5 Ways to Future-Proof Your Supply Chain

There is no denying the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on how eCommerce businesses operate, including how they handle their logistics. In particular, it has made us all too aware of the vulnerability and shortcomings of the traditional supply chain model.

With a previous reliance on a rigid, cost-focused process, it has undergone several evolutions to become a more modern supply chain. Despite this, the negative impact of COVID, such as labour shortages, shipping delays, and inflation, can still be felt today. 

The combination of already-existing vulnerabilities and unexpected events puts the supply chain at risk for more disruption. These disruptions are detrimental to a company's bottom line, leading to lost revenue, delays, and customers switching to the competition. Therefore, the supply chain’s current reactive approach must be addressed by businesses to prevent something like this from happening again. 

From a consumer’s perspective, buying and receiving products should be a frictionless experience. That’s why it’s so important to not only keep up with the current times but establish a level of operation that is dynamic and ready to respond to rapid changes caused by social, political and economic factors out of one’s control. 

Therefor, the modern-day supply chain must embody agility, sustainability and resilience. To achieve this, here are 5 ways to future-proof your supply chain so that it is protected, proactive and adaptable:

1. Digitalization and Automation

Integrating data visualization and analytic tools throughout logistics is highly beneficial as technology becomes more and more advanced.

Using the insights gathered from this data, greater visibility and transparency are available across the supply chain process, from inventory fulfillment to shipping. No longer relying on guesswork alone, a business can make data-driven decisions to predict and prevent future problems from ever occurring. Being able to access all this from one dashboard makes omni-channel fulfilment used by eCommerce companies much easier to manage.

With the implementation of things like AI, automation can streamline the supply chain process, boost production, cut labour costs and, as a result, put spending toward other avenues such as research and development. 

2. Establish Sustainable and Socially Conscious Practices

Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) is not going away anytime soon. These factors continue to hold significant weight in a consumer’s mind when making a purchase.

With the customer at the centre of every business decision, the way your company operates from an ethical and responsible standpoint should be woven into all aspects of your business practices. This includes the supply chain process.

By making the necessary changes to prioritize values such as environmental sustainability, diversity, and fair labour, your eCommerce business will not only be ahead of the competition but adopting these practices now means less change later on.  Failure to do so will reflect poorly on your brand and lead to customers choosing the competition instead.

3. Switch to Synchromodal Transportation

Synchromodal transportation is truly the way of the future when it comes to shipping and order fulfillment. Unlike traditional or intermodal transportation, synchromodality focuses on using the most effective routes and modes of transport to get your goods where they need to go. This includes weighing in factors such as cost, time, sustainability and current conditions.

Being able to optimize the way in which your products get from point A to point B is beneficial because it’s customizable to your specific company’s needs and can switch in real-time based on available resources effected by current events. 

4. Nurture Supply Chain Relationships

Building strong relationships with suppliers and vendors is key, as they are the people you rely on to procure the materials, products and services for your eCommerce business to operate.

Fostering a working relationship of mutual respect and communication leads to a more streamlined and efficient supply chain. By working with the same suppliers or vendors over a long period of time, your business can benefit from lower overall transactional costs, stronger compliance, consistent results and better risk management. 

5. Work With aThird Party Logistics Provider

With our advanced technology, a 3PL like Envoy can offer flexibility, timeliness, consistency and visibility into ourlogistics services, all while keeping costs low.

Beyond that, our warehousing and resources allow us to embody the key characteristics necessary to adapt to future needs, which is what will keep your eCommercebusiness operating without interference. 

Contact us today or get a quote to learn more about how Envoy’s warehousing and fulfillment services can set your business up for success for years to come.

Have a question about our pricing? We offer cost-effective and transparent pricing.

Call: 1-905-831-0006