Analyzing and implementing an efficient supply chain in ECommerce companies is extremely important especially given the drastic changes at a global scale in terms of sourcing and procurement of products. Being an ECommerce company & Amazon third party seller ourselves we have spent the last 3-4 years analyzing the important areas of supply chain that heavily impacts the revenue and profit. Coming up with efficient processes for these three operations has helped us grow by almost 20% every year and we are really excited to share it with everyone here!
- Demand Forecasting: Having a lot of data on different products and their seasonality, we have found that analyzing and forecasting demand is extremely necessary in planning and implementing the Just In Time strategy for our inventory management. This helps in reducing the inventory cost at the facilities and also helps manage our resources effectively. Demand forecasting also helps to stay in stock and fulfill customer orders without any delays and issues. This according to us is the biggest part of the Supply Chain accounting for 35-40% of impact in terms of revenue and time reduction on the entire supply chain. Some of the tools absolutely necessary to predict future trends that is needed today are
- Statistical Modeling: We have millions of rows of data available today and the ability to analyze them to make a good business decision is absolutely necessary. There are different types of regression models that can be used to model specific use cases. Example: ARIMA can be used to predict future sales of products that has a heavy seasonality factor associated with it.
- Data visualization: Analyzing data and presenting them in visual formats is extremely helpful for everyone in the team and the stakeholders to picturize and understand it better. This also helps us categorize data and look at it with a different lens.
Instead of going with Tableau, Micorsoft BI and other tools designed for bigger organizations, we went with Klipfolio to help us with Data visualization and it has been really great for a low cost.
We also designed our own backend software to build heatmaps and has been extremely easy to use and look up products and their popularity in certain areas. This helps us market products specifically focussed for those places.
- Vendor Management: Although identifying the customer base is a very important component for any business, especially an ECommerce or Retail business, maintaining a great relationship with vendors is also a key part in the supply chain process. We treat the manufacturers and vendors we partner with as also our customers. We analyse the various issues that we come across with vendors and make sure to account for those during our future orders to eliminate the unnecessary delays and reduce the lead days to fulfill the customer orders. Proactive communication with the vendors to help them out with any questions on our orders or issues in shipping is also another important step to eliminate the delays and ensure a smoother process to get the products to our facilities.
- Shipping Logistics: When looking at the entire supply chain, we tend to easily forget the smaller components associated with it. After considering various processes one of the most important things we found out was that the shipping time and service level of various logistics companies made a huge impact on our restocking rate. Also, minimizing the shipping cost by even a few cents for each products help us grow our profits in few hundred thousand. Hence optimizing the cost and the shipping carrier for different types of products is definitely extremely important to have a lean supply chain.
Creating a hassle free fulfillment system is a dream for every Ecommerce company and we are proud to say that we are getting closer to realizing the dream with the help of our amazing young team of professionals. If you have any further questions on optimizing your fulfillment processes, feel free to shoot us an email.