THE PURSUIT OF PROFITABLE GROWTH IN CHALLENGING TIMES
Rebounding after the pandemic and what today’s supply chain looks like
By SHON WHIGHAM
Director of Operations
Whether you are part of a small, medium, or large company, it is so important to be on top of making sure the entire supply chain runs efficiently and effectively. That means having the right plan to execute and the best partners to ensure success.
Transportation costs are often one of the biggest drivers that can affect margins. Keeping your transportation costs under control and under budget is always a challenge, even in the best of circumstances. Proactively managing these costs, however, can often be the fastest way to positively affect your bottom line.
In the current logistics environment, it is no longer enough to merely rely upon the upfront base rates as a means to determine the total cost. Constant monitoring of invoices and prompt validation of additional or erroneous fees will play an equal part in successfully navigating one’s total supply chain cost. Managing chargebacks, deductions, and other fees might seem like mere pennies on the dollar at times when you are looking at each charge individually, but over time those costs can and will quickly add up to a substantial loss of revenue and push you over budget.
As a small business with national distribution, we at Me & the Bees Lemonade believe it’s vital to ensure you have strong partners with experience as leaders within the industry to help keep costs down and consistent, while still delivering great customer service.
As we continue to grow and efficiently service customers throughout the United States, we are excited to partner with J.B. Hunt as our new transportation broker to help us manage transportation costs while working with us on new opportunities. J.B. Hunt’s comprehensive approach to freight management that applies data-driven insights will help us focus on our core business. Tapping into their expertise, technology, and willingness to pivot in advance of changes in the market will help provide us with a complete and more sustainable supply chain solution.
As we continue to scale and grow on our journey to becoming America’s favorite lemonade brand and a profitable company for our investors, we are committed to looking for more integrated, tech-driven approaches to get our products to our retail partners across the country in the most efficient ways while driving to exceed service level expectations.
Production costs are another important area to look at when determining profitable growth. Managing production costs and being able to execute against a solid plan is an essential building block for success. A challenge we are seeing right now is that some suppliers are struggling to be able to meet their stated lead times. This has provided us with the opportunity to take a deeper dive and analyze our suppliers and assess which ones are positioned to continue to grow with us. We will continue to work strategically and proactively to strengthen those partnerships.
Another way we are looking to minimize risk is by carrying more inventory of raw ingredients and materials by utilizing tier pricing and discounts when it is financially advantageous. Embracing change and seizing new opportunities to make ongoing adjustments to keep costs down are the keys for continual growth.
All of the above must come from having a straightforward and defined plan to be able to react to the reality of today or tomorrow. This is, in my opinion, the biggest key to success in overcoming challenges within your supply chain. Having a quality plan in place to define the direction everyone should be moving in will continue to be important, but also making sure your plan has flexibility is equally as important.
Me & the Bees’ competitive edge as a small company is our ability to be nimble, to quickly adapt, and to quickly meet new market challenges as they arise. And, more importantly, we are able to do so without compromising our high standards of quality. Because of our flexibility, Me & The Bees Lemonade will continue to thrive during these challenging supply chain times in the Food & Beverage industry as we move ahead with our goal of becoming America’s favorite lemonade by attracting more “bee-lievers!”