Rapidly increasing orders should be a good thing for your business. But if fulfillment isn’t managed properly, too many orders can overwhelm your processes and slow things down. Find out how to successfully “scale up” your business with these helpful tips:
Keep your eye on the ball
Some businesses scale so quickly that what was once an easy task—keeping customers happy—becomes more complex. If your company is in high-growth mode, you must keep track of how you’re doing with customers.
What’s your turnaround time from order to out the door? What’s your average delivery time and how many times have you missed a delivery date? Are customers complaining, and about what? Do you know who your best customers are and how you are responding to them?
As you grow, you will have to make choices and choose your priorities, but you can’t make good decisions if you don’t know the state of your fulfillment operations. Track and analyze everything, including sales, marketing, capital expenditures, overhead, inventory, receivables, and fulfillment efficiency. This way, you’ll know how much additional volume your business can take on while still keeping your best customers happy.
Stay on top of your cash flow
When sales are sky-rocketing, it’s tempting to start spending extra cash to keep your operations fueled. Unfortunately, this type of splurge spending can surpass the growth in short order, and cash flow becomes an issue. All too often, companies find that their inventory and capital asset costs are taking a disproportionate share of revenues to meet the demand for more product.
Analyze cash in and out to determine how much you can spend now and in the future to accommodate growth. Then you will have a complete picture of how to expand the business most cost-effectively. For example, you may be able to get additional financing, implement tighter spending controls, or find more cost-effective ways to increase your capacity.
If you decide to build up your internal capabilities, be sure to account for all costs, like rent for additional space, capital expenditures on equipment, and increased payroll to finance a larger workforce. Also, plan for unforeseen expenses, like broken equipment, rising real estate costs, or employee turnover.
Outsourcing fulfillment services may be a good option, particularly if you don’t wish to take on the risks of escalating costs, and you are looking for a more stable cost structure.
Choose the best team and make staffing decisions wisely
As the leader of your business, you set the course for the future of your fulfillment operations. When orders rapidly go through the roof, however, you will have to relinquish some of the control and delegate tasks. It’s crucial that you spend the time and resources to hire the right team: people with great ideas, a strong work ethic, and motivation to help the business grow. Bringing on employees who don’t share the company’s culture will lead to diminished productivity and poor morale.
Conversely, a growing company doesn’t necessarily support an equally growing payroll. Perhaps your current employees can take on additional tasks that allow them to stretch their skills without having to hire right away. Another cost-saving strategy is to offload time-consuming tasks such as kitting, assembly, and fulfillment to an experienced outsourcing provider.
Know what you’re good at (and what you’re not)
In the early stages of a new business, it is common for one person, the partners, or a small team to run the whole show. This model works keeps costs low and allows for agility and innovation.
But, when things start heating up, leaders may find themselves taking on new roles outside of their expertise. Recognize that it takes many different skills to manage a business, particularly as growth accelerates. Small business leaders risk losing focus on what matters in order to take on tasks they aren’t qualified for and don’t enjoy doing.
If your company is poised for growth, it may be time to look for experts outside the company who can complement the areas of strength your core team brings to the table.
Keep yourself and your customers happy with Cincinnati fulfillment services
Businesses in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, and Southeast Indiana rely on Ohio Valley Goodwill Industrial Services for high quality, versatile, fast, and cost-effective fulfillment services. Our unique approach to outsourcing fulfillment services in Cincinnati results in improved efficiency, better workflow, and very often, reduced overhead costs! Check us out, take a tour, and let’s talk about how we can help your growing business.
Did you know: Businesses that outsource fulfillment services not only help themselves, they also help worthy people in our community get specialized training, find meaningful jobs, and achieve a greater quality of life. That’s the Goodwill mission, and we’d love for your business to become a part of it. Contact us today!