5 ways high-tech companies can use logistics to expand

Products and services to help you navigate a complex global economy.

Insatiable consumer demand for gadgets and new technologies are spurring high-tech growth. But that upside brings a narrow margin for error. Here are five key insights to help you succeed in today’s marketplace:

1. Identify new export markets and gain a foothold.
 “Many high-tech executives said they expect to take advantage of the rising middle class in emerging markets to grow their exports, with key markets for growth in product demand being Brazil, the Middle East/Africa, and India,” says Alantria Harris, a UPS marketing manager.

One key tactic is to listen to your market, Harris says. “Another way to get started is to take advantage of UPS’s partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service (USCS) to help you identify the best markets.” She adds, “Once you identify the markets you want to enter, you need to quickly put your supply chain in place. The two go hand in hand.”

2.   Keep track of all your orders—even when sourcing from multiple global vendors. Use WorldShip® and Quantum View Manage® so suppliers can see where shipments are in the pipeline, improving tracking and forecasting. UPS Import Control® allows you to initiate package shipments and pickups, specify the UPS service mode, and e-mail shipping labels to your vendor.

3. Seize on the cost-saving techniques your competitors use. One proven method is sourcing closer to home, like from Mexico. Or, source from multiple locations. “This reduces the risk of sourcing from a single geographical area,” Harris says. Finding the best shipping mode for your needs makes a difference, too.

“If you have flexibility in timing when products arrive, consider lower-cost modes like ocean freight,” Harris adds. Another option is specifying freight collect, which takes the middlemen out of the picture, reducing overall inbound freight costs.

4. Get returns back sooner to keep inventory moving and grow business faster. “There are many high-tech companies whose reverse logistics process is a revenue driver.” says UPS marketing manager Jim Gerard. With UPS Returns® you can control a shipment’s transportation mode, transit time, and destination—all by sending your customer the shipping label beforehand—helping you manage your overall supply chain.

What’s more, you can embed data when preparing shipping labels so the recipient will know what’s inside the package upon arrival. That person can then automatically decide what happens next with the package even before opening it.

“The idea is to get high-value product turned around quickly, because it’s a value driver, not just a cost container,” Gerard says.

5. Select external partners for the expertise you don’t have. Many high-tech companies find import/export a real challenge,” Harris says. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a significant percentage of these companies seek outside help with supply chain logistics.

“UPS has the global distribution expertise and innovative technology to serve as a total logistics provider,” Harris says. That way companies can focus on what they do best.