Of Lakhveer Singh Jajj

Small business owners never thought much about the supply chain before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the world.

Now, that’s all they think and care about. And while investors have sank over $ 7 billion in supply chain-oriented initiatives so far this year, there is still a lot of work to be done to bring solutions and the market to life.

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My family opened a small food market in Toronto’s Little India neighborhood in 1981 shortly after emigrating to Canada. My three brothers and I helped my parents run the shop, learning the basics of running a business as we went along.

Lakhveer Singh Jajj is the founder and CEO of Toronto-based Moselle
Lakhveer Singh Jajj is the founder and CEO of Toronto-based Moselle

Our market specializes in importing Indian food and dried fruit and nuts from overseas. In doing so, it was our first modest foray into developing and managing an international supply chain. My parents charged me with this for a while as a teenager. It required tracking and scheduling of payments, but the supply chain worked efficiently with paper orders and invoices and a few phone calls, kind of like magic.

I left the store to study computer science and embarked on an exciting career in software engineering. Not long ago though, as my father prepared for retirement, I learned that the supply chain planning process had not changed. It was essentially done the same way as when I was still working there, except with the weird spreadsheet and email exchange.

To me there seemed to be many opportunities for growth that were lost due to the fear of modernization. Much of this was rooted in discounting and ignorance of the role of logistics in a company’s growth.

All this before the pandemic, of course.

The world of post-pandemic retail

Since 2020, owners and operators have faced an entirely new set of disruptions, only one of which is the supply chain. If you have survived or launched into the pandemic, you already know that the pre-pandemic rules for managing growth and escalation are outdated.

One of the great retail and service transformations of the pandemic era is the rise of e-commerce. In 2021, over 27 million Canadians were regular e-commerce users. They are almost three quarters of the population. Canadian consumers spend more than $ 3 billion a month on e-commerce, led by the fashion industry, and it is projected to steadily increase through 2025.

An increasing number of these e-commerce transactions go through small and medium-sized businesses. To keep them happy and gain more customers, these companies need to focus intensely on two pillars: making sure customers get their goods and services on time, and making their ecommerce platforms bulletproof for hackers and tech hiccups.

Inventory management and demand planning

Customers are still spending and businesses are still turning to meet their demands. A key piece of the puzzle is improving planning through inventory management and demand planning to make sure your brand grows in the right channels for you, even in tough times.

The new sales channels bring new overhead and stress.

Companies like Amazon have the capacity and the staff to adapt to new business and sales environments. New e-commerce activities launched during the pandemic such as designer clothing, protein bars and tableware, Not.

There are solutions to the big supply chain disruption of the 2020s for small businesses, and they are simpler and more accessible than owners might think.

My company Moselle, for example, it has developed a suite of data analytics tools that provide entrepreneurs with inventory planning and demand management. The role of these tools is to determine how much product to order, when to order and to automatically place the order. This allows companies to manage administrative challenges such as increasing the supply chain.

The overall goal: to provide SMBs with technology, data and support to expand their supply chains efficiently, giving owners, operators and managers more time to create, market and sell.

The bottom line for any business in ecommerce (and, frankly, commerce) is the need to overcome huge challenges in managing supply chains – predicting product shortages before they occur and rapidly escalating them – in order to manage the headaches and challenges of SMEs. The best way to manage a supply chain is to provide fast and accurate information available to managers when they need it.

With data collection and the intuitive dashboard to keep the supply chain in check, entrepreneurs will be free to focus on new products and channels. Such as imported dried fruits and nuts sold as gifts via an online store.

Lakhveer Singh Jajj is the founder and CEO of Toronto Moselle, a digital platform that helps companies simplify the sourcing, ordering and scheduling of goods from suppliers.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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