Last modified: June 17, 2015
Growing global markets and ever-increasing customer bases have led to thousands of start-ups, emerging growth companies, and the success of established companies. However, each company within this broad, three-tier classification can benefit from the use of a supply chain solutions provider. As a company approaches the point of becoming an established company, the use of a supply chain solutions provider becomes more prominent, and most established companies have an existing partnership with one of the major providers. However, even some established companies continue to operate and handle all supply chain processes in-house, which represents an extreme risk for the company. If the in-house processes fail, the company tumbles and fails as well. Rather than waiting for your company to titter on the edge of complete failure, take a look at how a supply chain solutions provider will improve your telecommunications abilities, networking needs, customer service departments, and storage of data within the cloud.
Scalability remains one of the biggest, if not the biggest, concern among start-ups within the technology industry. However, rapid scalability requires a large, advanced team of experts, analysts, and employees to grow the company. Telecommunications, especially internet-based telecommunications like VoIP systems and website management, must have the capacity to expand exponentially with no to little notice of such expansion.
A supply chain solutions provider can assist in the implementation of advanced telecommunications systems and provide the personnel necessary. Additionally, the supply chain services provider may have existing contracts with other telecommunications providers, which creates increased competition in the telecommunications market. As a result, your business expenses for telecommunications department expansion are reduced.
Every modern business owner understands the value of an effective, efficient service network across the consumer journey, yet many business owners may be working with outdated network data, faulty networking lines, and inherent problems in managing a network on-site. A supply chain solutions provider allows a business owner to focus on what the business does, not how the business does it. For example, supply chain network management allows a business owner to continue developing new products or services for customers to purchase, which results in a greater return on investment for the time spent developing the new product.
New companies or growing companies face many challenges relating to customer service. These challenges range from route-delivery problems to broken merchandise upon arrival. Furthermore, customers may be dissatisfied with a product, need to request a replacement product, or request a refund. However, this involves printing of return shipping labels, refunding customer money, watching for the arrival of the returned merchandise, and attempting to reconcile the relationship between the customer and the business. When any part of this customer journey breaks down, the relationship can become permanently damaged, and upset customers can effectively destroy a business through our social media-obsessed society.
Supply chain solutions providers take the brunt of the customer-business relationship impact by providing a friendly voice and face to address any customer problems. Furthermore, the supply chain solutions provider can assist a customer to ensure merchandise is received appropriately, without defect, and help with any IT concerns a customer may have about the use of such items, especially for companies involved in the high technology or electronics industries. Some common things a supply chain solutions provider addresses in the customer services department includes warranty information, requests for more information about a specific product, and return of merchandise through a reverse logistics strategy and application. However, a supply chain solutions provider can provide many benefits for data storage, which closely relate to customer service too.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Department oversees the storage of all international shipping records, and failure to meet CBP requirements will result in extensive fines, penalties, and additional restrictions on business practices. Businesses may use alternative storage methods for recordkeeping if the CBP Director has been notified in writing and such methods are subsequently approved. However, a supply chain solutions provider can assist a business in taking advantage of data cloud storage in several additional ways beyond ensuring adherence to CBP regulations for recordkeeping.
When a business opts for data storage within the cloud, the business needs to understand how the Service Level Agreement (SLA) may affect the use of data center servers. For example, a specific SLA may have minimum storage requirements to meet for each quarter of data center use. Unfortunately, small and emerging tech companies may be unable to negotiate or understand the terms of SLAs fully. This results in these companies receiving negative responses from data center officials and management.
A supply chain solutions provider will negotiate the terms and provisions listed within SLAs with Service Level Minimums (SLM), who will then work with the supply chain representatives to ensure the respective business is treated fairly. Furthermore, SLAs may contain specifications for accessing additional IT support for the business and customers, management of big data from lead generation activities, and of course, storage of warranty/refund information for consumers. Additionally, accessing data within the cloud can enable the supply chain solutions provider to use automated transfer of information during the order fulfillment process, which reduces the margin for error and time required to go from customer order placement to shipping and delivery of such orders.
As the global supply chain expands and becomes filled with hundreds of new providers and countless new businesses, your business needs to take advantage of the value a supply chain solutions provider. Selecting a supply chain solutions provider for the first time, or thinking of switching providers, can save your business $1000s, if not $100,000. The only question left is “why haven’t you spoken with a supply chain solutions provider representative about exploring your supply chain provider options?”
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