Maximising your supply chain: Balancing cost and performance

Maximising your supply chain: Balancing cost and performance

In today’s fast-paced business environment, consumers expect a fast and seamless experience when placing an order online, whether that’s for delivery or in-store pick-up. The same can be said for exchanges and returns. As a result, businesses face overwhelming pressure to get stock purchased, processed, and packaged as efficiently as possible. Research shows that almost every UK organisation admits that their supply chain needs improvement, with more than half of them thinking that significant improvements are necessary.

However, optimising supply chain operations while navigating disruptions can be challenging. With rising costs, labour shortages, and new cross-border compliance measures for UK businesses trading within the EU, supply chains have been forced to find new ways to optimise their operations to manage costs and stay competitive.

The journey to success begins with automation

For most forward-thinking businesses, the journey to improvement begins with automation. Automated solutions, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), have the potential to increase throughput while lowering costs. Organisations from a variety of industries have seen undeniable results from implementing ERP technology, including a 570% increase in monthly online orders and a 242% increase in annual turnover.

Creating a modern warehouse

Warehouses and distribution centres are essential to any supply chain. They optimise processes, ensure customer satisfaction, and ultimately ensure inventory profitability. However, it’s not just consumers who expect a seamless and integrated experience when dealing with a business; it’s employees too. Younger and more physically capable warehouse workers expect a warehouse that mimics the technology they’re using at home, with easy-to-use systems, mobile technology, and smart automation.

A modern Warehouse Management System (WMS) should show warehouse operatives what orders are ahead of them and where stock is located, as well as the most efficient paths to bins – all from a handheld device. Senior management should also have alerts on supply chain issues, problems on the warehouse floor, or updates from the rest of the business readily available.

Moving with the times

E-commerce is here to stay, and the growing expectations of Gen Z, the largest pool of future consumers, are undeniable. Retailers must ensure that their buying process between channels is seamless, or they risk losing the business of nearly half the UK population. This is where technology such as multichannel commerce comes in.

Investing in the right solution can unite an entire e-commerce ecosystem, bringing together websites, marketplaces, and any other online outlets. Customers experience the same level of service, no matter how they choose to interact with a brand, and teams are equipped with the tools to maximise sales and marketing efforts.

Stay in control of your credit

Managing credit control can effectively be one of the top financial burdens, with 30% of all invoices not getting paid on time. Late payments disrupt cash flow, slow down operations, lower profit margins, and create a significant amount of work for accounts teams.

The right credit control tool provides a dedicated area to retrieve overdue or missing payments and set up automated reminders, alerts, and follow-ups. Backed by proactive engagement tools, businesses can position themselves as being in full control of their finances while receiving payment where it’s owed.

Work smarter not harder

Data-driven businesses make more money, and senior management teams strategising with inaccurate information are destined to make poor decisions. The tool to harness the copious amounts of data running through a business is Business Intelligence (BI).

Investing in a quality BI tool provides the ability to drill down into trends with groups of customers, staff, products, promotions, and more. It can help businesses identify gaps to be filled in customer journeys, find opportunities for sales teams, and discover the potential for growth.

Empower your supply chain with forward-thinking technology

Through the entire supply chain, businesses must embrace innovative technology solutions to meet the demands of today’s consumers. Automation can help optimise warehouse operations, create a seamless multichannel buying experience, manage credit control and cash flow, and harness data to make informed decisions.

Investing in these tools will not only improve your supply chain but give your business a competitive edge in a fast-paced and ever-changing business environment.

From factory shelf to customer doorstep, discover more ways to empower your supply chain.