Tips on Going Global with Your Supply Chain

Mar 13, 2013 12:56 PM  By

If you are an ecommerce company who buys from suppliers internationally, you are more than likely facing pressures from the competition to delivery faster and cheaper. But if there is the slightest problem in the shipment, it can lead to major problems within your business.

In order to relieve those pressures, Small Business Trends has compiled the following tips on going global with your supply chain.

Hire a Consultant
As more and more American retailers are looking to foreign suppliers, it is important to look to a global supply chain management consultant to help reduce liabilities, taxes, and shipping costs, according to a Small Business Trends article.

The article states that a consultant can aide in the efforts of vetting international supplies, export regulations, taxes, and logistics. Finding a consultant who understands the country in which you are doing business with is also imperative, according to the article.

“Although you’ll incur some costs, the payoffs in reduced liabilities, taxes and shipping will be well worth it,” the article said.

Present Clear Expectations
When dealing with your supplier, the article suggests setting “clear expectations” of your annual buying scale and schedule. In order to make this happen, the article said, you need to be aware of your sales forecasting.

If your ecommerce company is sending goods overseas, it’s important to not only identify the shipment time but also have a good understanding of your current and projected inventory demands, the article said.

Have a Backup Supplier
Anything can happen in the ecommerce world, which is why it is important to have a backup supplier.

“Not only will they prove invaluable in the event of production or logistical issues, they can also give you some competitive leverage and help ensure you maintain the best cost base across your suppliers,” the article said.

Build Good Relationships
A solid relationship between your business and your supplier is key. The article recommends paying your supplier on time, being somewhat flexible on minor errors, and always stay in constant communication.

It’s OK to Source in the USA
Waiting for supplies from an overseas factory can take time, which is why the article recommends investing in a domestic supply chain if possible which could ultimately save you money in the long run.