happy customers, and repeat business.
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