5 Steps to Minimize Supply Chain Disruptions
The lull in shipping after peak shopping season that retailers are used to, didn’t happen this year. That window of time has traditionally allowed sellers and carriers to regroup and reorganize. But the shipping slowdown isn’t likely to come until 2024.
Sadly, industry experts and economists believe the issues with the supply chain will persist thanks to an already weakened system from months of shipping backlogs, labor shortages, an imbalanced network of world trade, and geopolitical tensions. So what do you do in the meantime as you wait (and hope) for the supply chain issues to be resolved? Here are five steps you can take to minimize disruptions for your business:
1. Keep your inventory stocked.
You’ve already learned the necessity of ordering supplies, products and other items well in advance. Continue to do that. Analyze your order history to get a sense of what you’ll need to keep on hand. Build in extra time to receive those items, not only as your safety net, but also keeping in mind that the companies you’re buying from are themselves experiencing the same delays.
2. Keep your space organized.
Maintaining ample inventory can require creative thinking when it comes to your space. Depending on your needs, you may need a lot of space or simply the right amount to keep a good balance for incoming and outgoing items. Whether your space is in a warehouse offsite or in the back of your store, keeping these areas organized, tidy and easy to access will make you and your staff’s lives easier.
3. Look for new ways to manage internal processes.
Often, when we face issues, we’re able to more easily think outside of the box because we’re forced to. Chances are, you’re already doing things in new ways to keep things moving. Continue to be creative and improve on these new steps. What you thought might be a temporary adjustment is likely a permanent change, so find ways to improve it.
4. Keep your vendors aware of your changing needs.
As your inventory needs change, keep all of your vendors and business partners in the loop. Maintaining an open line of communication alerts them to your ongoing and changing needs and allows both sides to anticipate possible issues or delays so everyone can plan accordingly.
5. Keep your shipping partners aware of changes in your shipping needs.
Like anything, your shipping needs can ebb and flow based on many factors. For instance, maybe you’ve recently begun shipping more of a particular item or maybe the weather has sales up in one state and down in another temporarily. Talk to your shipping partner about those changes. Keep them informed and aware of anticipated peaks, slow seasons or other factors. And make sure your shipping partner keeps you updated on any issues or changes they experience.
The bottom line is that we’ll continue to deal with shipping challenges, but with the right preparation you can stay ahead of supply chain issues. If you’re considering a change in your shipping partner, or just want to see what other options are out there, call us today for a FREE QUOTE. We can formulate a unique plan for your shipping needs to keep your business moving forward.