EDITIONS
In Depth

5 operational challenges most startups might face

Priyanka Gupta
14th Dec 2016
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Operations and supply chain management is an integral function which, being the medium to reach the target audience, an entrepreneur cannot afford to go wrong with. It is quite essential for entrepreneurs to be able to track their shipments. For example, an entrepreneur would want to know from where the stock is being sourced, where exactly in transit the products are, when is the expected day of delivery, etc.

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Also, distribution processes can be rich sources of data which can be translated into useful information.

An analysis of this data can help to time the shipment better, and maybe even help improve the management of the volume of transaction. It can turn out to be the intelligence that can change the way business is done.

Here are some challenges that your startup might face in this regard:

Finding a partner

It is almost impossible for your profit and loss statement to be able to take the load of selling and distribution if you are going to do it on your own. The option remaining is finding a suitable partner to get on board with you. This is again not an easy function. Achieving visibility among the supply partners is becoming a challenging task with the increasing range of products available now.

Omni-channel

The world is moving towards an omni-channel presence mechanism. While this is pretty much needed to be at arm’s length for the audiences, it becomes a nightmare for the operations team. It is not an impossible task nonetheless, it simply needs careful planning of which channel to use to what effect.

Cost centre

Sales is the revenue centre, but the expenses incurred for distribution is definitely a cost centre. Like any other cost centre, the company would like to cut costs in this process to the greatest extent possible. Attempts should be made to understand the trade-off between cost, risk, and supplier performances.

Technology

Supply chain mechanisms have become simplified thanks to technology. It has become possible to track a truck carrying your product real-time! Conversely, it comes with a huge risk if it becomes defunct, isn’t managed properly, or the features cannot be changed to suit requirements in the long run.

Customer service

Happy and returning customers are desired by all companies. However, more often than not a happy customer depends on the delivery and availability of the product or service in demand. This is again where organised and reliable services are needed.

Above all, the basic function of supply chain management is itself the most important one, i.e., to replenish stock before it is exhausted. The entrepreneur’s aim should be creating an accurate and real time reporting on the trends of the business cycle so that market demands are timely met in a cost-effective manner.


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