What Is Supply Chain for Small Business?

As a small business, you’re probably thinking about the fun elements of producing a successful product on the market.

So marketing, and product development, but what about the bread-and-butter of running a successful small business? That would be supply chain management. Of course, it’s not as glamorous and brightly colored as designing your packaging, but it’s still critical to your business’ ability to grow and succeed.

If you’re completely unaware of the intricacies involved with supply chain management for small businesses, no worries. We’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for our quick guide, answering questions like “what is supply chain management?” and the core elements of supply chain management.

What Is Supply Chain Management?

Let’s start with the basics. 

In the simplest of terms, supply chain management refers to the collaboration between a retailer and its wholesale distribution channel and manufacturing partners.

This process usually depends on the implementation of reporting, inventory, and other technological methods to keep the production machine running. 

The Core Elements of Supply Chain Management

We’ll be taking a quick look at the main factors that make up supply chain management for small businesses. 

The Supply Chain Network Design

Basically, this is the network design that highlights all the outbound distribution from warehouses and plants. 

Traditionally speaking, you’ll find that most small businesses would outsource this process, and they don’t want to deal with setting the structure for moving their products through the stages of fulfillment.

However, small businesses will need to ensure that their partners are optimizing their network design, as it has a direct effect on whether the customers get to enjoy the right product in the right timeline of delivery. 

The Supply Chain Strategy

This is the point where small businesses will want to integrate their overarching business strategies with their supply chain strategy. 

How else would businesses be able to move their product from the raw material stage to the finished product reaching the arms of their happy customers?

Yet, you’ll want to make sure that this strategy works in scope with your business’ resources, which might be a bit limited at the start. 

The Supply Chain Service Performance

Supply chain service performance is responsible for adding the wellbeing and satisfaction of customers throughout the supply chain processes. 

Therefore, whether your business is trying to change things up in the network design or the strategy, the customer needs to be the priority. For example, if a business has a social-justice-positive brand image, then they’ll want to ensure that the warehouses are safe places to work, and have the right equipment. 

If you’re running a small business, and you’re worried about financing your equipment, you can learn about equipment financing here. 

Cracking the Supply Chain Management Code

We know how overwhelming it can be to implement an efficient supply chain management strategy. Hopefully, our little guide on what is supply chain management, and its essential aspects was helpful enough in giving you the right headstart.

Just remember, any business’s success will depend on its agility and its ability to change things up as they come. Therefore, communicating with your suppliers and wholesale distributors becomes a crucial part of ensuring that things are going smoothly.