Your e-commerce business is growing, congratulations! It’s no small feat to grow a successful business these days and you should be proud of your success. We’d tell you to take a vacation to celebrate but that is the last thing you should do. With e-commerce growth comes new supply chain complexities that need to be managed and overcome. Don’t worry, this is a good problem to have and this article will help scale your supply chain.
How do E-Commerce Brands Scale Growth?
Now that your business has evolved from the early stages to an established e-commerce brand, it’s critical that you not only continue to innovate, but also improve your existing capabilities and focus on the basics, like customer service and order fulfillment.
The best way to ease the growing pains of success is to operate at scale with streamlined processes that minimize costs and increase customer satisfaction. Like a surfer, you’re trying to ride the wave of growth without falling behind it or allowing it to crash over you. Fortunately, there are ways to scale your supply chain and capitalize on your success without sacrificing the work you did to get here.
4 Ways To Scale Your Supply Chain As You Grow
Regardless of what you sell, the primary factor to manage substantial growth is customer service. Every element from managing stock availability to order fulfillment and returns needs to revolve around one thing – keeping the customer happy.
- Focus on Customer Service
According to a report from consulting firm Lee Resources Inc., a customer is 4x more likely to switch to a competitor if a problem is service-related but 70% of those customers will do business with the offending brand again if the brand resolves the issue in their favor.
When your supply chain grows in complexity, you will face tough decisions. It’s important to remember the steps you’re taking to meet the needs of your customer and ensure they buy from you again.
You’re likely no stranger to this concept, as you would likely not have grown your business without some measure of customer service. You know that the customer is king and you need to keep that mentality as your business grows to better serve them.
- Gain Supply Chain Visibility
Now that you know what you need to do to manage growth, i.e., provide an excellent customer experience, you can focus on how you are going to manage the complexities of that task. Like any problem, the more visibility you have, the easier it will be to solve.
Any technology, infrastructure, or service that enables your supply chain managers with real-time data and greater visibility is going to enable them to respond to customer demands faster and ensure your continued ability to operate, grow, and service the customer.
- Right Size of Your Network
On equal standing with supply chain visibility is the size of your supply chain network. If your supply chain network is too sparse, it will cost you more to ship products to your customers. On the other hand, if you distribute inventory to every city in the country, you’ll likely over reach and over pay to store those products.
The trick is to scale your distribution network with the size of your customer base. You don’t have to build a distribution center in South Carolina to service a few customers in Charleston, but you can’t leave those customers in the dark.
If you rely on FBA (Fulfilled by Amazon) to reach those customers, then you’re no stranger to the excessive fees the retail-giant charges to service those far-flung customers. As your supply chain grows to meet the needs of your customer base, you’ll need to consider the right size of your network and whether FBA is still the right choice for your operation.
- Outsource to a 3PL
As your brand grows you have to consider whether or not you have (in your current capacity) the ability to totally service the needs of your customers. If the answer is “No” then it is time to outsource to a third party logistics provider.
Just as you are an expert in what you do, a 3PL specializes in different areas of the supply chain. A 3PL maintains a larger network of warehouses, fulfillment centers, and logistics providers than a typical retailer and is therefore able to offer complete service customization to meet the specific needs of your customers.
Grow Your Business With Flowspace
As your business grows, so does your responsibility to your customer. To scale your business and manage the complexities of a growing supply chain, you need a partner who enables you to provide a phenomenal customer experience again and again. Flowspace is that partner.
As the premium on-demand warehousing and fulfillment provider in the country. With 1000+ warehouses, no long-term commitments or storage minimums, Flowspace is uniquely positioned to help you scale your supply chain and grow your customer base beyond what you thought possible.