Managing the supply and flow of imported products can be challenging for any business. With long-term forecasts and lead times, it is not simply a case of getting it right or wrong but degrees of either. The effects, however, are significant with insufficient stock leaving long-term shortfalls in the supply chain and poor availability, whilst excess stock leading to expensive storage and warehouse costs. For highly seasonal goods or campaign products, the effects can be even profound with sell-through and selling durations impacted. With such high stakes and modern sophisticated systems and supply chains, one would think that most businesses have this area well under control with little opportunity for Improvement. The reality is that for many businesses this is a significant opportunity. In the market place, there are an array of software solutions from the simplest to the most complex. For many, the solution requires little more than a good understanding of the available systems and information, the time and technical skills and a good understanding of the import supply chain. For those requiring additional systems, understanding these can be a minefield and potentially a costly mistake.
Navigating the complexities
At Sigma we can help you navigate the complexities of establishing efficient and effective import management process. From clearly mapping out and evaluating your supply chain to ensuring you have the right solutions and operational process in place. We have helped organisations of all sizes to understand their requirements, matching these to the best solutions and implementations. We have also developed some of our own supply chain visibility tools to provide insight prior to investing in expensive systems and technology.
Managing long lead times, large volumes of stock and imminent deliveries.
Whatever systems and the process you have in place to manage your imports, the focus should always be on maximising the business and customer benefits. Specifically, what do we need to do to do to achieve:
♦ Reductions in stockholding and stock cover improving cash flow.
♦ Reductions in storage costs and warehouse operational costs.
♦ Higher sell-through on seasonal products improving sales and margin.
♦ Increased customer availability and sales.
♦ Improved range launches of imported products.
♦ Increased sourcing confidence and improved buying and sourcing models.
Transparency and Visibility
Typically within the supply chain, the foundation required to manage the flow of imported goods effectively is based upon establishing transparency and visibility throughout. Without this vital foundation, the task of managing goods becomes extremely challenging. Whilst this is a vital component it is of course only one piece of the jigsaw. Other pieces include; forecasting, ordering, visibility, stock management, carrier track and trace, as well as establishing a good day to day management operation. Only by seamlessly and operationally joining together these components can any business expect to maximise the available benefits.
Transparency and visibility are vital for effective import management.
Expertise and Support.
We have helped many organisations establish, review and upgrade their import management systems and process, and that is only a part of the Sigma full end to end supply chain offering. We can help you with any and all stages of understanding how to best manage your direct imports.
Give us a call to find out more about how we can help you.
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