No doubt as the new year dawned, you were thinking about ways your businesses could grow this year. Whether it is getting larger or just finding more ways to increase profit in the highly competitive e-Commerce space, adjustments can be made to greatly impact your business. The good news is most adjustments can have little to no cost. One of the areas most companies can create meaningful improvements is in fulfillment. Here are four ways you can enhance fulfillment immediately this year:
Good data collection and insightful analysis yield efficiency. Make sure you ask yourself important answers and record all vital information. Be sure to measure your key units of work produced not only by the hour but also by department. Know which hours typically have higher and lower performance levels. What provokes those differences?
Collect information on customer service statistics such as “dock to stock,” order turnaround, and processing returns. Once you establish your start point, you can analyze the data and see where you can make the most significant changes.
2. Process Analysis and Improvement
Once you have your benchmarks, identify how you can improve your processes. Are there too many touches? How can you reduce them? Identify how you can improve workflow and increase performance during your lower performance periods.
If you can afford it, apply warehouse automation and technology to decrease touches and costs. Look especially at voice-enabled technologies as they have a proven ROI.
3. Inventory Management
How you choose to organize your inventory most definitely affects order processing speed and accuracy. To effectively monitor and manage inventory, be sure to use these four key metrics: inventory turns, inventory aging, order fill rates, and inventory carrying costs. These metrics will educate you on how product moves in the system and how to avoid over-orders and shortages. For most businesses, inventory is the largest balance sheet asset, so you can’t afford errors.
4. Partnering with Merchandise Warehouse
Many eCommerce and multichannel businesses have found that connecting with a third-party logistics company allows them to increase their profitability and efficiency but also to enhance the customer experience.
Another added benefit of working with a third-party logistics provider is most businesses can cut infrastructure and capital costs. A 3PL can also scale up or down depending on your company’s unique needs as it is needed, saving you money and stress. For more information, please contact us.
This post was originally published on January 31, 2018 and updated on July 9, 2019.