Order fulfilment is one of the most critical aspects of selling online. Irrespective of the size of your business, inefficiency in global fulfillment will affect you in many ways. In addition to the huge sums you can potentially lose, inefficiency can lead to frustrated customers who won’t return. Worse than that, your reputation will take a hit if you don’t improve. You can avoid all these and other consequences by taking a few steps to identify your challenges and address them appropriately. Thinking of ways to boost efficiency in global fulfillment? Here are eight global tips that can help:
Improve Inventory Accuracy
This is the right place to start. As funny as it may sound, the average retail inventories are only accurate 63% of the time. Poor inventory accuracy means one thing: you won’t be able to store, pick, package, and fulfill inventory efficiently. You need to be sure of what is left and update your website accurately. There are fulfillment inventory solutions that can help you boost inventory accuracy, and you should consider them.
Make Your Global Fulfillment Process Predictable
It helps when customers can predict your shipping schedule and understand when they can get the products they have ordered. Inefficiencies will arise if your process varies widely. On your end, try to be sure of what to expect each day so as to minimize variable costs. You can invest in an excellent business distribution software to help you monitor, predict, and automate your systems for ore predictability. This will allow you to focus on other critical aspects of your business.
Provide Deferred Delivery Choices
Most ecommerce entrepreneurs assume that every customer wants to get their products as soon as possible. While this is true for most customers, some will accept to wait for a while before getting hold of their products. If there are delivery methods that will add days in transit but significantly lower delivery costs, consider providing it as an option for your customers. Those who want fast delivery and can pay the extra cost will go for it while those who can wait will appreciate the differed options.
Invest In an RFID System for Your Global Fulfillment
You can benefit a lot when you have the proper systems in place. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, for instance, can help you identify budget drainers in the fulfilment process. With detailed tracking software, RFID technology can bring a lot of transparency and also help to ensure better data aggregation. This will reduce costs in the long run and boost your efficiency significantly.
Optimize Your Warehouse and Facility Flow
Many ecommerce entrepreneurs and managers erroneously assume that the way their warehouse facilities are laid out has little impact on overall efficiency. The fact is that poor facility flow impedes efficiency greatly, and can have ripple effects that can undermine your entire business operations. If you can take time to create a fluid flow from accepting inbound goods to shipping out orders, you will improve efficiency in the way your orders are fulfilled. Optimized facility flow will minimize touches and handling. Overall, it will significantly help to do away with roadblocks and other causes of inefficiency.
Packaging is another area some businesses do not consider seriously when it comes to improving efficiency. The fact remains that more packaging means more steps, more handling, more time, and more money. It also means more waste on your part as a seller as well as on the parts of your buyers. Find ways to minimize packaging without exposing the item to risks during transit. Even Amazon, the biggest ecommerce website, is doing the same thing. You can save a lot of money and labour by using less packaging.
Make Employee Training a Continuous Process
Most of your efforts to improve efficiency in your global fulfillment process will not yield big results if your employees are not properly trained to work accordingly. You have to ensure that everyone that works with you understands their roles perfectly and know how to use the tools at their disposals. As you introduce more tools and innovative ideas, you need to follow-up with adequate training for your employees. In fact, make employee training a continuous process, just as innovations must be continuous.
Make Your Returns Policy Clearly Visible
This may appear a little different from the points above, but it is as important as all of them. Many people do not buy from some websites because they are not sure if they can return products they are not satisfied with. When buyers are not too sure what your return policy states, conflicts can arise if they decide to return what they’ve bought from you. Such conflicts can ruin your online reputation, which is something you must avoid at all costs. Make your returns policy easy to find on your website, and ensure that the conditions are clearly stated. You may find that you will have fewer cases of returned products.
It is possible to boost efficiency in global fulfillment processes. You need to identify the causes of inefficiency and address them. Indeed, it is all about analytics and taking big, bold steps. With the eight tips above, you can improve efficiency in fulfillment and grow your ecommerce business efficiently.
Contact us today at Fulfillman. We provide a wide range of services including Global Fulfillment, China Sourcing, Drop Shipping, Third Party Logistics, and lots more. Our trusted experts will be happy to speak with you and provide suitable answers to your questions and concerns. A fantastic experience awaits you.