Wonderful Ecommerce Fulfillment Model Keep Your Customers

Fast! Faster! Nowadays, the development of technology makes us more and more impatient. We expect technology to make things faster, and when we have to wait, we will feel frustrated.

Almost the entire process of e-commerce order fulfillment is facing the problem of acceleration. Customers want the lowest transportation costs and the shortest delivery time.

If your product’s sales volume grows steadily, but you cannot have better technical support, then customers who add shopping carts may turn to your competitors.

However, if you can provide customers with fast delivery speed and excellent customer experience, it will help promote your orders’ continuous growth and increase brand awareness.

Ecommerce-Fulfillment-Model丨ChinaDivision
Ecommerce-Fulfillment-Model丨ChinaDivision

How to Choose the Most Suitable Ecommerce Fulfillment Model?

Choosing the most suitable ecommerce fulfillment model is crucial because you cannot take responsibility for making mistakes. If you lose customers due to a poor fulfillment experience, they will quickly turn to your competitors for help.

A study showed that nearly 40% of customers said they would choose to return or stop shopping with retailers because of a negative delivery experience.

The perfect e-commerce fulfillment model depends on the size and nature of your business. If you are happy to do everything yourself and have the time and space to do so, then in-house fulfillment will be the best choice.

However, self-fulfillment may bring many hidden costs. For example, if you decide to sell through Amazon, remember that regardless of the fulfillment method, they will charge all sellers 15% of each product’s sales price.

Order-fulfillment丨ChinaDivision-1
Order-fulfillment丨ChinaDivision

In-house fulfillment may become a burden for your business because supply chain management is not a simple matter. It needs enough space to store inventory and enough time to complete all tasks.

If you choose to work with a third-party logistics provider, then you need to take the time to screen which partner is best for your business.

It is meaningful to choose 3PL with experience and mature technology. At the same time, you should also consider price, quality control, the number of warehouses and their location, and whether the order fulfillment system seamlessly integrates with your system.

Good fulfillment companies will also handle returns management properly. Of course, you need to make sure that your budget can meet all the features you need.

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!

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.

How to choose a fulfillment company?

What is a fulfillment company?

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.

fulfillment-company丨3plcenter丨ChinaDivision
fulfillment-company丨3plcenter丨ChinaDivision

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.

How-to-choose-a-fulfillment-company丨Atlantic-Marine-Services丨ChinaDivision
How-to-choose-a-fulfillment-company丨Atlantic-Marine-Services丨ChinaDivision

3. Transparency

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.

4.Return management

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.

5.Cost

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.

What are the benefits of warehouse & distribution automation that you need to know?

Warehouse & distribution automation includes automated data collection and inventory control. All work is coordinated through the warehouse control system and the use of necessary hardware equipment and software systems. This helps greatly improve efficiency, but what tools used to achieve it?

What facilities are involved in Warehouse & distribution?

  1. Barcode labels: They form the basis of warehouse & distribution automation, through which products can be tracked. Barcode labels can accurately capture product data and eliminate errors in product tracking or product shipping. The use of barcode labels can realize automatic warehouses, inventory monitoring, purchase planning, improve picking efficiency, optimize transportation, and reduce stock-outs.
  2. Inventory Management System (IMS): This facilitates real-time monitoring of inventory levels, product information, and storage locations, thereby providing companies with a high level of inventory control.
  3. Automatic storage and retrieval system (AS/RS): The software system consists of machines that move up and down on optimized channels to retrieve or place items. They provide improved inventory control and product tracking. They can also ensure that the warehouse is better arranged vertically and horizontally, thereby saving inventory. The key elements of AS/RS include storage and retrieval machines, automated guided vehicles (AGV), frame structure, and warehouse control system software (WCS). All these components work together to receive, place, pick up, pack, and ship items along an optimized route.
  4. Necessary hardware equipment: If you do not use the necessary hardware, you will not be able to retrieve data and monitor activities from the barcode label, and will not be able to achieve automation. Commonly used devices are portable data terminals, stationary computers, bar code scanners, rugged tablet computers, and label printers.
warehouse-distribution丨ChinaDivision
warehouse-distribution丨ChinaDivision

The benefits of warehouse & distribution automation

Automating your warehouse system can bring the following benefits:

  • Reduce labor costs and other operating expenses.
  • Improve warehouse space utilization and optimize warehouse layout and processes.
  • Improve accuracy, efficiency, and productivity while minimizing labor expenditures.
  • Improve inventory accuracy and avoid complete depletion of inventory.
  • Automatic storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) will improve inventory control and cargo tracking.
  • Automatically collect product shipment data and inventory tracking to eliminate inventory misplacement, shrinkage, or loss.
  • With the available data, the efficiency of the operator’s picking, packaging, and transportation improved, so that the order can be shipped and delivered in time.

Why Is a Warehouse Management System So Important?

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.

Warehouse-Management-System丨DataConsult丨ChinaDivision
Warehouse-Management-System丨DataConsult丨ChinaDivision

The Importance of the Warehouse Management System

  1. Inventory accuracy

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Risk Management

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.

Four Key Factors to Design a Successful Ecommerce Order Fulfillment Strategy

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.

Here are some tips to help you design an eCommerce order fulfillment strategy to help you deliver products on time while improving customer satisfaction.

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.

Ecommerce-Order-Fulfillment-Strategy丨A-Better-Lemonade-Stand丨ChinaDivision
Ecommerce-Order-Fulfillment-Strategy丨A-Better-Lemonade-Stand丨ChinaDivision

Product Kitting

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.

Automated warehouse

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.

How to Use Warehouse Logistics Plan to Accelerate Your E-Commerce Development

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.

Warehouse-Logistics丨-Maintenance-Covid-Management丨ChinaDivision
Warehouse-Logistics丨Maintenance-Covid-Management丨ChinaDivision

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.

Find location

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.

Logistics丨PNGWing丨ChinaDivision
Logistics丨PNGWing丨ChinaDivision

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 warehouse

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:

  • Evaluation space
  • 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.

Challenges in Dropshipping Business

Dropshipping business is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding things brought about by the Internet and our new lifestyle. This new business model allows start-ups to run e-commerce with little resources. Here, we will discuss the seven most common challenges related to dropshipping business and how to overcome them:

Find a reliable supplier

The first major challenge most companies face in dropshipping is to find reliable suppliers. There are many manufacturers and sourcing agencies that can be your suppliers, but you need to maintain a detailed relationship with them on the same page.

You can easily find suppliers in almost any niche market of your choice. There are many resources to help you search. Make sure that the supplier you choose can meet your needs. Consider factors such as supplier fees, minimum orders, professional industry knowledge, and scalability.

Dropshipping-problems丨ChinaBrands丨ChinaDivision
Dropshipping-problems丨ChinaBrands丨ChinaDivision

out of stock

When you start your dropshipping business, you will discover that the warehouse may be out of stock. It is one of the most common problems, and it is more common in certain product hot seasons. If you work with a very large manufacturer and order fulfilment company, you may not experience a shortage. If a product is out of stock, you must notify the customer as soon as possible, even if you find another supplier. It is recommended to cooperate with multiple suppliers.

Delay in order processing

When customers buy items from your website, they expect their order to be processed as quickly as possible. Most customers don’t understand that, in most cases, the process of processing orders is not completely under your control.

In some cases, orders that have already been placed with manufacturers will be delayed. When customers wait for the tracking code, this delay may create some tension with them. Don’t let it linger. If you haven’t received any news from the supplier within 24 hours after placing the order, please contact them to solve the problem. When these situations occur, you will at least know why the order has not been processed and how long you have to wait. Pass information to customers to appease them.

Ship to the wrong address

As embarrassing as it sounds, some orders have been shipped to the wrong or non-existent address. This is another major challenge you may face as an e-commerce entrepreneur. The best way to solve this problem is to carefully check each order address sent to the supplier.

Product return

This is something you can’t escape in e-commerce. In most cases, this is never your fault, because third parties are always involved in direct shipping. You cannot make all the rules here. Suppliers handle returns in different ways, so you must find a way to communicate clearly with customers. Your return policy is clearly stated on your website. Make all necessary efforts to make your order fulfilment proceed smoothly.