Your supply chain may not feel like the most pressing thing facing your small business right now, but believe me it isn’t something you can afford to neglect. Supply chains are fraught with risks and difficulties, and inexperienced entrepreneurs stand much more of a risk than more established ones. While a well-managed supply chain can help you dominate your industry, a shoddy approach to it can destroy your business in a matter of days. Here are some of the most common mistakes you need to avoid…
Too Much Automation Too Soon
As the head of a fledgling business, you’re going to be under a lot of pressure to shave down expenses wherever you can. In pursuit of this, supply chain automation can be a very attractive prospect. However, charging headlong into a new piece of technology without spending enough time on the strategic process can seriously blur the fundamental issues and goals that you face. This, in turn, can result in misalignment with your investments. The systems you buy into can be far too large to justify, or simply unreliable. While automation can be a great thing for supply chain management, it’s not a universal truth you can rely on. Implementing these systems can be much more difficult than first anticipated, so think before you act!
Failing to Research International Shipping Regulations
When you’re just about managing to get your business off the ground, the prospect of international shipping can be very exciting. However, it can be extremely risky to rush into it without doing enough research. You’re probably not all that familiar with the tax codes and shipping regulations of every country you’re planning to ship to. Contacts at international shipping services like Sea Wing air freight may be able to help with this somewhat, but to be on the safe side, you should be doing your own research. Yes, this represents a pretty big investment of time and effort, but getting clued-up on different country’s shipping regulations will be worth it in the long run. Forego this, and it could result in some very awkward conversations between you and your customers!
Supplier relationships have been becoming more and more collaborative over time, and this isn’t a trend that’s expected to turn around. With this in mind, having a single vendor for all your main products can be a smart financial move. However, when the future of your business becomes dependent on the future of this one supplier, you’ll only be taking on an unnecessary risk. Sure, you can use one supplier for the bulk of your products. However, it’s essential that you stay vigilant to the risk this poses, and maintain some good back-up sources. Bankruptcy, sudden economic shifts and various other nasty surprises can all rub your main supplier out of the supply chain, leaving you in a very difficult situation. When it comes to all your most critical components and services, be sure to have one or two back-up suppliers that you’ll be able to fall back on.