Starting an eCommerce supply train can be tricky and requires some experience before getting the hang of it. Supply chain processes are different for every industry, and following another businesses approach may not work for your business model. Experimentation is essential, and you will have to put a lot of planning and research into developing your own supply chain to make your eCommerce business thrive. Here are some do’s and don’ts that will answer the question: How do you manage an eCommerce supply chain?
There are steps you can take to improve your revenue as an e-commerce business and some steps to avoid the easy-to-make mistakes.
What eCommerce Businesses Should Do
To stand out in eCommerce, business should get familiar with their supply chain vendor.
Tour the Warehouse
When you are storing your inventory at another’s warehouse, you should always take a tour of the warehouse facility before signing any contracts. You shouldn’t be barred from seeing the space, and it allows you to make sure they are a reliable and dependable supplier. There may be robots at the warehouse location and other technology that speeds up shipments. You can also check that the warehouse has fail-safes for power outages, natural disasters, theft, and other potential damages.
Create key performance indicators (KPIs) that quantify your effectiveness and represent how well you are performing. These are basic measures of performance based on the number of times an event happens. For example, your KPI could be barcode scans to see how many shipments are being created. This way, you can gauge outsource fulfillment efficiency.
You have to make sure that the communication between your inventory management software and the warehouse is seamless. To check this, do initial test with an integration audits of your team and theirs to ensure that a mock shipment can be properly executed.
What eCommerce Businesses Should NOT Do
When launching an eCommerce business, you should not let your supply chain vendor drive all decisions.
You can avoid such easy-to-make mistakes as:
While Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is successful for many large companies, it may not be the best fit for you. Specialized products and items that are fragile will require packaging that is far beyond that of a cardboard box. FBA doesn’t provide extensive bubble wrap or other specific needs.
Sign a Long-term Contract
Try to avoid long-term contracts so that the fulfillment center is encouraged to prove they are capable of providing reliable shipments. If they are great at what they do, you don’t need to be pressured into an annual contract. Month-to-month is good enough.
Avoid Trial Periods
Try more trial periods and take the opportunity to get to know a fulfillment provider more in-depth. You may like what you see and decide to go with them. It helps to try out their services before you enter a contract to see if they fit in with your business.
Spending Wildly on Hidden Fees
Make sure that you aren’t paying a ton of hidden fees. Sometimes a low upfront cost comes with a catch, or it is too good to be true. Try to get an explanation for why the pricing structure is set up that way.
Manage an eCommerce Supply Chain
E-commerce shops are constantly expanding their web presence and offering more innovative ways to interact with their clients. E-commerce can be very complex, as there are many working parts and third parties you have to collaborate with to get things done. It can be tough to navigate through business processes and figure out the best system for you. You can read more about how it works at: printful.com/us/drop-shipping-supplier.