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Multi Site Management:

Advice for Managing Multiple Business Locations

By having more than one location for your business, be it in the UK or internationally, you open yourself up to a number of positives. It might be that you become a leading name in your particular market, or that you start to become more profitable. With all this though there’s the caveat that you need to manage several sites at once – which can be problematic if not done properly.

As experts in international logistics, TNT has a number of locations in over 200 countries and have the right know-how to make sure we run smoothly and successfully. So to help you with your multi site management endeavours, in our latest guide page we’ve looked in closer detail at what issues you might face with having lots of company sites and what you can do to manage them effectively.

Issues you can face

By having more than one location, you’re essentially multiplying your responsibilities, which is the most immediate problem you will have to deal with. However, there are also other issues such as:

  • A lack of communication between locations
  • Language and cultural barriers to overcome if your sites are abroad in non-English speaking countries
  • An imbalance in performance at different sites
  • Different rules for international trade and commerce
  • Having the best staff for the job

What you can do

So, to deal with these points and additional aspects, here’s what you could try:

Have clear, universal goals

In order to make sure your company is on the same page wherever you go, you should instil core beliefs and ultimate goals throughout each location. By doing so you create a structure to help streamline your overall processes.

Hire with tact

You can’t be everywhere at once, so you should hire well-qualified and experienced people to essentially run each business under your guidance. For overseas sites this is especially important, and you should look for people who can speak the respective language of the location fluently, to help break down any communication issues.

Get regular updates from each location

It’s important that you know how each business site is performing, but knowing every little thing all the time simply isn’t realistic. Instead, create a template document that needs to be completed on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual timescale. This should then be analysed by the team at your main HQ and there should be a section to highlight any immediate or forecasted problems; allowing you to then sort these out in good time.

Make the most of technology

There are programs and software you can use to assist with communication across your sites. Rather than having to travel, you can set up conference calls with video functions on a regional and global scale. Additionally, there are also systems you can use to increase productivity as they can be setup to send time-sensitive reports and updates across the different time-zones of your worldwide locations.

Support each site

It might be that one area is out-performing another and a great way to help with this is to send staff members from successful locations to mentor and tutor those that aren’t doing so well. You can also cut costs with this as it saves on having to hire more staff.

Use external help

If your business relies on trade and your international bases are sending consignments to destinations local to them, you should check the full trade regulations for each respective nation. Different countries have different rules and restrictions that you need to adhere to and failure to do so could result in late deliveries and negative press for your company. An alternative here is to use TNT’s delivery services, as we are experts in this field and have the knowledge you can rely on to ensure your international deliveries are sent without delay

A final point to consider…

Whether you’ve been managing multiple business locations for a long or short time, the reality is there will be some issues along the way. All you can do is make sure that you do your best and use some of the aforementioned points to make your operations run smoother.