10 13 2016

10 13 2016

How Retailers Can Streamline their Supply Chain

In a world where customers are becoming increasingly demanding as a result of technological innovation, small businesses in particular are under a lot of pressure to optimize their supply chains so as to compete with the titans of industry.

This is especially true during the holiday seasons. Whether it’s Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas, smaller retailers are in a great place to serve last-minute shoppers who may need to purchase certain goods that would take too long to arrive via large online retailers, or are already sold out in the big-name commerce centers. It’s therefore important that these retailers have a means of ensuring that their inventories are accurately stocked and ready for whatever rush may lie ahead.

Tumultuous times

Before diving into some of the specific steps that small retailers can take to enhance their supply chain, it’s worth analyzing the unique hurdles facing the industry.

In early September, Hanjin shipping, one of the world’s largest trans-ocean cargo companies declared bankruptcy. At the time of the initial filing, many in-transit vessels were not allowed to enter port since tugboat operators and stevedores weren’t confident that the company would be able to pay them for their services.

“As a result, $14 billion worth of goods are languishing in a maritime limbo,” Salon contributor Angelo young wrote. He later added, “Suddenly, a slew of companies that have taken the shipping industry for granted are watching with concern.”

The real concern here is the effect that the recent bankruptcy will have on the upcoming holiday season for retailers.

“The woes of a South Korean shipper could affect what makes it under Christmas trees this holiday,” USA Today’s Mike Snider wrote. “The crisis for the shipper is creating ‘a ripple effect’ that could impact retailers’ shelves come the crucial holiday shopping season.”

It will therefore be more important than ever this for small retailers to make sure they’ve streamlined every controllable facet of their supply chain for the 2016 holiday season.

Here are a few places to get started:

1. Use supply chain management software

Today’s cloud-based, supply chain management software makes it possible for retailers of all sizes to track their inventories in real time, eliminating the risk of shortages sneaking up on them. Traditional inventorying systems would typically refresh once a day, which may cause confusion as you attempt to track down items that might still be listed in your warehouse as a result of the slow updating. With a modern supply chain management solution, you’ll not only have up-to-the-second details about your current inventory – you’ll also be able to track incoming deliveries for the sake of providing shoppers with an accurate estimated time of arrival for new shipments.

2. Choose suppliers wisely

To a significant extent, retailers are at the mercy of their suppliers, and sometimes even their suppliers’ suppliers. It’s therefore important that retailers conduct as much research as possible into what certain suppliers are capable of offering. For instance, Hector Rodriguez, president, Active Freight & Logistics, noted that “nimble manufacturing cycles” could improve time to market. This helps to ensure a steady, and more on-demand flow of goods for your business and its consumers. Wherever possible, try to work with suppliers and distributor that promise agility.

3. Perform customer analysis

Forecasting will play an essential role in the overall value derived from your supply chain. In particular, the ability to estimate how well certain products will perform can be used to establish benchmarks that will help avoid overstocking, or conversely, preempt not having enough resources to capitalize on the holiday rush. These types of decisions can no longer be left entirely to intuition. While smaller retailers are in the unique position of having more potential to be agile than enterprises or large corporations – not to mention, they’re also more subject to unique local or regional demands – small business owners need to make sure they make smart decisions based on empirical data.

4. Get a cash advance if necessary

With only a few months left before the real holiday rush gets underway, retailers that are interested in making the most of the season need to start planning sooner rather than later. There is significant opportunity for merchants that leverage supply chain management and analytics tools leading up to the rush to optimize their inventories and boost return on investment. As such, there’s no better time than now to make the changes your small business needs to go into the holidays firing on all cylinders. Start by reaching out to an alternative lender that can supply the small business financing you need to streamline your supply chain management.

Find Out How Much Funding You Qualify For

Fields marked with an * are required
By clicking this button I agree to all terms and conditions.

Terms & Conditions

General Acceptance

Any applications submitted electronically shall have the same force and effect as if the application bore an inked original signature(s). The above information, together with any accompanying financial statements, schedules, or other materials, is submitted for the purpose of obtaining credit and is warranted to be true, correct, and complete.


US Patriot Act:

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person and business that seeks a business loan. What this means for you: When you apply for a loan, we will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number. We will also ask for your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.


For Loan/Merchant Services:

The Merchant and Owner(s)/Officer(s) identified in the application (individually, an “Applicant”) each represents, acknowledges and agrees that (1) all information and documents provided to National Funding, Inc. (“NF”) including credit card processor statements are true, accurate and complete, (2) Applicant will immediately notify NF of any change in such information or financial condition, (3) Applicant authorizes NF to disclose all information and documents that NF may obtain including credit reports to other persons or entities (collectively, “Assignees”) that may be involved with or acquire commercial loans having daily repayment features and/or Merchant Cash Advance transactions, including without limitation the application therefor (collectively, “Transactions”) and each Assignee is authorized to use such information and documents, and share such information and documents with other Assignees, in connection with potential Transactions, (4) each Assignee will rely upon the accuracy and completeness of such information and documents, (5) NF, Assignees, and each of their representatives, successors, assigns and designees (collectively, “Recipients”) are authorized to request and receive any investigative reports, credit reports, statements from creditors or financial institutions, verification of information, or any other information that a Recipient deems necessary, (6) Applicant waives and releases any claims against Recipients and any information-providers arising from any act or omission relating to the requesting, receiving or release of information, and (7) each Owner/Officer represents that he or she is authorized to sign this form on behalf of Merchant.(8) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (9) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.


For Equipment Services:

I hereby certify: (1) the information provided is true and correct, (2) you are hereby authorized to investigate all bank, credit, and trade references, and said references are hereby authorized to release any requested information to you or your nominee, (3) such authorization shall extend to obtaining personal credit profile in considering this application and subsequently for the purposes of update, renewal or extension of such credit or additional credit and for reviewing or collecting the resulting account, (4) this information may be transmitted by us to you and by you to underwriter(s) for the purpose of granting me credit, either electronically or manually, and that by submitting this application, I take full responsibility for transmission thereof, (5) I am over 18 years of age, (6) I acknowledge my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, (7) I consent to receive direct mail, faxes, text-messages, and e-mails sent by National Funding and its affiliates for the purposes of transmitting account updates, requests for information and notices, and (8) this request is for business and not for consumer purposes.


Text Messaging:

By providing my wireless phone number to National Funding, Inc., I agree and acknowledge that National Funding, Inc. may send text and multimedia messages to my wireless phone number for any purpose. I agree that these text or multimedia messages may be regarding the products and/or services that I have previously purchased and products and/or services that National Funding, Inc. may market to me. I acknowledge that this consent may be removed at my request but that until such consent is revoked, I may receive text or multimedia messages from National Funding, Inc to my wireless phone number.

The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into the binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. If for any reason your application for business credit is denied, you have the right to a written statement of the specific reasons for the denial. To obtain the statement, please write to National Funding Inc., 9820 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, California 92121. Funding amount and credit approval is subject to a full credit profile review.