Regardless of industry, your direct sales supply chain needs to adapt to the globalization of the economy and the subsequent change in consumer behavior and technology this brings. The door to door salesman is quickly being replaced by the immediacy and indirect selling techniques of social media and online conferencing. As a company scales, the business that is generated turns into concerns of inventory, scheduling, and transport.
No one tries to take on these challenges in-house – not even the mighty Fortune 500. Here are a few criteria that will help you choose the right logistics partner for your company.
The majority of the direct sales industry is occurring outside of the borders of the United States, especially in emerging economies such as China, Canada, and India. The global reach of the Internet gives you the ability to find these customers – if your logistics do not allow you to deliver to them, however, you have wasted an opportunity.
The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations estimates the direct global sales market at more than $167 billion, and you can literally go door to door with the right logistics company. Make sure that your partner has an international scope so that it can scale with you without any interruption of service.
As you expand your reach, you may have to give up the volume of your physical storefront. This does not mean that you have to give up sales. You may actually be able to generate online sales from a much smaller “conference center” that is well placed in a remote territory.
The secret to managing remote physical centers is the ability to service them to scale, monitoring your budget and your audience in the local area. Your logistics company should be able to service a physical storefront of any size and deliver product through the preferred fulfillment method of the customer.
FLEXIBILITY IN DELIVERY
If your production schedule changes, then your logistics company should have the ability to change with you. Depending on where you ship, duties, tariffs, and regulations may limit your ability to ship certain substances. Just like people who are looking to save money on personal trips over airlines, you will have to get creative.
Your logistics company should be all about solutions at this point. Anyone can look up new duties or regulations online; this is not what your partnership should be about. Fulfillment and distribution denote new ways of packaging, re-routing and shifting production methods that will get your products to where they need to be as cheaply as possible.
The Direct Selling Association found that more than 16 million people are currently involved in direct selling to the tune of more than $32 billion. Take advantage of this growing industry through the focus that 3PL outsourcing allows you. Ottawa Logistics is your one stop 3PL partner, with warehousing, fulfillment and distribution services. We understand the challenges that come with the distribution process, and we have solved those problems for businesses of all sizes in many industries. Give us a call or an email today with questions or quote requests.