For many small businesses, distribution and logistics are among the most difficult challenges to overcome. There is a need to develop a reliable distribution network to keep up with market demand. At the same time, it is also necessary to keep costs at a manageable level and to continuously optimize the distribution workflow for maximum efficiency.
The latter task is easier to tackle than you think. Constant evaluation and making use of technology are the ingredients you need for an optimized distribution and delivery network to support your small business operations. Here are the tips and tricks you can use to start optimizing your own distribution network.
Learn to Automate
There are a lot of solutions that can help you organize your distribution network better. The first thing you need to check when choosing a solution to use is whether the system supports automation. Automation lets you secure your small business growth and gives you more room to optimize in the future.
You don’t have to automate everything all at once. Automating orders and deliveries instead of doing them manually is a good start. You can then automate other parts of the distribution process, including distribution to resellers or warehouses, as your company handles bigger orders from more customers.
Most small business owners try and run delivery by themselves. However, sticking with what you may believe is the cheaper option isn’t the most efficient and cost-effective method as your business continues to scale. This is when it’s a good idea to look into other options, such as an LTL freight broker, such as AuptiX, for medium to large shipments.
Another key to developing an efficient distribution workflow is detailed tracking. Only use delivery methods that you can track, including when shipping larger items or wholesale packages. It is better if the tracking system can be fully integrated with your existing distribution solution. This gives you a clearer picture of your entire distribution network.
Adding tracking is also something you want to do early in the game. Integrating tracking features when you already have thousands of deliveries isn’t so easy; by implanting it from the start, you will have more time to test the tracking system and make adjustments to your workflow if necessary.
Don’t Forget Returns
A good distribution network doesn’t just work one way. It also needs to be able to handle returns in a cost-efficient and effective way. As you develop a stronger, more reliable network for your small business, don’t forget to take into account the returns you’ll have to handle along the way.
This too will help the business scale up more smoothly. Combined with the other tips we covered in this article, developing a suitable distribution network for your business will be a great investment to make for the business’s long-term growth.
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Source: Main home business mag
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