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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The fierce competition in e-commerce means that you need to spend most of your time promoting business development. Therefore, you can outsource order fulfillment work to a professional third-party logistics company to handle it.
Cut down operating cost
Cooperating with 3PL can reduce infrastructure and logistics costs. You can avoid the trouble of renting warehouses, equipment, packaging products, maintenance, etc. by outsourcing order fulfillment. Order fulfillment service providers develop appropriate strategies and predictable costs so that you can better control operating costs.
Optimize business development
If small businesses or suppliers waste too much energy to cope with all day-to-day operations, they will miss the opportunity to develop new customers.
Delivering all operations after the customer places an order to a professional outsourcer will help you spend more time and energy on expanding your business.
If your warehouse does not have enough staff and space, the enormous daily order processing will bring an extensive load to your company’s system. For the sustainability of your business and to provide customers with a good customer experience, one of the best ways is to hand over the processing of these orders to a professional company.
Enhance the ability to respond to the market environment
The COVID-19 outbreak this year has severely disrupted the supply chain, which means that transportation costs have risen. To reduce the impact, one of the best ways is to outsource order fulfillment, so that your company can avoid the impact of rent, wages, and other expenses. Reducing overhead costs can help companies survive in a severe economic environment.
The introduction of Amazon’s “two-day delivery” clause has intensified the time competition for e-commerce companies to deliver products to customers. You must pay attention to the delivery terms described on your website and deliver products on time. Strive to transform customers who purchase once into lifetime users.
Fulfillment company usually refer to the organization that provides companies with services such as order receipts, packaging, and transportation. The functions and scope of order fulfillment are now more complex and efficient than ever before.
A technologically advanced fulfillment center can manage and simplify the fulfillment process through order fulfillment software or systems.
Outsourcing the management of the order fulfillment process to a professional fulfillment company allows companies to focus more on order growth instead of internal warehouses, inventory management, transportation, and returns.
What kind of factors should you consider when you choose a fulfillment company?
1. Delivery speed
Now Amazon Prime has set a new two-day delivery rule, which means that consumers expect faster shipping speeds than ever before.
So, if your company’s current order volume is considerable but the order delivery speed is far behind, then your customer churn rate will gradually increase. When your company can no longer optimize the order fulfillment process, you can try to cooperate with an order fulfillment company.
Excellent and professional fulfillment companies have effective management systems and order fulfillment software, enabling them to deliver quickly.
2. The location of the distribution warehouse
The most important point of order processing outsourcing is to examine the location of the distribution warehouse of the partner company.
To meet customers’ expectations of delivering products in a short time and improve their user experience, it makes sense to choose an order fulfillment center close to the customer. For your international business, you need to confirm whether the other party provides global delivery services before cooperating with them.
To reduce the additional burden on your business and devote more time to increasing order volume, you need to study the order fulfillment system and software used by the fulfillment companies you cooperate with. Different fulfillment companies vary order fulfillment software, and you need to ensure that their software is easy to implement and can seamlessly integrate with the business platform applications you are using.
The transparency of order fulfillment is also an essential part of your corporate image. Survey data shows that 88% of consumers want to track their products in real-time. 69% of consumers said that if the merchant fails to deliver the product within the promised delivery date, they will not shop again in the future.
Therefore, when you choose an order fulfillment partner, you need to know whether it can meet the delivery time limit you require.
Due to the fast and convenient free return and exchange policy, about one-third of online orders are canceled orders. Some returns are uncontrollable (the customer doesn’t like the product at all). A reputable fulfillment company will manage the product well and minimize returns.
Your cooperation with a third-party logistics provider involves some initial costs, but in the long run, you will save labor, logistics costs, storage costs, etc. Besides, you also need to make sure that the fulfillment center you cooperate with can provide you with the best deal.
Since you have to pay for delivery services (your products are always moving after all), the delivery center should not charge you for long-term storage.
Due to the shipping volume of the shipping center, the distribution center can also get a larger discount from the operator than any single e-commerce retailer, so you want to make sure they can pass on some of the savings to you. These reduced costs often allow e-commerce retailers to compete with industry giants by offering free or reduced-price transportation.
Warehouse Management System (WMS) is the cornerstone of logistics system. WMS constitutes the internal system of a logistics company and can be highly configured to control and manage storage, distribution, and other aspects. A powerful WMS is needed for an organization to conduct effective and productive operations, including inventory balance, material management, delivery process, and review.
If you lack an effective warehouse management system, it is impossible to obtain a well-functioning logistics system. Effective WMS involves using a set of customized solutions to achieve a smooth workflow, not just data or storage processing.
The Importance of the Warehouse Management System
For inventory management, one of the challenges most companies face is how to maintain inventory accuracy. Inventory management systems can help you manage inventory better, faster, and easier. You can reduce the order cycle time and improve the number of orders WMS will help you adjust inventory levels by using real-time tracking of inventory changes. You can better understand the products in the warehouse and you can better track any changes required. Respond quickly to customer needs and inquiries, and can provide customers with a better customer experience.
Centralized warehouse location
The warehouse management system saves a lot of time and cost by obtaining a centralized storage location. WMS overcomes the production gap based on the real-time inventory situation, so as to easily carry out storage, transportation, and distribution. You can even quickly find suppliers and target markets, so you can continuously move in and out of goods to ensure the continuity of the company’s logistics system.
Improve product quality
WMS’s effective inventory quality and management will improve your production quality. You can keep up-to-date with vendors and suppliers, and better track the shelf life of raw materials or products. So you are now easier to deal with defective products and guarantee the high quality of the products.
By improving product quality, you can not only ensure high-quality service but also improve order processing. An efficient warehouse management system can improve production quality, and WMS’s control over the production speed, efficiency, and quality of products will give you great confidence in promoting the company’s products.
Formulate marketing strategy for shopping season
You can take full advantage of festivals or other shopping seasons to expand your business. Since the production process can be tracked through real-time information, you can also analyze and track customer consumption behavior. WMS can better help deal with customer problems and reduce the risk of customer complaints and negative reviews.
Therefore, you can take advantage of increased growth to increase operations without paying additional fees. This means you will get new opportunities to reach higher sales. By having the right warehouse management system, you can now sell more products and increase profits, which means a high return on investment.
In response to changes in demand and supply and to minimize losses, WMS highlights its importance. You can deal with risks through changes in product demand changes, and you can also bring sales decisions by considering sudden increases or decreases in product market prices.
You can improve your purchasing decision while replenishing suitable inventory. Therefore, you can check inventory at any time to better meet the needs of delivered products. Logistics warehousing also provides you with additional storage space to meet future needs.
An effective WMS ensures improved inventory control and management, which means you can ensure the safety of your goods and avoid product deterioration, theft, or accidents.
However, you must choose an effective software solution, and you must also consider the key functions of warehouse and logistics.
Designing a successful eCommerce order fulfillment strategy can be tricky because this task requires consideration of various factors in the process. You need to understand all aspects of the supply chain and provide your customers with an excellent experience after careful planning and optimization.
How to Design a Successful Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Strategy?
Track inventory regularly
When a customer finds that the ordered product is out of stock and not delivered in time, they may never shop in your store again, or vent their anger on social media. These consequences may not only lead to an increase in customer churn but also have a terrible impact on your brand.
Therefore, to avoid these incidents to the greatest extent, your best strategy is to simplify your order fulfillment process and deliver products to customers as quickly as possible. You need to focus on inventory and build an inventory management system. This system can help you get real-time fulfillment cycles, so you always know when products are out of stock or unavailable.
Product Kitting helps reduce the processing time and cost of order fulfillment. Product Kitting refers to the process of grouping, packaging, and supplying different but related items as a unit.
Product Kitting can increase productivity and reduce labor costs by storing products in separate kits. Besides, you can reduce inventory and improve cash flow.
Adopting an intelligent warehouse system can help you manage inventory, warehouse organization, and logistics using data-driven technology.
You can automate the warehouse by choosing to use technologies including RFID identification, the Internet of Things, and easy tracking of the inside of the IoT.
Using a warehouse management system can reduce human errors in order processing.
Transparent supply chain
Supply chain visibility is the focus of your strategy. Supply chain visibility can give you a deeper understanding of each process and improve the underperforming parts.
For example, if you track picking activities in a warehouse and find that manual picking increases time costs, you can move it to an automated process.
Therefore, you must keep track of your supply chain and collect data.
Warehouse logistics is the process of planning, operating, and controlling the flow of goods in a warehouse to optimize costs and time and achieve other business goals. The warehouse is an important part of the supply chain and should be aligned with the broader organizational goals and the entire supply chain.
Before you start planning a new warehouse, it is always recommended to develop a feasible warehouse logistics plan. Without a plan that includes clear business goals and a road map to achieve those goals, it is impossible to estimate whether you can reach your goals.
Identify warehouse logistics requirements
If you need to determine the company’s warehouse requirements, you need to ask some questions before making a final decision, such as:
Who are your customers?
Where are they located?
What is the order volume?
What solution is currently adopted?
What is the cost of the current solution?
What is the delivery time of the current solution?
Will the new warehouse save costs?
What is the implementation timeline?
How efficient is the operation of the new warehouse?
Thinking of these questions can help you clearly define implementation needs, requirements, benefits, and timelines. You need to estimate operating costs, including all the elements of the current warehouse logistics operation, the cost or time savings gained from the investment in the new warehouse, and the break-even point of the project.
This analysis may not prove the rationality of the dedicated warehouse. In this case, cooperation with a reliable third-party logistics operator may better meet your needs. The top third-party logistics providers have spent years perfecting their operations, allowing the company to use its expertise and achieve the best performance at the lowest cost compared to maintaining internal warehouses and logistics operations. Or, you can extend the life of your warehouse by implementing flexible automation solutions.
When you finally decide that you need a new warehouse, then you need to determine a suitable location. The questions you answered in the previous requirements gathering phase will come in handy here. Once you know the location of the customer, you can easily find the best warehouse location to serve the customer.
Remember, prioritize customers who can create greater profit margins for you. You can select warehouse locations based on your proximity to your best or long-term customers so that you can deliver to these customers faster than short-term or occasional customers. goods. Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools can be used to determine the best location for the warehouse.
Another factor to consider is whether you want to use an existing warehouse to upgrade to a new warehouse or choose a new warehouse. These considerations boil down to your storage needs and costs. You should also work with the company’s financial department to determine the best solution from a financial perspective. Purchases, leases, and leases have different effects on the balance sheet, and the finance department is more capable of determining the factors that are most suitable for the company’s long-term financial situation. At the same time, your new storage requirements should not be affected. Achieving finance and goals at the same time is a delicate act of coordination, so it is necessary to maintain transparent and open communication between various departments.
Mapping the warehouse is essential for determining subsequent deliveries and how to handle operations. Order picking activities are considered to be the most labour-intensive activities in the warehouse, accounting for as much as 55% of warehouse logistics operating costs, and mapping the warehouse can help simplify this basic business function. The warehouse mapping process includes:
Marking space (including aisles, shelves, shelves, containers or garbage bins, etc.)
Estimated traffic volume
Implement the right shelf system
Choose the best order pickup truck to meet warehouse requirements
Implement inventory management software
Mapping the warehouse is a crucial step and should not be missed. Without a well-mapped warehouse, your logistics business will be chaotic, because there is no operational blueprint.
Transportation is an integral part of logistics. Although scenes of trucks and trains parked by companies on commercial facilities are common, few people know how much the economy depends on reliable transportation.
1. What is transportation?
Transportation has long become one of the largest industries in the world. It refers to the movement of products and raw materials from one destination to another. This process encompasses both the beginning of the supply chain and the final delivery of finished products to consumers.
Transportation is a key link in the logistics chain, which connects the components scattered in every corner. The transportation system properly manages and controls the various components of the supply chain, so that transportation and logistics can work together smoothly, which is enough to prove the strong communication between the various parts of the supply chain.
2. What is the impact of transportation on logistics?
Transportation costs are affected by the company’s factories: warehouses, suppliers, retail locations, and customers, or consumers.
Inventory demand is affected by the mode of transportation: high-speed or high-priced transportation systems may require less inventory, while slower, lower-priced transportation systems may require a large amount of inventory.
The choice of low-speed or high-speed mode can change the delivery schedule or the way the goods are packed.
Packaging will be affected by the carrier’s classification rules and transportation methods.
Contract negotiation may change the mode of transportation.
The role of various transportation methods on logistics:
Road transportation: highly flexible and can be applied to door-to-door service. Road transportation helps transport goods to locations far away from ports, stations, or loading points.
Railway transportation: an important mode of transportation. Compared with roads, railway transportation can transport a large number of goods with high stability and low cost.
Air transport: It is usually recommended to ensure quality and is more friendly to high-value goods. The fast delivery speed minimizes transportation risks, thereby improving the overall quality of logistics services and reducing the cost due to the loss of goods in the supply chain.
Water transportation: The most commonly used transportation method in logistics, because it has the advantages of large capacity and low transportation cost, and is mainly used for international trade.
3. In conclusion
Transportation is critical to the success of logistics programs. The operation of transportation determines the efficiency of product delivery.
A strong system requires a clear logistics framework and appropriate transportation strategies to enhance production procedures. Logistics managers, researchers, and transportation planners need to understand the various applications of logistics and the integrated relationship between logistics and transportation.
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