Handling dozens to hundreds of orders a day is not a big deal for e-commerce businesses with an in-house team. However, when sales start to pick up or peak season comes, the real challenge is how to maintain the order processing speed with the same resources. With service quality on the line, many merchants are looking for ways to accelerate their logistics operations. Here are four recommendations that Omisell can advise you in time of need:
There are multiple aspects involved in running a warehouse: choosing the right software, inventory management, pick and pack, etc. If your business can automate and streamline the process, your order fulfillment process can increase significantly in speed and quality, which in turn leads to improved customer experience, higher retention rates, and better brand reputation.
It’s advisable to assess the current state of your fulfillment process to identify where your system can be developed. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can your software handle the whole management process from sales, inventory, to logistics, and customer service?
- Can you integrate your existing resources?
- Can your inventory be organized in a logical order for automatic packing and shipping?
- Is the automation process scalable when your business expands?
Outsource Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Providers
3PL are third-party logistics companies that provide distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment services. As experts in the industry, 3PLs can scale and customize their offerings based on customers’ needs and requirements.
Outsourcing will give you the speed and cost advantages without having to put in any heavy investment. On the other hand, you are not in full control of the logistics process while being held responsible by your customers. Therefore, you have to research carefully before choosing a 3PL to partner up with.
Most 3PL companies provide services in the following areas:
- Warehouse and distribution
- Finance and information
- Fulfillment / Full service
If you are expecting a spurt in demand while running out of resources, or simply wanting to avoid risks while testing new markets, then 3PL is the right answer for you. Make sure that their solutions are compatible with your company. Several factors to consider are:
- Do you want a local or global 3PL?
- Do you want to outsource the whole fulfillment process or just a part of it?
- Does the 3PL pricing fit your profit margins?
- Is the 3PL system compatible with yours?
- Is the 3PL scalable with your company’s future vision?
- Is the 3PL experienced and reliable?
Innovate Offline Stores
With e-commerce on the rise, offline stores have to find adaptive ways to avoid losing customers. Grocery stores and supermarkets are now offering online ordering with various receiving methods. After placing the order online, customers can choose to pick up the order in-store or having it delivered to their doorsteps. Utilizing its wide offline store network, retailers can ensure express shipping for their customers.
Micro-Fulfillment Centers (MFCs)
Operating a full-scale fulfillment center requires a huge investment. Therefore, an innovative solution emerges micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs). These mini-warehouses are only a fraction of the normal fulfillment center, making it easy to deploy in densely populated areas. These areas usually are the main source for e-commerce demand, and having your stock nearby can decrease the time and cost for last-mile delivery by a significant amount.