Establishing a strong supply chain can put a business into a comfortable lead in their field. For smaller and newer businesses, this could be a more daunting task, since the way forward might not seem entirely clear. One of the worst things a startup can do, though, is to simply ignore certain strategies or treat them like they don't matter.
Investing wisely early on sets up the procurement transformation for better success. To get ready for this, here are a few important points to remember:
- Discover trustworthy partners: Outsourcing can represent a way to get desired results, but only if the other company meets your standards. Whatever the connection, they will likely require strong supplier relationship management to coordinate all of the major actions needed to master a complex chain. Researching the company involved in outsourcing will inform the process as you commit to a new business setup for what could be a long-term engagement.
- Never stop monitoring: From the very beginning, your company can prepare to grow by using audits to assess potential problems. The key to improvement is not to give up, and to build it into procurement as an expectation. Placing this at the beginning will make it a regular part of the procurement and logistics side of the business. It will also set the precedent and focus on data for better knowledge of each sector.
- Roadmaps will help: Ideally, transformation will come with a detailed plan for achieving specific tech goals. In addition to a timeline, this sort of layout should also include a look at the specific cost benefits of the new strategy. Both employees and the tools they use can function better if a strategy dictates the proper development.
- Tie it all to your larger business model: What is your largest source of revenue, and where are most of your orders coming from? Questions like this can dictate how you think of the supply chain, and which sources you work with. Online and ecommerce purchases are a major part of the modern consumer landscape, putting an emphasis on a tight, responsive chain. At the early stages, the business might be small enough that it can plan these efficiently, using the relatively small size of the business as an advantage. It's worth thinking of this in the positive rather than the negative.
- Understand the different vehicles needed: Depending on the timing and necessary routes, a company may have to work with current traffic conditions and other demands. The Wall Street Journal reported on the heavy volume of truck and rail traffic seen during this fall. October 2016 was shown to be a major month for retailer activity between different types of vehicles, making an already busy quarter of the year potentially more fraught.