It is an exciting time when you are able to put your business online enabling you to engage with and sell to people around the world. There are a variety of methods that can snap into your business plan to make your e-commerce experience a lot more efficient.
One type of business discipline that you can add to your ecommerce business as you get started is the Just-In-Time inventory philosophy. The Just-In-Time concept originated as a set of processes adopted by Japanese automotive industry giants as they successfully expanded. The belief is to create a lean environment so that action is derived solely from demand. If you perform well with this system, you will save money because you will have very few inventory costs.
Here are some ways that you can apply Just-In-Time principles to your ecommerce business:
Find the right software:
In the tradition of Just-In-Time manufacturing, you need to start by focusing on living and breathing the master planning schedule. Everything needs to be done on time or beforehand for the philosophy to work. When applied properly to your e-commerce business, you will soon realize that the only efficient way for you to control your master planning schedule is to utilize sophisticated software that enables you to synergize all parts of your operations.
Enterprise Resource Planning software that includes e-commerce functionality is now available for a very low cost. So whether you are a large company or a small one, you should be able to put a system in that gives you the capability of building and using a master schedule for your e-commerce inventory and sales in ways that you won't find with other software. So include ERP software as part of your e-commerce strategy from the start.
Find the right suppliers:
Another precept of the Just-In-Time philosophy is to ensure that you don't order too much stock for your store. You want to focus on small quantities in your orders so that you can be nimble and change things when they work or don't work. Of course, to be successful, you will want to find suppliers that allow you to drop-ship and hold inventory aside for you when you order it. Your suppliers should also be good at sending your inventory right away when you are building something to fulfill sales online.
Many manufacturing companies locate themselves near a key supplier so that they can take advantage of inventory arriving almost immediately after they order it. Keep that in mind when you construct your vendor list for your online goods.
Find the best workers:
In order to be most effective with Just-In-Time systems, you need to have talented employees that can work together like a team. You also need your employees to be able to ameliorate any situation that is cause by a problem within your system. If they are strong at providing quality assurance support, your system will be humming along before you know it.
Just-In-Time e-commerce is very possible for any company to achieve. If you have the tools, the resources, and the people, you will end up with an opportunity to grow a very important part of your business.
If you're interested in working with a fulfillment center who is painfully dedicated to your success as a business, please give us a call for a consultation. Click HERE for our contact page.