These days, customers expect to receive the purchases they make online within one or two days. If your business is at a stage when in-house order fulfillment is the logical choice, it’s essential to get each stage of the process right.
One advantage of in-house fulfillment is that you’ll maintain control over the process, from beginning to end. Also, it’s an economical option that is ideal for small businesses, or ones with an uncomplicated inventory. However, unless your operation is fast and consistent, with goods delivered according to your promised schedule, you risk losing customers and, importantly, your reputation.
So what do you need to optimize to get in-house order fulfillment right? Let’s look at some of the essentials.
Customers won’t respond positively if you run out of the products they ordered and have to wait for the next delivery to arrive in your warehouse. Inventory management software is an essential investment to ensure that you have an adequate stock to meet demand and can help you to identify suppliers who can respond quickly to meet your stock needs. It will also help you identify any potential risk from unexplained stock losses.
As fluctuations in demand can create issues for even the best-established businesses, ensure that your software includes a tracking capability that will enable you to plan for likely future demand and consider your supplier’s timelines, so they can also prepare.
Choosing the right courier for the final leg of the fulfillment process is essential. If your customer base is local or perhaps state-wide, selecting a company that also focuses on this geographical area can ensure faster collections and deliveries, without incurring additional costs.
For example, local companies, such as Florida Couriers are more likely to have multiple deliveries within the county and state, allowing you to get your goods to customers more quickly. However, given the expansion of your customer base, they also need to have a high-quality global network in place so you can provide high-quality service to customers whatever their location.
Although cost is an important factor when choosing a delivery company from the point of view of your customers, they represent your business. Professionalism, transparency, and an unwavering service orientation are all essentials. They need to work with you as a valued partner.
Whether you’re running a start-up selling niche products, or have been managing a full-sized warehouse for years, warehouse optimization is a priority – to reduce costs, and ensure that orders are fulfilled efficiently and in the minimum time.
The cost of each mispick on businesses has been found to be on average, $22 – $30. This doesn’t only represent labor costs. More important is the negative impact on your customers, who have to spend their time to rectify the error and return the unwanted or faulty goods.
Once your business has progressed to the stage where errors are more likely to occur, using handheld barcode scanners to select tagged items will help to ensure that the right items are being picked. Even if you are currently able to handle picking without this, it’s worth considering so that, as your business grows and complexity increases, the technology will already have been seamlessly integrated into the operation.