Saturday, August 13

Business Remedies for the Supply Chain Crisis

The global supply chain and logistics crisis is currently affecting merchants and consumers in every product segment. Not only have shipments been backed up worldwide for several months, but the problem appears to be getting worse. That means an end-of-year delivery glut that threatens to damage the entire holiday retail ecosystem. What can owners and merchants do to take the sting out of the situation, even if they can’t fully resolve it?

Many sellers are practicing JIT (just-in-time) ordering to minimize large shipments and avoid the expense of stocking too much inventory. In addition to that short-term tactic, they’re also using efficient fleet management solutions to keep tabs on every vehicle load that leaves their facility, expanding storage options, attempting to use local suppliers, and developing creative warehousing strategies for smarter logistical planning. The following methods are among the most popular and effective for producers in search of a way around the supply chain dilemma.

Just-In-Time Ordering

To keep backlogged orders to a minimum, consider implementing JIT or just-in-time ordering. Pioneered in Japan in the late 1970s, companies in every product segment have turned to JIT whenever supply chains break or become strained. By ordering only what you need when you need it, you avoid carrying large inventory and relying on one-time shipments of massive loads.

Efficient Fleet Management

For organizations that deliver anything to anyone, at a retail or wholesale level, fleet management is the crux of everyday operations. For example, if your company uses refrigerated trucks in its fleet, you can use a top-rated reefer monitoring solution to achieve cost-efficient equipment monitoring, control, and regulatory compliance for all refrigerated assets.

Unless your own suppliers are directly impacted by the international shipping glut, then you have full control over your own deliveries if you leverage the power of fleet systems and programs suited to your product niche. One of the hidden benefits of this kind of software is that it pays for itself in a very short time. Plus, the learning curve is minimal, so every employee who uses it can be up to speed in a matter of days.

Local Sourcing

Necessity is the mother of invention, the old saying advises. Never has that bit of wisdom been truer than now. Be aware of the role of international supply chain in your business. Are you having problems with getting supplies from faraway providers? Use local sourcing, and future logistical breakdowns won’t impact you nearly as much.

When you set out to build a local network of vendors and suppliers, be careful to check references, compare prices, and work with companies that know you want a long-term relationship. That way, you may never again have to worry about international shipping fiascos and long-haul deliveries to your location.

Better Warehousing Strategies

Knowing how many warehouses to use and where to locate them is one of the best ways to minimize the effects of a logistical crunch. The other pieces of the warehousing puzzle are location, negotiating advantageous lease agreements, and deciding when it makes sense to buy your own storage space.

In a global economy where every shipment is a gamble, smart storage of inventory is a must. For companies that are able to maintain several facilities that serve every geographic region in their delivery zone, short-term logistics crises don’t have to mean an interruption in operations.

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