Processing and delivering a specific order to customers in a timely manner, without causing any damage – it is a universal expectation and if you are not an ecommerce business that can deliver that basic operation, you won’t be open for business for very long, that’s for sure.
The process involved in order fulfilment is not as straight forward as many would like to believe.
To get an order complete from start to finish, there are several phases involved. It also entails having numerous people on hand to co-ordinate the operation and one single mistake may end up ruining the order, which means the process has to start again.
All this is quite overwhelming, isn’t it? Well, you need not panic because at Plastic Box Warehouse, we’ve got good news for you – there are several proven ways to help you handle the process effectively, so all is not lost in the order fulfilment world for those who aren’t quite as huge as Amazon just yet…
The solution is to have a proper structure in place that looks after every single step of the order fulfilment journey – from the minute an order is placed until it is being delivered to the doorstep of the consumer or even being returned, you must ensure you have provisions in place for every stage.
Although in its entirety, it is not all too straightforward, having a practical structure to optimise the whole fulfilment process is quite possible. Here we’ve listed a few points to help you kick-start or even better manage your ecommerce business.
Organisation of Inventory
Think back to the last time you visited a supermarket. It’s likely that you had a rough idea about what you wanted to purchase and where you were going to find it. Moreover, all the products that are often used in conjunction are displayed together – say for instance, the ingredients you’d require to bake a cake – they are often assembled together.
Similarly, when you own a storage facility or warehouse, it’s of paramount importance to set it up and organise it in a systematic manner.
Simply group the stock that are related to each other and establish a defined and logical order. This way, it’ll be easier for you to pick up the product or the components/ materials that are required to produce the order in a timely manner.
Ensure that you have a good organisation system in place too. Leaving stock out in the warehouse does not look professional whatsoever and it will also mean that a lot of your stock eventually ends up damaged. Invest in some attached lid containers to store your items safely.
By speeding up the process, not only will it ensure that the order is being delivered on or before the expected time, but it will also improve the customer experience as you will be able to give them regular updates about their order.
On the contrary, if you take forever to deliver, the likelihood is you won’t receive orders from that same customer again. Time is of the essence, after all!
Safety of Picking Zones
This might sound quite obvious to you, but when it comes to your warehouse and the staff working there, safety is extremely vital. Without it, you may end up in some pretty hot water.
The majority of workplace injuries and mishaps often take place in spaces that are specifically allocated for order fulfilment. This could involve anything from falls and slips, to injuries that are the result of incorrect lifting and forklift mishaps.
Irrespective of staff welfare, when the number of accidents increases, it will also result in a loss of productivity and staff morale, plus you may find yourself dealing with costly injury claims.
Apart from following the safety guidelines, you must also put into practice some effective processes in order to minimise risk, as well as common mishaps.
Not having the right safety measures in place could be the reason why your business eventually fails, so don’t be an irresponsible business owner and make sure the safety of your operation site meets industry standards.
Preparation Is Key
While it is sensible to argue that the increase in sales during Black Friday or Christmas is to be expected, it is crucial to be geared up for a surge in demand.
Maybe the product you’re selling has recently been shown on TV and due to this exposure, there has been a dramatic spike in sales. Or maybe seasonality plays a huge part in how quickly your products fly off the shelf.
Regardless of why there is a peak in demand, it’s vital to ensure that your order fulfilment operation is able to deal with it.
If there are times throughout the year that your business experiences a surge in sales, the logical thing to do is to buy in bulk so that you have the right amount of stock to provide for all of your potential customers. Tote boxes and attached lid containers are a great way to store all of your stock in the meantime without it getting damaged.
By following these simple steps, you will be on your way to providing the best ecommerce experience for your customers, which will of course lead to a raise in sales and create a reputation that your business never fails to deliver what it promises.