3 Ways to Help Reduce Product Issues | Episode 15

podcast product sourcing Apr 28, 2021

 

 

 

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One of the main concerns for us in the subscription box business is product supply. Who we’re getting it from and on what kind of timeline can create a huge amount of stress when things don’t go according to plan. Things have only gotten crazier with the global pandemic showing us how fragile our product pipeline really is.

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Let’s face it: we’re a product-driven business with very little wiggle room for shortages.

More than likely, even if you do have your shipping schedule figured out you’ll be working with tight deadlines to keep. With everything that’s going on, how can we as subscription box founders have more control over our product supply to avoid those shortages? Here are 3 ways I’ve learned to help manage those product headaches.

 

Use Multiple Vendors

I want you to ask yourself: can I use multiple vendors for the products in my box so that you’re not relying on one company for your success?

It may sound like extra work to seek out and build multiple relationships with vendors to create your box, but it’s more than worth it to avoid the heartache when one of those vendors can’t come through for you.

I can almost guarantee that there will be a time when you’ve carefully curated a box but one of those unique items is either late or won’t be able to come in the quantities that you need. You’ll have to go into problem-solving mode to reorganize that box, but sometimes that can lead to an even better outcome as long as you have the flexibility of not having to rely on just one vendor to complete your order.

Check out all my tips for finding Niche-Specific Products For A Subscription Box HERE!

 

Work on Multiple Boxes at a Time

One of the benefits of having a schedule and having regular subscribers to your box is that you know you’ll have orders coming in months down the line. This gives you the freedom to be proactive and build multiple boxes ahead of time, and having multiple boxes gives you more flexibility when a product is held up.

Being able to switch boxes if you need to will give you much more freedom and peace of mind if and when a product that just can’t be replaced is held up for whatever reason.

  

Make Your Deadline Earlier Than You Actually Need

Finally, you won’t want to be creating your box right before it’s time to ship out. You should always have a deadline on when your boxes are built well in advance of the shipping date.

There are a number of reasons why you would want to do this, but primarily because it will save you on having to delay a shipment because of a lack of product.

For me, with the global pandemic slowing everything down, I try to have the deadline for all my product in for a box at least 30 days before I even think about shipping them. This saves me so much stress and gives me the breathing room to adapt to any problems that might happen.

 

Remember, it’s not if a problem is going to happen, it’s when, but when it does happen doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world! If you do have problems, remember to always be transparent with your subscribers.

Having the right mindset will help you have the preparation needed to solve any problems that pop up. Multiple vendors, working on multiple boxes, and having early deadlines will help keep you on schedule and get those boxes out to your eager subscribers.

And as always, remember to subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast provider, as well as leave a 5-star rating and a review!

❤Sarah

 

Learn from me:

  • Subscription Box Blueprint eBook: This $10 ebook covers logistics from product selection to packaging to shipping. Plus a 90-day launch plan and bonus ‘Instant Scripts’ for your social media.
  • Launch Your Box: My complete training program that walks you step by step through how to start, launch, and grow your subscription box business.

 

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