When running a webshop or a wholesale business, you want to win loyal customers. This is only possible when you can maintain product availability, service levels and customer satisfaction. The supply chain of your products has a major influence on this. The interplay of different chains ensures that products are in stock on time. Read on to learn how you can avoid logistical challenges based on three tips.
The Coronavirus pandemic, container shortages and a thriving global economy
In the past two years, the supply chain industry, like other sectors, has experienced significant changes. China—also known as the factory of the world—has been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. To a large extent, Chinese factories have been shut down due to the pandemic. As a result, production, and with it, the number of foreign exports decreased. This in turn has had consequences for international shipping companies, which have also had to shut down their shipping to a large extent.
In the meantime, the world economy has started to flourish again, which means that there is a need for materials and products again. For shipping companies, this means that they have to get going again slowly. As if the Coronavirus pandemic hadn’t caused enough fuss, the next supply chain obstacle presented itself last March when Suez Canal in Egypt was temporarily blocked for more than a week. The Ever Given, a container ship almost 400 metres long and a beam of almost 60 metres, lay across the canal.
All of these problems led to delayed ships and container shortages, but also costs such as storage, salvage and compensation. For retailers and wholesalers who depend on products from China, these consequences are extremely noticeable, especially if they’re looking for solutions to still meet their customers’ needs.
Get ahead of logistics challenges as much as possible
The aforementioned problems and challenges mean that as a webshop and/or wholesaler, you have to be even more alert. Ultimately, you want to keep customers happy when they purchase from your webshop. Read on for helpful tips for keeping your webshop alert to logistical challenges.
Tip 1. Respond to changes and stay flexible
Due to challenges in the supply chain, it is extra important for retailers and wholesalers to remain flexible and be solution-oriented. Do you buy products from suppliers abroad? It’s important to take that into account when changing the logistics link. You often have to deal with different checkpoints for your goods, such as transport locations, transhipment and customs. By actively monitoring for changes, you can respond immediately by coming up with alternative solutions. Ultimately, it’s about keeping customers happy.
Tip 2. Make sure you have enough stock
Keeping track of developments within the supply chain gives you a big head start. Can you order extra stock of products that tend to sell out quickly? Buy extra. Of course, you want to be wise when ordering, because stockpiling costs money. But by having enough products in stock, you can ensure that you are ahead of your competitors.
Tip 3. Look for new suppliers and/or partners
Diversify your business with other supplying parties. This increases the chance that products will be in stock even faster. This also means that you aren’t dependent on just one supplier and can be flexible with regard to your customers. In times of economic uncertainty, transparent supplier relationships can be great tools in the long term. You create space for doing good business in an honest and confidential manner.
By remaining flexible, following developments and weighing up interests, you ensure that you can respond quickly to logistical challenges and changes. With Optiply, you can set up purchasing advice based on new market knowledge. Moreover, you can easily manage and add future suppliers with only a few clicks.