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E-Commerce: How to structure your supply chain

Building a strategic e-commerce supply chain is not an easy task as it has many moving parts: the transfer of finished products from the manufacturer to the seller or a third party, the monitoring of stock levels, the management of a warehouse, the preparation and packaging of orders, the shipment of products to customers and the management of returns and reverse logistics. If one step in the supply chain goes wrong, it can derail the entire process and cause significant delays downstream.

How your e-commerce business manages its supply chain is a determining factor for future growth. Once you have a strong e-commerce logistics strategy in place, or what is called e-logistics, there are always ways to improve your supply chain as you increase your sales online and make evolve your business model. The goal is for your e-commerce supply chain to be synchronized with your sales channels.

We will try to explain in this post how to structure and optimize your supply chain according to the desired growth, or to come, while seeking to reduce logistics costs, optimize processes and satisfy your customers and your team!

First, how does an e-commerce supply chain work?

An e-commerce supply chain is made up of many moving parts, from transporting goods from the manufacturer to the distribution center to managing inventory and orders in real time. Technology and automation play a key role as it helps improve communication and information transfer between suppliers and buyers, sellers and customers, carriers and sellers, etc.

Then, how can we optimize this Supply Chain?

There are several ways to optimize your e-commerce supply chain. One solution is to consider storing inventory in multiple strategic locations close to your customers. This way you can reduce shipping costs by reducing the average shipping areas of your orders. Other common ways to optimize your supply chain are to implement automation, use inventory management tools, and monitor supplier performance.

Helpmestock recommends 3 strategies to follow to optimize a supply chain for an online store:

1. Use multiple fulfillment and distribution Centers : 

It's no surprise that customers expect fast delivery times at an affordable (often free) price. By using multiple warehousing and fulfillment locations, you can extend customer reach and dramatically reduce delivery times.

For example, Helpmestock offers a growing and extensive network of distribution and fulfillment centers, in Europe, Middle East, Asia and North Africa. Powered by technology developed in-house, eCommerces using Helpmestock can choose to store inventory in one or more locations in our partner network to reduce fulfillment costs and transit times, while tracking inventory and order data from a single dashboard.

2. Monitor inventory management in real time

As orders are placed and shipped, inventory control is a challenge if not handled quickly and in real time. The right inventory management system or ERP inventory system can help you avoid stockouts, optimize your manufacturer's freight shipments, and accelerate deliveries to customers. You can also access to a multiple of data and analysis to help you make better decisions on how to improve your supply chain.

3. Optimise your warehouse

From managing your warehouse staff to monitoring the movement of inventory, you'll want to keep a close eye on how you can improve the storage of merchandise, reduce transportation costs, and find ways to streamline the picking and packing process. of orders.

A warehouse management system (WMS) can help manage inventory levels, improve productivity, and efficiently fill orders. It can also help take the guesswork out of the process, save time and reduce human errors, without having to constantly perform warehouse audits.