“Hey, just a minute! I need to go talk to my head of supply chain and see how my order is coming from that vendor in China.”
Now wouldn’t that be a luxury?
Having a large enough organization that can define a role of head of supply chain, full time, or even most of the time is not something small to medium sized businesses exist with. The reality is that depending on the size of your business the head of supply chain is wearing many hats.
If this is you or your business, then you fit into the definition of small to medium sized businesses. There are a variety of metrics that define the size of a business. A very simple view is what follows.
Small businesses are defined with sales less than $10 million. In reality many businesses are much smaller than this. Organizationally what this means is that as the business owner you are wearing almost every hat. From conception to delivery, the business is your baby.
A medium sized business in this view is defined with sales less than $200 million. Depending on the market you service this still may mean that a very few people wear many different hats. You are fortunate because more expertise exists and daily activities for creating value are easier to distribute to more people.
What is most important to any business regardless of size doesn’t change.
- Sales and Growth: your business needs these to survive.
- Product: this is what you create. Having a product that someone wants to buy and having it available to buy drive your sales.
- Customers: selling your product means you have customers to service.
- These are only a few and each business has differences that would reorder what is important.
When you need to import your product supply chain management is a significant amount of your activity. Identifying your supplier, the quality of the supplier, the financial relationship, placing orders, tracking orders, forecasting how much you need, and the list continues.
Then your supplier says I want to ship this to you FOB (Free on board). Now what?
International transportation can have a significant impact on your business.
- Lead time for inventory and ordering – no product no sales.
- Transportation costs can have a significant impact on cost of goods sold and the price of your product.
- Financial transactions involving letters of credit if not handled correctly will tie up your money.
Who can you and should you trust to manage this critical part of your supply chain? This one activity can create value or generate loss for your business.
When you are a small to medium sized business, finding a high quality service provider for international transportation adds another task to your already overwhelming list of managing your supply chain activities.
That can be made simpler for you.
www.tryfleet.com will be the place to accomplish finding high quality providers, getting good insight into competitive shipping prices, and where you will find the assistance to manage across your international transportation needs.
Ron Berger - COO at Fleet