The Mom’s Guide of Supply Chain Management for Ecommerce Success
By Nicky of The Sheffield Group
When it comes to saving time and earning money as a busy mom with an eCommerce business, it pays to understand the ins and outs of supply chain management and implement best practices.
In a nutshell, supply chain management deals directly with the flow of goods that are either sold directly as part of a business or are used in the process of creating and selling goods and services.
Everything from office supplies to end-product materials can be considered under the umbrella of supply chain management, and while supply chain management may seem daunting, there are some tips to make the process easier for busy moms, including:
1. Keep Detailed Records
The first step in successful supply chain management is to keep detailed records of your purchases. These records are what you will use to plan your expected future purchasing needs. For example, if you make and sell widgets and you need three pieces of material for each one, take a look at your sales over the past six months to estimate how much material to purchase for the coming month. Remember that the goal is to have enough material on hand without purchasing too much.
2. Try to Source Locally
Although the Internet has made it easier than ever to order supplies and goods, it’s always best to try to source locally when possible. The advantage to local sourcing of materials for your eCommerce needs is that you’re often able to work out better deals and handle disruptions faster. Working locally may also open up trade opportunities with local businesses as well as marketing and business partnership agreements that can help you to expand your business faster and on a more personal level.
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3. Utilize Automation When Possible
Automating your purchases can be a way to save time and money while you focus on your family and other obligations. On a smaller scale, automating supply chain management processes can mean things like setting up automatic ordering from suppliers once per month based on previous purchases. Many companies offer these options for customers who need to make regular purchases, and you may even receive a discount for setting up scheduled orders.
4. Plan for Scaling
If you’re planning to turn your eCommerce business into a full-time career in the future, now is the time to plan for scaling. You may currently be storing supplies in a spare room or basement, but as your business grows, you’re going to need more space, so consider things like warehousing now instead of later. Likewise, think about things like manufacturing spaces, delivery route options and advanced record keeping technologies that will have to grow with your business needs. Having plans in place now can eliminate hassles and make transitions smoother, saving you time and money while making your business more productive and profitable.
5. Work With a Team of Professionals
Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with supply chain management for your eCommerce business, turn to professionals for help. Having a team of supply chain management specialists, like those found at The Sheffield Group, on your side can make a big difference in ensuring that your supplies are ordered in the correct amounts at the best prices when you need them.
Successful business leaders in all industries rely on the strength of others in order to grow, and having a team of experts to consult with means you will have more time to focus on other aspects of growing your business while taking care of your life and your family.
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