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What small businesses should know about supply chain management? Robert Trosten shares useful insights

Small businesses have specific scopes that big organizations can't always access! The long and extensive supply chains can get ineffective and wasteful. The more prominent organizations don't always have a clear idea about their supply chains and know ways to enhance them.  Small businesses must improve their supply chain and Supplier Data Consolidation whenever possible. If there is a supply chain, small business owners can improve their timeliness and effectiveness. Alternatively, they can also create it right from the start. It is essential to make the supply chain an integral part of your small business and sync it with your mission. 

Insights by Robert Trosten

Robert Trosten shares how small business owners can plan their supply chain and find out new suppliers. 

 

  • Know the numbers and your vision

 

It is essential to decide the products you want to sell depending on what got sold well before. You should also clearly know your brand mission. It is necessary to understand what customers want, including support and feedback. It would be best if you also estimated the demand for every product. Arrange numbers that you will show to your suppliers. You should also list all the materials, parts, and finished goods you require and the percentage you want to order from the suppliers. 

 

  • Meet candidate suppliers

 

You need to shortlist the suppliers and check how professional and competent they are! There might be zero or fewer resources to fly to other regions, but you can meet through a live video conference. That is better than an email or a phone conversation. A virtual meeting can let you know whether the business cultures are compatible for you to conduct business. 

 

  • Get the quotes and select suppliers

 

No supplier is perfect in all categories. Hence, it would help if you decided about the specific qualities in suppliers essential for you. For instance, a supplier can have the best production, but they might be charging a high price for it. It would be best if you also asked for written quotes from the best suppliers. If you want, you can start with a minimum order. You might want to use a payment system that has payment security. You should know that a low price isn't always the best if a costly supplier is outstanding in all the essential qualities. 

 

  • Plan for the problems

 

When products get produced far away, you need to plan for delays and damages. The global suppliers can have various cultural holidays and weather conditions, which can slow delivery and production. You need to learn about the supplier’s location and think about how it can impact your business. If a country has a monsoon or rainy season, you might want waterproof packaging during that time. 

 

  • Create a tracking system

 

To minimize the stress and maximize transparency, you should opt-in for or create an easy tracking system. Ideally, it is essential to:

  • Communicate fast with the suppliers. 
  • Track every package from the moment it leaves the supplier. 
  • Know the way international costs, such as tariffs, impact profits. 
  • Keep every paperwork organized. 
  • Display the supply chain, comprising suppliers and their categories and qualities.

These are some of the crucial aspects of supply chain management that every small business owner should know.