Megaventory Blog - Online Inventory Management Software, Order fulfillment and Control System
This is the company blog for megaventory, an online software that helps small businesses that buy, sell and manufacture physical products to manage sales, purchasing, manufacturing and inventory. We blog about new features and updates but also about enterprise software, small businesses, cloud computing and the industry in general.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Choosing suppliers based on product lead times and availability

If you run your own retail or wholesale company, you need to ensure a supply chain that works as efficiently as possible. Selecting the right vendor(s) to work with is an essential procedure. While you manage your sales and orders, a wrong choice of supplier may end up being devastating. As such, to arrange your orders it is essential to know with who you will cooperate with. Shortlist all the possible vendors that can provide the products you want and figure out who is better for your needs.

As a first step, you should choose partners which are on the same page as you and are compliant with their commitments. Make sure your choices of partners are straightforward and clear. You are not looking only for extra help, but also for someone who is an expert you can rely on. It is important for your cooperation to know what they can provide to you and what are their requirements. So speak with many vendors and go into agreement with only the ones that check the most boxes which matter to you!

List the particulars of each agreement with your suppliers

Once you have created a list of your vendors, then attach all the agreement features that they offer. You can have a look and give priority to the ones you consider more valuable for the products you need. A helpful piece of advice is to gather all the accurate information from every vendor in a single point. You can use this later as a reference when choosing where to order from (without having to dig up contracts, agreements, etc)

Know the product details, the stock levels and the lead times of your suppliers

You should also be able to know for each product the information you need and which is relevant to the supplier. For example, in Megaventory we have a table such as the following. 

That way you can know at any time the exact price at which the supplier offers the product to you and its product code and description (often supplier details are different than how your business presents them to its clients). It is crucial also to know about the stock level of each supplier and the lead (delivery) times of every product.

Ensure you can handle variable quantities and lead time ranges

Problems are often presented during communication with the vendor. One of the most significant is when there is a misunderstanding about the lead time of the product - ie how long it will take for an order to get to you. Be sure that you have agreed for the precise date you expect to receive a product so you are able to organize fulfilling your orders precisely and on time. It is key you have time ranges which are pre-defined and not too wide. Using Megaventory, you can define and see the individual delivery times and the quantities of every supplier, as shown below.

You are able at any point prior to making your order to have a look at every vendor on your list. It is useful to check the period of time they deliver and the quantity ranges of their products. That way you can make the optimal purchase prioritizing either against price, delivery time or other vendor preferences.

Organize your orders

After you have determined from which vendor a specific purchase order will be served, and consequently know the expected date and the quantity ranges of every product, it is time to fill in your purchase order. At this point, the supplier from whom you will receive the product and the quantity being ordered should be all you need.

In case of managing multiple locations, it is also important at this point to wisely pick the inventory location where you will be able to receive the products ordered. 

After you set up such a purchase order with one of your vendors you should be able to know when each item in the order arrives. You should also be aware of the earliest and latest delivery times of the order, taking into account all the individual products in the order and their respective lead times. Megaventory will easily do the calculation for you but you can also override Expected Dates to enter your own values.

This process will happen more than a few times and from various vendors before you can consider the stock as having been replenished adequately. In fact, in most industries, this is an ongoing process. As such, it is helpful to gather all your orders on one or more single list. It can be a great advantage to know any time you want every detail of all the purchases you have made. Here’s how Megaventory users complete and organize all their orders.

A stock procurement system for your company and your suppliers

The key before you start the selection process of the right vendor is to choose the right system to integrate into your company. In this case, you are looking for a system such as Megaventory to help you organize all your products and collect all the information about the selected suppliers. You can see anytime the stock of your supplier, the purchase price they offer for every product and the expected date you will receive your product.

The implementation of a system like this can help you prioritize and select efficiently the supplier with the best price and lead time. It can provide you all these features you are looking for, it can help you avoid mistakes and move fast and eventually it can help you grow your business much faster.

Do you import stock wholesale in order to sell to retailers? Do you purchase goods to deliver to your customers? Do you rely heavily on your suppliers continuous good performance?

Are you ready to take your supplier inventory management to the next level?
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