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Supply chain management is leveraged by several enterprises all over the world to run their operations. The former involves automating everything such as sourcing, warehousing, transportation, delivery and much more. In fact, there exist a host of specialized supply chain management software in the market today. Many businesses have bought and implemented SCM software in their respective organizations. As a matter of fact, you cannot imagine a scenario without the use of SCM software. If you are a small business needs SCM then you must have either purchased the SCM system or are planning to obtain it. If you have not acquired a quality SCM system, then it is strongly recommended that you invest in the necessary software to be at par with your existing competitors. Failure to do so will put you at a serious and potentially crippling disadvantage in the marketplace.

What separates the successful business from the unsuccessful ones is the former’s ability to better manage the supply chain costs. Supply chain expenses are a major component of the pricing of an enterprises products and/or services. As goes the popular refrain a dollar saved is a dollar earned. By keeping supply chain expenses to a minimum, the relevant business can offer a better price deal to its valued customers for its range of products and/or services. Hence enterprises that are able to do so can outprice its existing competitors out of the market. So, reducing supply chain costs should be a major goal for any small business looking to survive and even thrive in the highly competitive marketplace of today.

We explore ways for small businesses to keep a tab on supply chain costs.

Have a 360-Degree View of The Existing Suppliers

The operations of a small business should not exist in different silos. It is imperative to have real time insight to a consolidated 360-degree view of existing vendors if a small business desires to obtain decrease in expenses in the procurement process. It is important to know prices of different vendors and compare them without compromising on quality to get the best possible deal. A comprehensive understanding of all vendor relationships will help to negotiate better corporate rates as well as payment terms.

Perfectly Aligned Customer Service

Deliver to customers the products and/or services that they really desire not what you perceive what they desire. The marketing principle is pretty simple here. Offer customers what they require and expect and refrain from charging for items which your customers perceive having no value for them. Pushing their products and/or services to customers is a major and frequent mistake that even the best of businesses make.

Study & Analyze The Competition

If you cannot yourself come up with good ideas how to suppress supply chain expenses take the help of or learn from others. Brainstorm with the management and your employees for coming up with innovative strategies to keep supply chain costs down. Write the ideas down on paper so that you can see them and prevent you from forgetting them. Go through the ideas one by one and evaluate each for effectiveness and practicability. Eliminate unsatisfactory ideas and implement the good ones in your company processes as early as you can. Imitation is the best form of flattery. Ask around and research on how your competitors are able to manage supply chain costs. Adopt the techniques and customize it as per your small business’s unique and special requirements.

Invest Smart

It is a good idea to invest in a high quality SCM software. Make sure it is one that your competitors don’t have and is also superior to the SCM systems they have in terms of keeping supply chain minimum. The money thus spent will be easily and quickly recovered by savings in supply chain costs of your small business. Train your staff thoroughly to leverage the software for maximum benefit. In the modern business era, even a small competitive advantage makes a big difference.

Other ways of reducing supply chain costs include simplifying business processes, ramping up business agility, automating manual processes, eliminating low return business practices, usage of big data analytics, optimising sales and operations planning, minimizing tangible product handling, intelligent outsourcing, bulk ordering and more. Make sure to pass the savings to your customers as it means more and longer lasting business for your small enterprise.

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