So you have already gotten your startup off the ground, and it is doing well, now it’s time to branch out and grow. And having a solid supply chain is a major part of that growth. Logistics is an issue a lot of startup owners tend to overlook when starting out, but in the long run it can be one of the major causes of business failure. Especially if you have not factored the cost of the entire supply into your cash flow. Within this article we will deal with the essential steps you need to take in order to establish a supply chain that will help propel your startup t the major leagues. So let’s start!
Set your priorities straight
Some parts of the supply chain need more investing in than others. If you invest in everything straight away you might end up without sufficient funds. The most important step is deciding on your inventory, you need to focus on your customer demand and decide which products or services you need to include in your assortment first. You can add additional options as your company grows. This is never an easy decision, and it requires a lot of prep and research, from market saturation information to your startup’s ability to roll out sufficient amounts to cover the current demand. Next comes the logistics concerning production and delivery. It is important that your customers get what they want when they want it. We will go into further detail regarding these aspects in the next few paragraphs. Finally, make sure that you have clear startup budget predictions so that you don’t run into money issues before your supply chain kicks off. Lacking finances for a proper supply chain dynamics can doom your startup before it has managed to get off the ground.
Production and delivery
A lot depends on these two parts of the supply chain. Having a timely production and unobstructed delivery is what will make your business thrive. It is essential for customer satisfaction, and thus requires a lot of attention, especially for startups who depend on regular cash flow to stay afloat in the first few years. So let’s start with the production. Having a clear forecast of which products will be in demand is essential, and it needs to be detailed, down to the shape and color. That way the production be clearly focused and not fan out too far so that you can scale the production appropriately. In the very beginning excel chars will work just fine, but later in, more sophisticated tools and software will be required for both forecasts and production management. The next step is delivery logistics. It is important to stress that investing in a quality transportation management system is one of the most important factors when it comes to setting up the delivery process. Now, you have two delivery chains to take into consideration.
The first one is from your suppliers to your warehouse, and the second one is from your production to your customers. It is essential that there is a tracking system in place for both. That way you will know where you supply are, and when you can expect them delivered, and you can at the same time offer that service to your customers. That way they can track their order and know where their package is at every time.
Rinse and repeat
So now that you have set up the entire process, it is essential to maintain the speed and quality that you have at the very beginning. In time, the size of your products selection will increase as will the number of orders. This means that your supply chain will have to take on a far bigger load. And this is why it is imperative to maintain the same speed and quality, even on a bigger scale. This can only be done by having a clear growth prediction for your startup, and investing in different areas of the supply chain accordingly. You cannot afford a weak link in the supply chain, otherwise, the whole thing might collapse. So, regular investment back into this process is a must. That is the only way you can ensure customer satisfaction and with it the much-needed ROI for your startup.
Setting up the supply chain is not easy, but it is far harder to maintain it on a high level. So take all the advice from this article, apply it and make sure you don’t skip a step. That is the only way to ensure your startup will have a sturdy supply chain that will enable your company to grow. And don’t forget, your supply chain needs to be able to withstand the increase in demand without losing its speed or quality.