Everyone in your company has likely experienced the difficulty of inaccurate inventory—from the warehouse picker staring blankly at a bin that shouldn't be empty to the customer service rep explaining to distressed customers that their items are backordered. It's a natural part of doing business, right? Not entirely. Inventory accuracy may be a moving target, but it doesn't mean you can stop aiming for it.
Want to know how to get close—or even within—that coveted bull's-eye in your own warehouse? Try these scalable tips, compiled from industry experts.
Topics : Supply Chain Logistics
It has now been one year since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. To say that it has been a challenging time is an understatement. Disruptions and restrictions were common. Shortages and delays were the norm. Moving forward, those companies that have found ways to adapt will thrive. A focus on the areas discussed below will become even more valuable as circumstances continue to change.
Third-party logistics (3PL) is a multi-billion dollar industry. Most of the Fortune 1000 companies use some sort of 3PL services; but for your business, you may be questioning whether the timing is right for you to take the plunge. The decision to contract with a fulfillment partner is a big one. There may be some hesitation due to unanswered questions. Knowing what to look for and what to ask of a potential provider is important. Here are five common concerns and ways to turn them to your advantage.
When fulfilling your e-commerce orders, supply chain efficiency plays a major role within the warehouse. Your supply chain performance measurements may fundamentally differ from day to day, depending on which facets need work. Many factors — both inside and outside the warehouse play a professional tug of war with your goals and intentions, requiring constant adjustment just to maintain the status quo. Few logistics professionals have time — from scratch, anyway — for constant recalibration, which is why Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are so important.
Topics : Supply Chain Efficiency
With e-commerce fulfillment centers facing down a proverbial tide of year-end business, productivity and efficiency soar to the top of managers' wish lists. How do you fulfill your e-commerce orders and give these must-have gifts to your managers? Here are five ways to prepare for the winter storm of orders without breaking a sweat or investing in expensive new warehouse technology:
With all the complexities of order fulfillment, there is no overall winner suited for every company. Considering all the areas of expertise, the right provider for one business may be the wrong provider for your business. So what is a conscientious supply chain manager to do?
Partnering with Aero's warehousing and fulfillment centers frees up your time and worry, so you can focus on what you do best - growing your businesses. Our fulfillment warehouse takes care of inventory management, packing, and shipping, leaving you more time for product development, marketing and sales.
When setting up an eCommerce business, one of the most important things to consider is how your customers will get their orders. You have two warehouse options to choose from - fulfillment centers and distribution centers.
Your warehouse management system is an integral component of your business, especially if you run an eCommerce business. Customer satisfaction depends on how efficiently you can process orders. If your warehouse picker takes too much time walking from one place to another, chances are you won't deliver your customers' orders on time. When you work with Aero, you will get guaranteed quality service within your warehouse.
Warehouse fulfillment starts with finding the relevant stock so that it can be properly packed. The Pick and Pack Warehouse may choose to automate this process to save time and reduce labor costs. Without a great inventory management system in place, there's no way to make the pick packing efficient.
As a warehouse manager, you know how essential warehouse picking is in the supply chain. At Aero, getting your orders out on time means careful planning of all warehouse activities. Order picking is one area where inefficiencies take a serious bite out of the bottom line.
During this time when the coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses to close or slow down, you might have discovered some weaknesses and risks in your supply chain. You might even have new priorities.
As we all begin to ramp business back to full capacity, now may be a good time to take a look at your logistics and maybe revamp a few things to make sure your fulfillment plan is ready for a restart.
The Hidden Pitfalls of In-Store FulfillmentOffering a variety of options to get items to customers is good business, but keeping everything in one place might not be the best idea. With the goal of saving money and consolidating inventory, many stores are turning to in-store fulfillment. The practice has its drawbacks.
Businesses which fall into the trap of putting too much focus on manufacturing and inventory costs are being held back from their full potential as they fail to acknowledge the inefficiencies arising through weak links in the supply chain.
Parting may be sweet sorrow, in interpersonal relationships, according to the Bard, but in business it can be what saves your company. Vendor management best practices place a great deal of focus on how to manage and optimize the existing relationships your supply chain depends on, but they may fall short on guidance when it comes to enough is enough and it is time to break things off with an underperforming vendor.
Severing business relationships is never easy, but much like a dead tree branch must occasionally be pruned to ensure the tree stays healthy, knowing when to call it quits with troublesome vendors is a skill worth cultivating.
Order processing fulfillment involves each individual step a business or organization takes from the initial point of receiving an order to getting that order to the customer. It is the way that each organization responds to and ultimately fills an order.
As your ecommerce business grows so does your operations need to evolve to meet the changing demands of your business. In running an ecommerce business; fulfillment logistics is one of the most important aspects. You need to reconsider your fulfillment logistics strategy every so often as your ecommerce business expounds. At a certain point in the growth of your business, you will be required to either obtain a warehouse and hire a team to fulfill orders, or outsource fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) company.
Planning and Managing Peak Returns Season
Overall, holiday’s sales this year appear to have been robust, with Mastercard reporting total retail sales were up 3.4% year-over-year for the period of November 1st to December 24th. Online sales represented 15% of the total, with total e-commerce sales up 19% over last year.
And now a new year is upon us and the flood of holiday returns has begun, with UPS estimating that 1.9 million return packages entered the UPS network on National Returns Day (January 2nd ). That figure represents a 26% growth in returns over 2018. The increase highlights the continual rise of e-commerce and the resulting surge in returns via delivery services.
So, with holiday sales booked and your attention now firmly set on managing peak returns season, let’s take a moment to identify areas you can audit this year to prepare for next year’s peak returns season.
Any company with a D2C ecommerce model is well aware of the increasing challenges of managing fulfillment, in particular, freight costs during the fourth quarter. Consumer shipping expectations continue to rise driven by the fulfillment benchmark being set by Amazon, Walmart, and other large D2C companies. Consumers are being trained to expect shorter shipping times with low, or no, shipping costs. Further increasing the complexity of managing fourth quarter fulfillment is the increasingly compressed online holiday shopping season driven by the expectation of 1 to 2-day shipping. In this article the focus will be on strategies to manage fourth quarter freight costs during this critical period while meeting your customer’s high expectations. In particular, we will focus on the key drivers impacting your shipping costs which includes, staffing, packaging, dunnage, freight negations, and communication.