Whether you are a startup, a small family business, or a well-established brand, you better know how badly the fulfillment inefficiency can impact the growth of your business. In this consumer-driven world, eCommerce merchants are continuously looking for ways to cut down their expenses and improve the customer experience.
According to research, 63% of consumers share their thoughts on the order delivery that they expect the delivery to be done within three days of their orders. For winning the heart of your customers, you need to take a deep look at your eCommerce order fulfillment process. This ensures that you are running efficient operations with accurate inventory management.
Mistakes in the form of under-performing technology, mismanagement of inventory, and other flaws like this could cost you a heavy loss. But identifying and closing the chances of vulnerabilities can save you from losses. In this article, you will learn about the same. We will let you know some steps to streamline your eCommerce order fulfillment operations by increasing its efficiency. Have a look –
● Check inventory accuracy
To fulfill the orders with a high level of efficiency, it is crucial to have accurate inventory metrics. Statistics show that retail inventories are accurate only 63% of the time. For streamlining the process of properly storing, picking, packaging, and shipping the orders, accurate inventory management is a must. Customers always demand a real-time look at available and out-of-stock products when they are ordering. If results are not the same as they saw, this could reflect in the form of fewer orders or loss of customers. For instance, when someone is scrolling your eCommerce platform for buying products and your platform is showing the availability of a particular order, then it should be available. In the cases of inaccurate inventory, customers face issues like backorders, deadstock, etc. This should not be the case with your business.
For maximizing the inventory accuracy, you could plan to involve a warehouse management system and inventory management system at your distribution centers. This eliminates the process of entering data manually and thus less or negligible human errors.
- Order fulfillment process should be predictable
If your eCommerce order fulfillment process changes frequently then it becomes a must for you to invest in some good order management software. In order to reduce the higher labor cost and operational cost, you should know what to expect in your daily order fulfillment operations. With perfect management software, you will be able to easily manage, monitor, predict, and analyse. Automation is crucial and is bringing major changes in warehousing and logistics. This segment is continuously growing and will save a lot of time and resources. By opting for automation, you will have software that handles major monitoring tasks for you. Also, you will be able to focus more on other aspects of your business.
- Improve warehouse layout
The layout of your warehouse could have a direct impact on the efficiency of eCommerce order fulfillment process. To prevent hurdles in the supply chain and inefficiency in the process, you should go ahead with a well-planned layout that optimizes workflow in all segments. The layout should work for all the steps, including accepting of goods, picking, packaging, shipping, and return. If you think you want to reconstruct the complete layout, then don’t hesitate to contact a specialist for this. An expert will not only help you to optimize the layout of your fulfillment process, but can also provide ideas for your warehouse space to store more items with enhanced efficiency. This way you can save a lot of your bucks by not renting additional space.
- Streamline the process of order picking
Order picking is the major part of any order fulfillment process. You should always optimize your picking process for higher efficiencies. This is because a single flaw in your order fulfillment could affect the bottom line. You should explore different types of picking that involve batch picking, wave picking, and zone picking. Understand your complete fulfillment process and then select one of the picking processes that suits best for your eCommerce business. You could also opt for small changes that involve adding top-selling SKUs in the areas that are located in the nearby areas of your other departments. This way you will find a huge improvement in your order fulfillment efficiency. You can also opt for processes like bundling orders into small units. In case you have a lack of professionals for the order picking process, we recommend outsourcing your eCommerce order fulfillment work for maximum benefits at a low cost.
- Optimize slotting operations
Slotting is the process that is done before picking and optimizing this you can save a lot of your bucks. In this process, the inventory is organized before picking and fulfilling the order. By doing small changes in slotting, a lot of benefits can be gained. Some adjustments like keeping the best-selling products at an easily accessible place can make the order fulfillment process quick and efficient. You should understand that slotting is one of the major functions of your fulfillment operations. Make sure you are following the best practices for slotting so that you can ship your orders quickly.
- Less touching and handling
Have you ever monitored the number of touches for a single order? If not, then find it now. You should be aware of the average number of touching and handling done by a warehouse worker for each of your products. There is a simple fact, the more involvement of humans in the process, the more chances of errors. If there are more workers involved in the fulfillment process, then you might face the problem of delivering the wrong products to the wrong customers, or delays in shipping. Instead, you should adapt to automation by using the latest software and technologies. Along with the reduction in errors, one major benefit of reducing touching and handling is that fewer chances of damage and theft of your precious products. It also speeds up the process of fulfillment. Here touching refers to any step that involves touch, it could be robot picking, packing by humans, or pallet transporting.