By Sharan Kalva
As facility executives across various industries continue to navigate labor shortages, high prices, and out-of-stock items, it’s essential to take a closer look at their internal processes to ensure they are making the best decisions for the business.
Some of the most important factors in combating supply chain disruptions include taking a closer look at your sourcing solutions, thinking strategically about your internal processes, and recognizing what systems you can implement to cut profit losses. Additionally, as people continue to be our most valuable resource, it’s essential to continuously innovate to retain employees and attract new talent despite the ongoing labor shortages.
Practice Strategic Sourcing
The recent wave of economic uncertainty has made it challenging for businesses to keep items in stock and find the products they need. As the opportunity cost of losing out on sales is much higher than usual, facility executives should revisit their existing sourcing solutions to cut profit losses.
When it comes to product sourcing, removing the “lowest cost” mindset is key. While that may sound counterintuitive, adopting a holistic process for picking products and suppliers is crucial. You want to ensure your suppliers are dependable, so you can simultaneously meet business objectives and your customers’ needs. Working with suppliers with a well-thought-through supply chain can help you cut profit losses in the long run by minimizing out-of-stock items and product shortages.
No matter the industry, it’s important to research suppliers and distribution companies working on innovative sourcing solutions, as adopting a process for strategic product sourcing can help save significant time, money, and frustrations.
Incorporate Intelligent Planning Software
As companies adapt to the ever-changing economy, it’s crucial to have a system in place to provide an aggregate view of the company’s data to help executives make informed decisions.
In C-StoreMaster’s current warehouse, we’ve implemented innovative enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to help us stay on top of industry trends. This propriety software controls and integrates every part of our business, from the point of sale to unique data collection at the customer level, as well as includes data about supplier and inventory management.
With this software in place, we can gather unique insights from the sales staff and integrate this data into our business planning processes, giving us unparalleled market intelligence. We then incorporate external POS data into our analysis to help us identify industry trends before they happen in our industry segment, putting our customers one step ahead of the market.
Incorporating intelligent systems like ERP software will give your company greater connectivity, helping you stay on top of industry trends and make informed predictions about changing consumer demands. In turn, this will allow you to cut profit losses by avoiding purchasing products with waning demand in the market.
The companies finding the most success in today’s economy are the ones that are continuously innovating to improve internal and external processes. This continuous innovation allows business owners and facility executives to produce long-term benefits and enhance the overall experience of their customers and employees alike.
Strategic innovation and the implementation of innovative technology have been cornerstones of the C-StoreMaster brand since day one. This focus inspired the idea for our new 130,000-square-foot automated warehouse, set to open later this year. The warehouse will incorporate three Geek+ robot technologies and improve accuracy to 99.99 percent. Rather than take jobs away, the robots were incorporated to alleviate our team’s workload and create a more enjoyable work environment for our employees, allowing us to attract new talent and retain employees despite the ongoing labor shortage.
As you adopt new processes, it’s imperative to show your workforce that they are your top priority. Creating an enjoyable work environment within your facility will help you retain your workforce, attract new talent, and combat the current labor shortage. As you look to innovate, it’s also essential to think about how you can make your customers’ lives easier and incorporate solutions to improve those processes.
As facility executives across various industries continue to navigate these challenges, gaining a big-picture view of your company and its processes is important to see where there may be room for improvement. By practicing strategic product sourcing, incorporating intelligent planning software, and looking to innovate continuously, you can ensure your company is equipped to navigate current and future economic challenges.
Sharan Kalva is the president of C-StoreMaster, a national distributor of convenience store products specializing in the tobacco and beverage categories based in Huntsville, AL. C-StoreMaster serves independent c-stores and chain stores with in-stock availability for more than 99.7 percent of products with all orders delivered on a next-day basis.