Like so many other challenges, most people do not know how to build a supply chain for small businesses until they have tried it themselves. For small businesses, this means months or years of trial and error, successes and disappointments, before the owner is comfortable with their strategy. There are, however, a few sure-fire tactics for building a small business supply chain early in the company’s life. Read on to learn some pointers all small business owners could benefit from hearing.
Develop Procurement Strategies Based on Your Place in the Market
Understanding where your small company sits in the marketplace will allow you to make intelligent strategic decisions about your supply chain. For instance, a low-cost provider company should know that low cost is an essential supplier criterion. If the company wants to focus on building strong customer relationships, it should select suppliers that appreciate the importance of that service.
Nurture Strong Relationships
Perhaps the most important step in how to build a supply chain for small businesses is to identify strong suppliers and nurture those relationships. A review of industry-specific trade associations, directories, and professional publications will reveal the best suppliers to meet your pricing, quality, technical, and service standards. Find suppliers that will meet your needs and can scale alongside you as your company grows.
Develop Metrics To Manage Suppliers
You should develop quantitative and qualitative metrics to judge your suppliers as soon as possible. Tracking does not require top-of-line ERP software. Instead, you can identify your own important performance criteria and take careful notes. A great logistics management software will be a lot more helpful when you have identified an edge and know where to look for insights and useful information
Dropoff time, for instance, is a great metric by which to hold your suppliers accountable. Are they making deliveries at the right time? By tracking their work, you will be able to lead discussions with them on areas of improvement. All great supply chains use data insights. To keep up with the competition, your small business should do the same.