Five Tips for Optimizing Warehouse Operation

Warehouse operations occupy an important position in e-commerce logistics, but if there is an error in the processing of inventory data or there is a problem with the back-end warehouse logistics, the warehouse operation may quickly collapse.

Moving the product from the warehouse to the door of the customer has almost no room for error, which affects your company’s reputation and revenue. Warehouse operation optimization plans can improve efficiency, space, and resource utilization through automation and careful planning, and deliver them to customers accurately, thereby improving customer satisfaction and experience.

Understand product movement speed

Product movement speed refers to the speed of merchandise sales. Certain products in each warehouse will move faster during special seasons or during major promotions.

At this time, the layout of the warehouse should allow these products to move faster and more conveniently. Placing them in an easy-to-extract position can speed up the warehouse operation. One solution is to place them as close as possible to the packaging area.

Warehouse-Operation丨ChinaDivision
Warehouse-Operation丨ChinaDivision

Minimize human error

The lower the degree of human error, the higher the efficiency of the warehouse operation. Repeated automated marking of all products in inventory is very important. If this process is a human operation, errors will occur no matter how many trainings employees receive.

Robot technology

The warehouse that invests in robotics has obvious benefits in reducing expenses and increasing efficiency.

Decades ago, the scope of technology in warehouse operations was limited to robotic arms that could move or lift heavy objects in accordance with human instructions. Today, technology can take on more tasks.

The following are some of the machines commonly found in warehouses today:

  • Automatic guided vehicle
  • Autonomous robot
  • pilot-less airplane
  • Automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS)

The use of these innovative tools has some positive effects including higher customer satisfaction, fewer delivery process errors, and becoming a means of attracting customers.

How to Reduce Supply Chain Costs?

One of the best ways to reasonably control company expenditures is to reduce supply chain costs. Fortunately, this goal can be achieved in some simple ways.

However, what you need to understand when you start with this part is where the key points are because the correct reduction with a clear understanding will bring the greatest return in the future.

Next, this article will make some suggestions for reducing supply chain costs and increasing profits.

Reduce-Supply-Chain-Costs丨TASK丨ChinaDivision
Reduce-Supply-Chain-Costs丨TASK丨ChinaDivision

1. Cut unnecessary space costs

Making full use of the space you have will save you money every day. As we all know, renting a warehouse to store materials requires daily rent, which will be a lot of money for a long time. Evaluate the utilization rate of your current warehouse space and find a warehouse that is more in line with actual needs that can save some money.

2. Process automation

Warehouse automation is not only a fashion trend, but it can also help you achieve the purpose of reducing supply chain costs. Ask professionals to provide assessment and advice on how to implement automation.

3. Make timely adjustments to customer needs

One of the ways to reduce supply chain costs is to make timely adjustments to customer needs. As the season changes, you will find that customer needs are constantly changing. You can follow these changes to make more accurate sales policies.

4. Minimize product damage rate

The improvement of the product packaging level will help reduce the probability of damage to the product during transportation. Make sure that the staff responsible for this area pack your products correctly to minimize breakage rates.

Improve Internal Linking with Popular Content

Once you have identified the Landing pages (where people entered your website from search) and the exit pages (where they left off after interacting with your page), it is time to improve internal linking and your overall on-page website optimization.

This is vital because when you implement the right on-page optimization tactics, it can increase your search traffic and rankings. This will also prevent your pages from leaking, which causes people to leave too early because they can’t find what they are looking for easily (assuming you even have the right content).

Peradventure your homepage is receiving the most traffic, then it makes sense to link to your internal pages. That way, when you get a trusted link to the homepage, some of the link juice or value of that link is transferred to the internal pages.

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Next, select the primary Goal you would like to view and analyze. And you will see the previous pages the website visitors interacted with before accomplishing this Goal on your page. That is the page they spent more time interacting with before conversion.

From the insights gleaned from Analytics, we understand that these pages are converting most visitors on your website. It is now your job to funnel these pages and others that you have discovered during this process.

Make no mistakes about it – internal linking increases the backlink earning potential of your best pages.

As a rule of thumb, every time you publish new content, link to your top-ranking pages so visitors can discover them easily. Search engine crawlers also follow links on the page. More importantly, Moz did a study and found that links from fresh pages and fresh websites pass fresh juice that Google likes.

Get the Best Prices on Black Friday

1. Don’t buy full price

This year, there is a shorter peak holiday season, with only 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to 32 days in years past.

That means retailers are are clamoring for your business. They need us to shop with them — every single day counts, and that’s good news for shoppers because it means stores are willing to offer discounts and promotions.

There are lots of ways to save and you should, quite frankly, never pay full price around the holiday season. This can come in a variety of forms, from free shipping codes, promo codes, coupon codes to cashback offers.

2. Do your research

The best way to remedy that is to do your homework and look through Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads in advance and compare the advertised prices and promotions.

For example, if you have a list of items you’d like to buy, you can do some research online. You can even go shopping and scout out what you’re hoping to buy and just track the price every couple of weeks.

Some stores will even price match during Black Friday season, so it’s worth looking into the policies if you’re debating between several stores. There are lots of places that are offering incentives and promotions to get shoppers to shop with them. So find that place and then make your purchase.

There’s even a Black Friday calculator, where you can plug in the type of promotion, the original price and the discount. From there, the calculator will tell you if the deal is worth considering.

3. Strategically abandon your cart

When you’re shopping online and not finding any discounts, it may help to close out of your browser without buying anything and wait a few hours. In other words, abandon your cart.

In an hour, two hours, or sometimes 24 hours, you may get an email from the store with a subject line like: “We noticed you left a few things in your cart. Here’s a 10% off coupon on us to help you check out.” Skirboll calls this a “sneaky” trick to save money, but it works well with retailers where you frequently shop. Keep in mind that you need to be logged in for this to work.

When it comes to using the “abandon your cart” approach during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, make sure that you keep track of when a promotion period ends. If you haven’t received any additional coupons via email and the sale is about to end, you may want to check out other stores or simply move forward with the sale price you already have.

4. Download apps and browser extensions

If you’re looking to automate your Black Friday and Cyber Monday experience a bit this year, consider downloading some apps for your smartphone and browser extensions that plug into your internet browser and alert you to cheaper prices and deals.

5. Shop after the sale days end

Only about a third of Americans plan to shop on Black Friday, according to PwC’s report. In fact, over half say they will wait until the week after Black Friday to complete their holiday shopping.

You may be able to find better deals on certain items after Black Friday and Cyber Monday end. For example, Skirboll recommends shoppers avoid buying any fitness equipment or linens until January, since that’s the time when those products tend to have bigger sales.

What Can You Look for in a Fulfillment Warehouse

Whether you own an eCommerce operation or run franchises, you’ll be responsible for shipping orders to the right destination. That’s easier said than done most days. Your team has to take care of packaging and branding, all while executing a complete distribution strategy. 

Partnering with a fulfillment professional can help streamline all these efforts, but not all warehousing companies are created equal. 

Make sure you do your homework before signing a service contract with just any fulfillment partner. Here’s what you need to pay attention to:

Services Provided

The first thing to do is to make sure your potential partner can actually handle all the things your store requires. Most fulfillment companies offer a basic set of solutions (warehousing, order fulfillment, and shipping), but the best professionals are those who go the extra mile. Work with a fulfillment company that also provides printing and branding support. The right partner can easily adapt to any obstacle that interferes with the goals of your fulfillment strategy. 

Pricing

An affordable service doesn’t mean settling for a cheap fix. You want to work with a professional who provides honest and quality work, but when it comes to pricing, it’s best to hire a firm that won’t break the bank. Ask for quotes and get details about service fees and financing options. Study each offer carefully and keep your eyes peeled for hidden costs. Give each company an idea of your budget so they can tailor a solution to your finances.

Location

The closer the facility is to your customers, the shorter the distance your goods have to travel. Look for a fulfillment center that is centrally located in a high-traffic area. This can help shrink the delivery and get orders fulfilled much faster. If you own a business that ships products across the nation or on a global scale, you’ll want to partner with a fulfillment company that has multiple warehouse units. 

Availability

Customer service is one of the most important things when cultivating a working relationship. If you run an eCommerce store, you’ll need to provide around-the-clock customer support in case something goes wrong with a customer’s order. The same goes for fulfillment companies. Find out how to get in touch with your partners and when they’re most accessible. The best companies to work with are those with emergency response hotlines. This ensures that someone is always available to help in case something disrupts your distribution. 

Shipping Specialties 

Working with a larger fulfillment center introduces you to special shipping rates, which can help you save a fortune on all distribution efforts. Lower shipping prices leads to more products stocked and more money to set aside for other areas of the business. In addition, you’ll want to collaborate with a company that has a reputation for meeting deadlines, while delivering products in a quality fashion.

Branding Options

It’s one thing to ship your products to a physical location, but if you don’t have a brand that resonates with people, then good luck making a sale. A third-party fulfillment (3PL) provider should lend a hand in your branding efforts. The best partners can print custom labels. Do your research and find a partner that can deliver authentic packaging on a variety of materials. 

Share Your Amazon Listings on Social Media to Promote and Sell More Products

The average person spends nearly two hours per day on social media platforms. Given this popularity, sharing your Amazon listings on social media through your business’ accounts is a powerful way of getting your products in front of more buyers.

Since your followers expect to receive value from your posts, it’s best to avoid creating posts on your account that are basically ads for your listings. Instead, it’s better to share your listing in more subtle ways that are still helpful to your followers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use a social media promo code. Merchants with a Professional Selling account on Amazon can create a promotion link to share through social media about a discount they’re offering on the listing. Unlike a traditional ad, sharing a promo code gives users value by helping them save money. For more assistance, check out this guide.
  • Share content that includes your listing link. Posting an informative, helpful blog post or video that includes a link to your Amazon listing, such as a How-to video or list post, is a great way to indirectly promote your products through social media.
  • Host a contest or giveaway. Announce through your social media accounts that any user who posts your Amazon listing in their bio will be entered for a chance to win a prize. This reward will motivate users to share your listing and spread the word about your Amazon products.

By creating social media content that is exciting and relevant, you can promote your Amazon listings through social media in a way that feels natural rather than invasive.

Why You Need a 3PL Fulfillment Service

Imagine that you run a small business selling customized iPhone cases to customers. It’s a small business — you’re the sole proprietor — and you spend a good deal of time reaching out to prospective customers, podcasts, guest bloggers, and other means to drum up business. You also spend time dealing with product improvements and customer support.

Your excellent work has led to a tremendous spike in orders… except now you have to somehow process 10–20 orders per day in addition to doing all the other things you were doing.

You have three options:

  1. You can fulfill the orders yourself and spend the extra few hours a day handling this fulfillment… time that will come out of efforts to grow and sustain your company.
  2. You can hire someone internally to fulfill these orders and pay them to store and process inventory, pick and reconcile order forms, and then either arrange a carrier pickup (e.g. FedEx) or take them to a distribution center for shipment.
  3. You can outsource fulfillment with a 3PL, and they will do all of this for you.

Obviously, option #1 isn’t particularly great, because it involves compromising your company’s growth at a pivotal time.

Option #2 isn’t bad… but it is usually quite costly.

Option #3 — using a 3PL Fulfillment center — is a fabulous option in many cases, because it will be cheaper than hiring an associate in terms of absolute-capital outlay, but you’ll also very likely benefit from shipping costs due to a fulfillment center being able to operate with economies of scale (excellent ones ship millions of packages a year and thus have access to the very best shipping rates).

The services a 3PL Fulfillment center will vary based on the place, but over at ChinaDivision, we offer the following services (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Warehousing: your product has to sit somewhere. Sheds, storage units, and living rooms are options for some… but a fulfillment center has extensive warehouse space and can warehouse your products for you.
  • Inventory/Order Management: When an order comes in from a customer, a great fulfillment center will automatically adjust the available inventory and reconcile the order against current inventory levels.
  • Integration: Fulfillment centers should be able to integrate their software with your shopping carts across every channel. So it doesn’t matter if your customer came to you through Amazon, your Shopify site, or your eBay store — all stores should be integrated with your account through the fulfillment center.
  • Shipping and Handling: Printing out shipping labels, affixing them to boxes, building the boxes themselves, and then taking all of the units to be shipped… this takes time, money, and effort. Fulfillment companies can handle this easily and turn a 2 hour job into a 15 minute one.
  • Special Kitting: Do you have a subscription box that requires assembly? Are you trying to prep your packages for FBA? An exemplary fulfillment center will be able to accommodate any and all of these requests.