Whether your online business is well-established or up-and-coming, there are certain decisions and daily operations that could be make or break for your business.
The bottom line is this: you should always go the extra mile to optimize your supply chain and logistics, as this is the heart of your business. Before you dazzle your customers with state-of-the-art innovation, you want to get the basics of logistics right first.
Here are a few common logistics mistakes to avoid during your day-to-day operations in order to establish a solid business foundation.
Common Logistics Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs
Some of the hallmarks of a successful online business may look like flawless packaging, a great delivery time, and attentive customer service. While these qualities are very important, there so many other fundamentals to focus on in order to bring together a successful system of logistics.
The same goes for any other business courier service. There is plenty of work that takes place behind-the-scenes in order to deliver a good end-result — click here for more on that!
With these fundamentals in mind, here are a few logistics mistakes to avoid in order to deliver on your business promises.
1. Don’t Be Short-Sighted in Your Forecasting
Forecasting operation costs is a large part of any business that involves shipping. This is because there are multiple steps involved when shipping something from A to B. In other words, your goods pass through a number of hubs that attach their own costs to your original estimation, ultimately driving up the price of your shipping.
Don’t make the mistaking forgetting about these additional stops and costs in your forecasting. This can save your business much more money than you think. By keeping an eye on these costs, you can also adjust your shipping processes as needed in order to cut back on overheads.
2. Don’t Over or Under-Stock Your Warehouse
There is a certain sweet spot you should aspire to achieve when it comes to warehouse stock levels. If you stock too much, you could find yourself overspending on purchases and storage fees. If your stock is too low, you could lose out on valuable sales and profit.
When trying to achieve ideal stock levels, make sure you implement the right calculations for stock purchasing. This means you’ll need to consider supplier lead time, order frequency, open, and backorders.
It’s also crucial that you pay attention to forecasts because this serves as your basis for purchasing calculations.
3. Don’t Be Vague in Your Return Policy Statement
This is a major business policy that has a direct impact on customer satisfaction levels, your reputation, stock levels, and more. Most customers that shop online specifically seek out a return policy statement.
You want to make sure your return policy statement is clear, concise, and detailed where necessary. Avoid vague terminology that could confuse your customers. At the end of the day, a well-written, succinct, and fair return policy can help to prevent the nightmare of backorders, additional claims, and other consequences.
4. Forget About Manual Management Systems
Nowadays, you have state-of-the-art warehouse management systems (WMS) at your disposal. You really have no excuse to be using manual management systems to track your logistics.
Manual systems are unreliable and prone to failure because of one simple fact: human error. They’re also time-consuming and can end up costing your business more money than you’d like. Make sure you use up-to-date logistics technology to run your business efficiently.
This type of technology streamlines your storage flow, warehouse processes, supply management, inventory, and parcel tracking, and so much more. When you use manual or outdated technology, you can’t communicate with your customers about their shipment, which is extremely important in today’s connected world.
By implementing and adapting to new technology, this gives your business the chance to earn more, and really generate a good return-on-investment.
5. Don’t Work With a Sub-Par Freight Forwarder
The freight forwarder you end up using for your shipping can be make or break for the success of your business. Don’t make the mistake of rushing into a decision when choosing a freight forwarding partner, and don’t settle for sub-par service.
A good freight forwarding company should be able to handle your logistical needs while remaining within your budget.
6. Don’t Neglect Top Quality Packaging
We get it, packaging is a huge expense in the shipping world. You may be tempted to cut back on these costs by settling for cheaper, lower-quality materials. But this is a mistake you want to avoid.
By settling for poor quality materials you jeopardize the safety of the goods your customer has ordered. This could lead to damages and a loss of income on your part, not-to-mention an unimpressed customer.
Opt for good quality packaging that meets your budget and make sure all of your shipments are packed properly in order to ensure their safe delivery.
7. Don’t Overlook the Importance of Good Shipping Equipment
This point goes hand-in-hand with the importance of good packaging. In order to fully optimize your supply-chain management, you must invest in the right shipping tools and equipment.
You’ll need specialized equipment for moving heavy shipping merchandise or boxes of merchandise that needs to be unpacked and shipped.
The right equipment also allows you to handle fragile goods with care and efficiency. Without the right equipment, your warehouse operations and overall productivity would become slow and prone to error.
8. Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
No matter how much you’re looking to get ahead of your competition, it’s a dangerous game to play by making promises to customers that are just not achievable.
Before you make promises or commitments, you want to consider all stakeholders in your business and elements of your supply chain. It’s important to draw up a clear logistics plan and a set of manuals that everyone in your business can follow and adhere to.
Make sure to routinely update these manuals as your business and its processes evolve.
Handy Resources to Expand Your Business Know-How
By avoiding these common logistics mistakes you can establish an unbreakable foundation for the success of your business shipping — no matter the type of goods you offer.
If you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for resources to expand your business knowledge, explore the rest of this site for your fix. Learn how to master your marketing, payroll, workplace culture, and more!