Maintain Supplier Channel

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Resellers must maintain a healthy merchandise supply channel at all times. Normally, you keep about 90 days worth of merchandise in stock. When inventory fall below 30-day levels, you place another order. Seasonal products have a cycle that is not based on prior 90 days.

Services industries and retail stores are more likely to remain closed. By sector, slightly fewer services and retail businesses are open (82% each) compared to manufacturing (87%) and professional services firms (92%) as of September 2020. —US Chamber of Commerce

This becomes more challenging when situations such as civil unrest, inflation, or pandemics constrain supplies. Manufacturers may reduce the number of full-time workers. Materials can become scarce. Fulfillment time increases. Some vendors shut down either temporarily or permanently. Indications that your supply channel is deteriorating include quality control issues, longer delivery times, and unavailability of personnel in various departments.

Diversify

If you use dropshippers, you have no merchandise. Products ship directly from manufacturers. When they are gone, your supply channel dries up. It is best to begin sourcing multiple suppliers. Consider tangential products that can help fill in deficiencies. It is wise to stock up on best sellers, rather than relying on fragile supply channels. Having 1000 products ready to sell with 50 percent profit is like doubling the value of your money. You may need to let inventory on less popular products sell out.

In addition to the products ClinicalPosters produces in house, the company has a network of suppliers throughout the United States, Netherlands, Germany, China, Thailand, and Malaysia. Several anatomy poster titles are available with slightly different content from different vendors. If one is delayed or constrained customers can choose alternative designs.

Kevin Williams is a Shopify Partner that has been program­ming data­base systems since 1990 and writing since 2010, before main­tain­ing an e-commerce site in Perl. Along with him, explore the Shopify platform and Liquid programming with marketing and writing tips.

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