What is the reason for changing the 3PL service provider? (Ⅰ)

Before you consider changing 3PL service providers, you need to sort out the current business framework. It is important that you understand the impact of 3PL on your business.

To continuously grow your revenue and the number of customers, you need to maximize customer satisfaction. Today, customer satisfaction generally comes from two points: efficient delivery and satisfactory products.

If your 3PL cannot help you provide a first-class customer experience, then you may miss potential customers and revenue. These customers will turn to stores that can meet their needs, that is, your competitors.

Either way, you need a 3PL partner who can satisfy your customers, who can help you meet the ever-increasing customer expectations.

3PL-service-provider丨Hollingsworth丨ChinaDivision
3PL-service-provider丨Hollingsworth丨ChinaDivision

When should you consider changing 3PL service provider?

Order fulfilment outsourcing has advantages and limitations. One of the benefits is that it can save you time and money, and an excellent 3PL service provider can also help you improve customer satisfaction. 

The bad point is that when the customer places an order in the shopping system, the next process is out of your control. One thing that worries you more is that you need to bear the risk of 3PL’s imperfect processing of your orders. Therefore, ensuring that 3PL is appropriate is crucial.

  1. Package lost during order fulfilment
  2. 3PL has not made continuous progress and improvement
  3. The current 3PL is not enough to support your business scale
  4. The technical support provided by 3PL is too simple or outdated
  5. The current 3PL service is not worth the money
  6. Customer satisfaction continues to decline

If the above errors or shortfalls happen frequently, the loss caused by your 3PL has exceeded your budget, and the profit of the order is continuously reduced. At this time, you should probably find a more suitable partner.

How to Accelerate E-Commerce Order Fulfillment Process?

With the introduction of Amazon’s supply chain’s new fulfillment policy, you are faced with creating more innovative strategies to accelerate e-commerce order fulfillment. This is undoubtedly a huge pressure, but these strategies can optimize your e-commerce fulfillment process, speed up your business development, and bring you more income.

Appropriate strategies can help you reduce unnecessary operating costs, expand your reach while improving the customer experience, and even completely change your online retail business.

E-Commerce-Order-Fulfillment-Process丨Tezz丨ChinDivison
E-Commerce-Order-Fulfillment-Process丨Tezz丨ChinDivison

Cooperation With A Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Provider

Please consider working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) for support if you have many orders. 3PL can complete all order tasks, from product receiving and storage to pick and pack and transportation. 

3PL service providers usually set up fulfillment centers in multiple regions, helping speed up your orders’ shipment. You can expand your resource network and continuously optimize your supply chain. One of the biggest advantages of a third-party logistics company is to cut costs. So, cooperating with 3PL providers is a good way to speed up e-commerce order fulfillment.

Optimize Warehouse Automation

Optimizing your warehouse automation can become an important part of the rapid development of your future business. Nowadays, more and more e-commerce companies continue to optimize and integrate resources to deliver products to customers ASAP. Warehouse automation minimizes human errors, reduces labor costs, and integrates warehouse management systems to maintain warehouse accuracy.

Provide Multiple Delivery Methods

To speed up order fulfillment, e-commerce operators will provide customers with multiple delivery methods. This is also a good way to maintain customer loyalty. You can combine online orders with brick-and-mortar shops to offer customers pick-up products curbside or directly to your distributions. In this way, you can reduce costs, and efficient delivery can also make your e-commerce customers more satisfied.

Conclusion

In general, speeding up e-commerce fulfillment is not only related to your e-commerce fulfillment efficiency but also related to your brand reputation. Continuously improve your customer satisfaction through these strategies to promote order volume. Satisfying customers and maintaining customer loyalty can make you invincible in the industry.

Order Status: What Does “Awaiting Fulfillment”, ” Awaiting Shipment” Mean?

What-does-Awaiting-Fulfillment-mean丨ChinaDivision
What-does-Awaiting-Fulfillment-mean丨ChinaDivision

What does “Awaiting Fulfillment” mean?

When you place an order for a product online and complete the payment, the order system will change your order’s status to “Awaiting fulfillment.” But at this time, the merchant has not yet started processing your order. 

Every e-commerce store has its order processing schedule. Generally speaking, the normal working time for the order processing is 1-2 working days. If there are holidays or special circumstances, the “waiting for fulfillment” state will last 7-10 working days.

What does “Awaiting Shipment” mean?

When the merchant completes your order’s pick and pack and sends you a confirmation email, the order system will change the order status to “Awaiting Shipment.”

Parcels are usually sent out within 24 hours, but it may take about 48 hours in peak season. 

Explanation of another order status:

Awaiting Payment: 

  1. The ordering system enters the payment page, you need to choose a check or money order to pay, but the payment has not yet been received. 
  2. Or you selected a credit card, and it has not yet been processed.

Partially Shipped:

  1. Part of your order has already been shipped, and the other part may be in another box.
  2. The merchant may not be able to ship due to insufficient inventory, and you will receive a new email notification.

Shipped:

Your package is already on the way, or you have already received it.

Ecommerce Customer experience: How to Keep Your Customer in Your Store?

For online stores, customer experience can make or break your e-commerce. According to survey data, nearly 90% of consumers will stop shopping due to poor customer experience. 

One of the most important e-commerce management challenges is inventory management, especially the surge in sales during peak seasons. Essentially, proper inventory management will positively affect your e-commerce business and directly help improve the customer experience. 

Here are three of the most common inventory management challenges and suggestions on improving customer experience.

Inventory management challenges

Oversold

Oversold occurs when your sales volume exceeds the actual inventory. Excessive sales will lead to out-of-stock orders. At this time, most companies will send customers “We are sorry, but the goods you ordered are out of stock” emails.

out of stock

Out-of-stock orders are a huge problem for retailers and customers. These orders lose sales and have negative feedback, which may reduce the ranking of search results and prevent potential customers from converting. 

Customers who receive the message will be angry and disappointed at your shop and are unlikely to have the next order. 

How to optimize customer experience?

So how do you prevent oversold and prevent negative feedback? Here are some suggestions: 

  1. Optimize warehouse automation and use barcode scanners to reduce human errors to maintain accurate inventory counts. 
  2. Use the inventory management system integrated with the channel to achieve real-time synchronization of inventory, so you can control inventory anytime and anywhere and plan for sales.

Many factors can affect your e-commerce company to kill customers’ opportunities to use your products while reducing your brand’s visibility and establishing a good reputation. Don’t let poor inventory control be one of them.

What’s Safety Stock? How Does It Affect Inventory Management?

What Is Safety Stock and Why Is It So Important?

Safety stock, also called buffer stock, is the stock you order additionally. Almost all companies will set up safety stocks to cope with emergencies. This kind of inventory helps reduce the risk of out-of-stock product sales, loss of sales, or the possibility of customer dissatisfaction.

The main purpose of safety stock is to ensure that there is enough stock for sale. Why is it necessary? Because in most industries, companies cannot determine 100% of the sales volume of a product in a given time.

Safety-Stock丨ChinaDivision
Safety-Stock丨ChinaDivision

Seasonal fluctuations in demand for products may require companies to hold safety stocks at certain times throughout the business cycle. Enterprises need to predict the supply speed, delivery frequency, and delivery time based on the supplier’s distance.

Intensified competition in online stores has caused businesses to pay more attention to changes in product demand. Because of the shortage of goods, your failure to deliver the goods as promised will drive customers to turn their attention to other stores. Nowadays, customers hate waiting. When they cancel an order, you will face the weakening of customer trust and competitors’ blow.

Although a certain degree of safety is needed, it must be emphasized that safety stocks come at a price. The greater the amount of safety stock held, the higher the cost of the company. These costs include warehouse rent, warehouse staff wages, security costs, and the cost of expired or obsolete inventory.

How Does Safety Stock Affect Inventory Management?

A strategic supply chain management system is vital to the success of product marketing and operations. This is related to product inventory management. Correct management measures are conducive to improving customer satisfaction, reducing operating costs, and bringing a stable cash flow to your business.

Inventory management is a reliable long-term investment. Effective safety inventory management can ensure your supply chain’s normal operation and maintain your company’s reputation without disappointing your customers.

3 Simple Ways to Create a Green Warehouse

Why do we need to create a green warehouse? One of the most obvious benefits is to reduce your operating expenses. Developing a sustainable warehouse means less storage, organization, and transportation costs. Besides, these environmental protection measures will help protect the environment and reduce waste in the supply chain.

Green-Warehouse丨ChinaDivision
Green-Warehouse丨ChinaDivision

Recycle

Recycling is an essential step in green warehouse management. Used packaging boxes or other materials can be sent to recycling centers to be converted into usable materials or find new uses. These practices can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

Warehouse lighting: install energy management system

Do you always need to turn on the lights in every part of your warehouse? Probably not. Install an energy management system that knows which lights need to be turned on and when. Besides, replace those old bulbs with energy-saving LED lamps to improve energy efficiency and save electricity bills.

An appropriately located warehouse 

A well-located warehouse can help improve your delivery efficiency and reduce shipping costs. Establishing a warehouse at a centralized location in your customer’s transportation location can help you quickly deliver products and set a good reputation for your business. Besides, the shortening of the transportation distance helps to reduce the gas emissions of vehicles.

Reuse

The green warehouse can reuse many materials. From corrugated boxes to pallets, a variety of products can be used multiple times. The manufacturing cost of these packaging materials is very high. Choosing to reuse or recycle them can save costs and reduce the impact of production on the environment. Whether you are reusing the packaging sent to you by a supplier or encouraging customers to return the packaging for reuse, it is a company’s environmental effort.

How to Improve Inventory Tracking?Simple Guidance for You in Inventory Management

With the rapid development of third-party logistics, 3PL‘s advanced inventory management system can save you time and money.

However, for companies with relatively small business volume, in-house management is still required. Choosing the right inventory tracking method can help improve inventory accuracy.

What Are the Types of Inventory?

Before you can improve warehouse management, you need to understand the inventory types accurately. The following are the different types of inventory:

How-to-Improve-Inventory-Tracking?丨Lynda.com丨ChinaDivision
How-to-Improve-Inventory-Tracking?丨Lynda.com丨ChinaDivision
  1. Raw Materials, materials used to manufacture products
  2. Work-in-Progress, unfinished product being produced
  3. Finished Goods, finished goods stored in the warehouse, waiting to be sold or shipped
  4. Overhaul/MRO, maintenance, repair, and operation supplies, items used to support and maintain the production process and its infrastructure. These items are usually consumed due to the production process’s needs but are not directly part of the finished product. MRO inventory includes lubricants, cleaning supplies, gloves, packaging materials, and other supplies. It also consists of some office supplies, such as staples, pencils, copy paper, etc.
  5. Transit Inventory, the items have been loaded and are in transit.
  6. Anticipation Inventory, to meet the expected surge in sales inventory
  7. Decoupling Inventory, supplies, or products reserved in anticipation of stagnation in some production links
  8. Cycle Inventory, products shipped from a manufacturer or supplier to a company, and then sold to customers immediately
  9. Theoretical Inventory, the inventory rate in and outreaches a balanced ideal state, and inventory products can pass through the manufacturing system’s minimum stock without waiting. But in reality, the warehouse will always have some inventory (such as MRO inventory, decoupling inventory, etc.)

What inventory tracking method is the optimal solution?

Manual tracking

You must complete the inventory count for the outbound and inbound warehouse inventory in the manual tracking system. Besides, any updates to inventory records require manual operations. You can manually copy the item number and any other relevant details, but this inventory tracking method can be time-consuming and has a higher error rate. But one advantage is that you don’t have to pay for barcode scanners and other expensive equipment.

Barcode and QR code tracking

Bar codes or QR codes are commonly used in inventory tracking. The inventory system automatically extracts detailed information by scanning the product barcode or QR. The administrator can quickly and easily change the information in the system. This inventory tracking method can achieve efficient inventory management, so 3PL service providers usually recommend this method.

RFID tracking

As with barcode and QR code tracking, you can use RFID tracking to scan products and automatically extract their detailed information. The main difference between RFID and other scannable codes is the technology behind them. RFID tags scan more comprehensively, so they are very useful for inventory systems that move many products. However, only a few inventory management software supports RFID tracking because it requires specialized (expensive) tags and scanning equipment.

Why Do You Need a 3PL Warehouse Management System?

What is 3PL Warehouse Management System?

3PL Warehouse Management Software System (WMS) manages and records almost all physical cargo warehouse operations, including inventory management, shipping, receiving, putaway, picking, packaging, etc.

This software system helps simplify many time-consuming processes for one or more warehouses. Suppose your order volume exceeds the processing capacity of the internal warehouse. In that case, you can outsource these tedious tasks to a third-party logistics company, and they will design a set of suitable warehousing logistics solutions for you.

Advantages-of-3PL-Warehouse-Management-SystemMecalux丨ChinaDivision
Advantages-of-3PL-Warehouse-Management-SystemMecalux丨ChinaDivision

Benefits of Using 3PL Warehouse Management System

Inventory Control: 3PL WMS can collect the receiving, movement of the entire fulfillment center inventory through a barcode scanner. All SKU inbound and outbound data can be tracked and confirm inventory products’ location in real-time, improving inventory accuracy.

Realtime Inventory Tracking: Professional 3PL will provide partner companies with inventory management visibility data. Shippers can easily know the progress by accessing reports and tracking real-time inventory remotely online.

Nowadays, many warehouse management solutions can be seamlessly integrated with enterprise resource planning or corporate accounting rights and health solutions, allowing customers to adjust their current and future development needs.

Due to these functions’ convenience, the original time-consuming tasks such as manually generating management reports are eliminated.

Advanced 3PL Billing System: Billing is a very important part of the 3PL warehouse management system. When a 3PL provider provides this service to multiple customers, this process requires a comprehensive 3PL system to support. An accurate billing system will significantly reduce billing time while improving other functions.

Order fulfillment automation: 3PL providers are order fulfillment experts. They have adopted many advanced systems and equipment to support order fulfillment to save customers time and operating costs. Integrated WMS aims to simplify the order fulfillment process and make these tedious tasks simple and easy.

In Conclusion

With the explosive growth of 3PL warehouse and inventory management software, the emerging 3PL management software is expected to bring higher efficiency, thoughtful design, and advanced services to provide customers with the best solutions.

Third-party logistics companies will provide many benefits for your supply chain, and you can save time and resources while maintaining efficiency and customer satisfaction. If you haven’t considered adopting a 3PL warehouse management system solution, now is the time!

Pick and Pack: Why Pick and Pack Services Is Important?

From the moment the customer places an order, the warehouse will receive notifications of the pick and pack fulfillment process from the online store back-end order system. To ensure that customers can obtain order logistics information in the shortest time, warehouse pick and pack services are a crucial process. An efficient pick and pack process can also help increase sales and customer satisfaction.

What Is Pick and Pack Service?

The process of pick and pack:

You can get pick and pack services from the 3PL company, or manage your order fulfillment. In both cases, the fundamental pick and pack process is similar, including three main steps: pick, pack, and ship.

  1.  Order picking: When the warehouse system receives the order fulfillment information, the warehouse worker will take the packing list and pick the goods from the warehouse shelf. This step is the key to picking and packing. Because the efficiency of this step depends on your warehouse management strategy. You should decide how and where the goods are placed based on the sales of different products.
  2. Order packing: The goods will be packaged at the packaging place, and the packaging will wait for transportation after attaching various identification label information.
  3. Order shipping: Orders are sorted by carrier on the loading dock, and then loaded and transported in a suitable way (air, sea, truck, etc.).

These three steps seem very simple to operate. However, an effective and efficient pick and pack process is mixed with many crucial details that are interlocking. To better increase your sales and customer satisfaction, you should study these methods and strategies. This is true whether you run a startup or a one-million-dollar online store.

Pick-and-Pack-Services丨USA-Fulfillment丨ChinaDivisionPick-and-Pack-Services丨USA-Fulfillment丨ChinaDivision
Pick-and-Pack-Services丨USA-Fulfillment丨ChinaDivision

Pick pack ship order strategies:

  • Piece picking: is when an employee/picker handpicks each product for an entire order, as they come in.
  • Batch picking: is similar to piece picking, except that orders will be done in batches all at once, instead of one at a time.
  • Zone order picking: is when employees are assigned to a specific area of the warehouse and only pick one order at a time within that area. If an order needs products from more than one zone, it is handed off usually via conveyor belt.
  • Wave picking: is a combination of batch and zone picking, where employees will stay within a zone but pick more than one order at a time.

Four important criteria for choosing a warehousing service plan

Warehouse operations and management contain many important factors. When choosing and researching a warehousing service plan, be sure to carefully consider the following aspects to find a solution that suits you.

Factors Considered in Warehousing Service Plan

  1. SKU quantity & storage cost

Track inventory, calculate potential storage costs, and the size of the warehouse space required, SKU can help you a lot in these parts. For example, for each cup you sell, the color, size, style, etc. of the quilt require a separate storage unit. And you need to pay a separate storage fee for each of these variants.

If your product has only a few SKUs, the storage cost is much more cost-effective than having 1,000 SKUs. Moreover, suppose you have 1000 SKUs but only 1500 monthly sales volume, then some companies may not be able to cooperate with you.

It depends on how order fulfillment companies work-they don’t exist as standalone warehousing service plans. Their goal is to transfer inventory through order fulfillment. This means that you can frequently replenish inventory to meet sales needs without paying high storage and logistics costs.

warehousing-service-plan丨BigRentz丨ChinaDivision
warehousing-service-plan丨BigRentz丨ChinaDivision
  1. Seasonal changes

The demand for products fluctuates with the change of seasons, making warehousing and logistics more complicated. You need to pay attention to the sales of your products in the off-season to avoid unnecessary expenses caused by excessive inventory occupying warehouse space.

  1. Warehouse location

The choice of warehouse location depends on your marketing strategy plan. If your goal is to store a large number of products, you can find warehouses in the suburbs or near transportation hubs. If you want to deliver orders to your customers as soon as possible, you need to place a warehouse near the customer’s shipping destination.

Warehouses in urban or large cities can meet your needs for fast delivery of large quantities of orders. Shortening the logistics distance and time can speed up transportation. If your customers are not all in one area, please carefully select one or more suitable central warehouses.

  1. Warehouse Management System

Whether you plan to manage your warehouse or outsource logistics to a 3PL company, the technology of warehouse management and operation is crucial. The distribution software can automatically execute the order fulfillment process while concentrating orders, shipments, inventory levels, fulfillment centers, and customers in one place.

By connecting your sales channels, the order information will be automatically sent to the warehouse so that warehouse employees can start picking. Each step is recorded and tracking information is sent back to the customer.