If you have a small business, you need to have an effective logistics strategy. Every business needs to learn to master their logistics to make it cost effective, boost customer satisfaction and stand out from the competition.
Logistics management is one of the hardest elements of the supply chain for any business. If your business incorporated the holy trinity of a successful online business, it becomes easier to manage your supply chain. People want things quick, in good shape and on time. If you are an online seller, you need to optimise your on-time shipping and delivery. Poor delivery ratings result in a drop in rank both in the market place and on search engines.
To keep those orders coming in, keep in mind a few effective logistics hack your business can benefit from.
Keep a tracker on your inbound supplies too:
It is not just about customer shipments, you need to also keep an effective track of all the materials coming into your office/warehouse/work station.
If you are a product company that uses certain raw materials to make your products, make sure they come in on time from the suppliers. Create a time framework and tracking tool that allows you and your team to manage the supplies coming into your company so that production does not get affected.
Invest in a good inventory management system and keep a timely track on the delivery and time of your products. It’s simple: Never be in a situation where your customer orders anything that could be out of stock. A disappointed customer is a customer lost.
Get your shipping strategy ready in time for Christmas:
Take care of your non-time-sensitive shipping tasks outside of your busy season. Logistics management is more than simply scheduling products that need to be shipped as and when orders come in. Customers tend to place orders based on seasonality too.
The holiday season is a peak time for gifts and bulk orders. Make sure your inventory is well stocked way ahead of the busy seasons. Research on customer buying patterns during this time and keep a close eye on your supplies. Based on your production process, keep a track of stock that could run out soon and make sure you replenish it soon enough for your customers to place the order.
This will help calculate shipping times when placing your order according to your time schedule. Shipping delays are a strict no-no for customers during the holiday season/wedding season. When your market is primarily within Indian territory, you need to make sure your calendar keeps track of all the important buying seasons for customers.
Approaching Third-party logistics:
In case you are tight on budget, at least invest in a good shipping partner. If you can budget for it and the orders are flooding in, employ third-party logistics that can handle more than you can for the moment. Third-party logistics companies offer various services from warehousing, packaging, labelling, tracking, handling paperwork and even business partnership. Third-party logistics are not cheap but they can help you manage the cost savings that help you financially in the long run. Research and invest in the right kind of third-party logistics company. This is to make sure you get the best rates and fastest delivery possible. You can get better productivity out of your storage and warehouse team this way.
Stronger customer focus:
Logistics is not just about delivery. You may have heard this one before, but invest in your customers from the beginning of your business to the very end. Customers are very important to your logistics flow. Expect changes in shipment dates, changes to the order and delivery address. Additionally, understand that your customer needs to be constantly assured of where their product is at all times. Once they place the order with the company, make sure that you allow them to track their order online. Invest in a good online product shipment tracker so that customers are updated on the app/website and need not follow up with a customer call all the time. After sales customer service is a good CRM tactic that helps to get your supply chain flow running smooth.
Negotiate and get the best price:
Too many times, business owners are too busy to negotiate deals or get quotes from multiple carriers. To save cost and time on delivery of goods, you need to make sure you manage to get the best deals and prices on the supplies. There is competition out there, so sharpen your quotes for any expenditure that may come to the company. Ask yourself this: ” What’s the best price I can get for my own product?”
Numbers and code:
An important tip many small businesses ignore is the need to invest in barcodes and a number system for their products. Delayed orders are one thing, but get the wrong order to your customer and you get in pretty hot water. Avoid any dramatic review on your website or app from wronged customers. Make use of UPC and EAN codes to help you ensure the right products are being packed and delivered from your warehouse to the marketplace and to the customer. These codes are unique identifiers for products and are printed on most consumer goods, like electronics, clothing, accessories and other physical merchandise. These codes are barcodes that only need to be scanned to know what’s in the packaging. If your products lack barcodes you need to be vigilant while packaging. It will reduce delays and also prevent the delivery of wrong goods.
If you have an online small business with Instamojo, logistics is not something to worry about too much. Thanks to mojoXpress, your shipping woes are taken care of anytime, anywhere. Find out how to get your products shipped with Instamojo’s mojoXpress here:
Start with the Instamojo experience today!