What is supply chain planning?
The ecommerce supply chain management planning process involves establishing processes for several operational phases, including receiving completed goods and storing inventory, as well as efficiently delivering orders to consumers. The optimization of supply chain efficiency must be carefully planned for each stage. Everything from which and how many suppliers to collaborate with, how much safety stock to maintain on hand, and how you will effectively communicate with your clients if there are fulfillment or delivery delays is a possibility.
Improperly managing physical, financial, and relationship issues may lead to serious supply chain disruptions. Because there are so many moving bits throughout the chain (sellers, manufacturers, warehouse workers, truckers, etc.) as well as numerous people involved (sellers, manufacturers, warehouse staff, carriers), unforeseen delays and problems are unavoidable.
Taking the time to plan and optimize your supply chain may help you feel more prepared for the unexpected, react promptly, and still provide a high level of customer service.
Supply chain management planning strategies
Supply chain management planning may appear complex, but there are methods to make it easier.
The key is to establish back-up plans, make sure you have enough ecommerce inventory ready for when it’s needed, use the right tools and technology, create a solid fulfillment strategy, and provide open communication with your customers.
Here are the most important supply chain management tactics to help you get started.
Implement real-time supply chain data
With so many procedures taking place simultaneously, and literal moving parts, it’s critical to have systems in place that help you gather data and provide supply chain visibility. You can manage the supply chain more effectively and get insights to assist you make better business decisions in this way.
Launch Fulfillment, which is a tech-enabled 3PL like to use warehouse management system (WMS) to monitor and control day-to-day logistics activities in a warehouse and send these insights back to you.
Set up real-time inventory management
The second approach is to utilize real-time inventory management technology to ensure that you have the appropriate amount of inventory where it is needed at the proper time.
There are a variety of inventory applications, as well as other kinds of inventory management software and solutions on the market that can help you keep track of real-time stock levels for each SKU in your store(s) and warehouse(s).
You don’t need to build and maintain your own inventory management system when you work with a 3PL like Launch Fulfillment. You get the data you need to manage inventory throughout your distribution network without having to develop or invest in one.
Use integrated technology
Establishing a solid supply chain is more difficult than it seems. Using technology that is easy to connect with your business, as well as your fulfillment engine and full technological infrastructure, will ensure accuracy and provide real-time insights.
For example, Launch Fulfillment runs their entire technology stack. This allows businesses to build a multichannel retailing strategy that incorporates several fulfillment sites and sales channels. Merchants may now monitor the whole fulfillment process from one dashboard using Launch Fulfillment.
Create room for supply chain optimization
There’s always room to enhance supply chain efficiency, especially as your company expands.
When you have completed your supply chain plan, it’s time to start revising it and optimizing it to meet your requirements as you approach the next level of scale.
Supply chain optimization is the process of improving your supply chain processes in order to be more efficient, cost-effective, and agile. This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, but many possibilities exist throughout your manufacturer(s) and retail fulfillment processes.
You can focus on making modest, continuous improvements to cut waste and save money, whether it’s gradually adding new fulfillment centers or diversifying your delivery network.