Have you ever wondered how companies are able to manage an international supply chain that delivers their goods perfectly?
A good place to start is by controlling all costs by sourcing everything (to an extent) at a local level. If the items can’t be done this way, you will want to send as many items at a time as you can – in bulk. This will minimize the overall cost of transportation.
The only problem is that when you pass to an international element to your supply chain, it makes everything a whole lot more complicated. Having said that, there are ways to maintain the supply chain in an easier fashion. Here are a few tips.
Teamwork is a must
It’s all about the teamwork. It’s no good having one team working on operations, while the other team is looking at the numbers not understanding why they’re paying so much money for duty costs.
The first thing you will want to do is get everyone together for a team meeting so that everyone knows and understands the plan of action inside and out. Remember that in order to manage a successful supply chain, you must not only work with a few of the main departments, but the entire company as a whole.
Visit the experts first
You can’t expect to do everything on your own. No matter how many areas you cover on a daily basis, you will still need help when going international. You need someone with the expertise on the best locations, for example. This means searching for local, reputable producers that are known for delivering the best results.
You need to find yourself a business partner that is a master in the specific market that you’re looking to get into. It’s very important to work alongside someone that can help you develop your brand even further than you already have.
If you’re managing a smaller business, find a consultant that specifically deals with clients in that location. That way they can help you to figure out the best way to deal with transit options and taxes. The more time your potential business partner has spent in the country, the more knowledge you will be receiving from them. Having the right consultant can save you an awful lot of money, so don’t think you’re wasting your time, because really you’ll just end up wasting your precious money.
Timing changes everything
Time is one of those elements that can either make you as a business or break you just as easily. Use it the right way, and you can be building your supply chain and opening endless doors of opportunity. On the other hand, lose valuable time, and it could all be over in a second.
Good sales forecasting is essential
Timing is key when trying to keep up with sales forecasting. This is where you can either ride at a slow monotone pace, or become very successful in managing your supply chain.
It all comes down to having the realistic idea of how much bulk you are able to move from your inventory and sell. Moving goods internationally takes a lot longer, so if it doesn’t sell, you’re going to be left with a whole load of stock and nothing to do with it.
Companies like the Moons Industries, for example, have a very large inventory to shift, and they manage to move it because their product is used to manufacture 3D printers, stage lighting, security equipment and more. It works because not only is the product a handy one, but they meet their delivery times and excel on their customer’s demands.
Never just assume
One of the most common mistakes that get made is when small businesses consider international expansion and guess far too much, instead of going off facts. People assume that different cultures operate the same way – but they don’t – far from it in fact.
For example, internet access is very easy to get your hands on in the US, so dealing with business and clients is simple, whereas in another country it may not be so simple to get access to.
So now you know how to manage a supply chain internationally, you should be more confident in the actions you take when moving forward. You know all the things you need to look out for, and you know the best way to get things done. Now all that’s left to do is find the appropriate business partners that will help your company grow even stronger.