4 Challenges Facing the Modern Distribution Industry
1) Inventory Management Control
The importance of taking total control of your inventory from receiving supplies to the shipping to customers should not be underestimated. By not managing your stock count, cost price changes and not being able to view your stock position can have drastic consequences. Facing delays in product shipments to customers can lead to customer dissatisfaction due to poor service, and with your competition chomping at your heels your customer retention rate could suffer.
By having too much inventory it has the potential to be destroyed, damaged or even stolen as you lose track of what you have and how long you have been storing it. It is important to track your inventory so that you can plan ahead effectively as well as being in a fortunate position should you receive an unexpectedly large order – great for business financially, but not so great if you can’t fill it due to poor inventory management.
2) Managing Your Relationships
Keeping on top of your customers and prospects’ communication can be a complex process but it is amazing how many companies fail to see relationship building as a priority for the success of their business. The internal challenge is to ensure that you have all your contact and transaction data available when you need it via your laptop, tablet or smartphone – anywhere, anytime.
With customers demanding more, it is crucial that you can manage your communication processes. No one likes to explain their requirements time and time again to numerous members of staff. Therefore by integrating a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System it ensures that regardless of who takes that customer enquiry they can access their information at the touch of a button and be fully informed.
3) Inadequate Labelling System
Speed is critical when ensuring that you get the correct items picked, packed and distributed to the correct address, therefore there is a need to be able to create very specific labels for your customers.
It is impractical to create a special label every time you have to ship to a customer, subsequently you need to invest in a labelling system that is built into your overall operational and sales process.
4) Evolving e-Commerce
We are all aware that we live in an increasing electronic world. Simply put if you are not on the internet or aren’t able to take orders via the internet then you are facing commercial suicide.
It is of paramount importance that you make it as easy as possible for your customers to purchase from you and ensure that you can accept EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) from your customers and ASNs (Advanced Ship Notices) into your warehouse. Providing a 24/7 service online will ensure that sales are not lost and the process flows.
At Advantage Services we offer a range of solutions for businesses including those in Warehousing and Distribution which are designed to provide you with greater control over your company. Simply give us a call on 0121 651 1941.