How much thought have you given to your warehouse management strategies and to scaling fulfillment services in the new year?
It’s worth thinking about the warehouse management strategies and tactics used to scale fulfillment by many big companies throughout the country in the wake of the unusual “coronavirus” year that’s just passed. Everyone from ecommerce giants to local mom and pop companies found themselves struggling with fulfillment issues as demand exceeded supply.
Before the new year really gets underway, it’s time to review your fulfillment plan. The following three tips can help you scale up and get the new year off to a great (and profitable) start.
Three Warehouse Management Strategies to Fulfill Orders Quickly
Consider the following suggestions to improve order fulfillment in the new year. These ideas can help you maintain a high service level even when demand for your products is considerable.
- Line up multiple carriers
Gone are the days when you could sign a contract with one major carrier and rely on them for fast delivery. Although many companies do have carriers of choice, lining up multiple carriers for order fulfillment is critical today. If one company experiences unprecedented demand, an alternative carrier from among your short list can be contacted to fulfill orders.
Interview various shippers now and negotiate deals with the top candidates. Set up systems now to have multiple carriers ready to go for peak delivery times. You may need to upgrade your software to handle multiple carriers and track orders through the system.
- Anticipate peak seasons
Most businesses go through peaks and valleys in their business cycles. You know when your peak season should hit. Review industry forecasts and information from your ERP system to predict this year’s peaks and add on a little extra time as a cushion. Then, increase inventory and hire additional personnel as part of your company’s warehouse management strategies.
Review training manuals and systems and set up new employee onboarding that gets new hires ready to work quickly. Pay particular attention to safety training in the warehouse. This is one step you can’t afford to miss.
Depending on the industry your company is in, you may find that the pressures this year are greater than last year. By anticipating peak season and preparing now, you’ll be ready when it hits and able to deliver customer orders on time.
- Update your software
Along with multi-carrier shipments and increased demand comes the need for updated software to handle the influx of business. Warehouse management systems offer different packages. Some are better able to handle multi-carrier tracking than others. Review packages that work with your current enterprise resource (ERP) system and speak with us to find out which ones you may need to update your warehouse management system.
The Future of Order Fulfillment
None of us have a window into the future to see what the business year will hold. But we can say for certain that as time goes by, more people will choose to order products online. Big e-tailers may have paved the way for customers to grow accustomed to online ordering and delivery, but the global pandemic shifted thinking from seeing ecommerce as an option to seeing it as a necessity. And, with this shift, comes a shift in thinking about warehouse management and order fulfillment.
Don’t wait until you have a backlog of orders to look at these three points. By preparing now for a busy year ahead, you’ll be able to focus on business growth rather than problem solving. Here’s to a happy and profitable new year.
Founded in 2000, Emerald TC is a software consulting firm that offers software for warehouse management, ERP, business intelligence, and much more. Contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.